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Arts and culture in Armidale

From renowned collections of antiquities and Australian art to writers’ workshops, cutting-edge contemporary theatre and stellar music programs, culture and the arts are ubiquitous in the city of Armidale.

You’ll find there’s always something inspirational going on in the region’s museums and galleries and on any number of stages and screens. At the University of New England (UNE), there are museums and collections embracing art, classical archaeology, local history, zoology, botany, geology, Asian musical instruments, manuscripts and rare books. In terms of their diversity, scale and significance, they are a unique resource in regional New South Wales. In fact, the university’s Museum of Antiquities, open to the public on weekdays, is the only regional ancient history and archaeology museum in Australia.

Experience feature attractions

Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place

The Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place showcase a diverse range of Australian Indigenous arts and culture. Visitors can view articles of interest from New England and exhibits from regional NSW. Touring exhibitions from major galleries and museums are also a feature of their program. Traditional Aboriginal paintings are for sale all year round and the well-stocked gift shop offers Aboriginal artefacts and gifts. The centre also offers cultural tours and runs a wide range of Aboriginal cultural activities in its workshops. While entry to the centre is free, cultural tours and Aboriginal cultural activities do attract a cost. Bookings are essential and minimum numbers apply for these activities. For more information please contact the Centre.
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New England Regional Art Museum

The New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) is the public regional gallery located in Armidale in the heart of the New England North West region of New South Wales. Visitors to NERAM can experience exhibitions drawn from three important collections of Australian art: the Howard Hinton Collection, the Chandler Coventry Collection and the NERAM Collection. Together they offer a comprehensive overview of Australian art history unmatched in regional Australia. These art collections include significant works by Australian and international artists such as Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Elioth Gruner, Margaret Preston, Brett Whiteley, James Gleeson, Tony Tuckson and Christo, to name just a few. The Gallery also shows touring exhibitions from around Australia and the work of artists from the New England region. Discover the delicious art of food at the NERAM Cafe and browse for gifts and souvenirs at the Museum Shop. Go behind the scenes with an Art Storeroom tour at NERAM, discover artworks by leading Australian artists with an experienced volunteer guide. A great opportunity for social, educational, community, cultural and business groups and clubs. Groups only and bookings essential. Charges apply. Function bookings also available for meetings and events. Entry by donation.
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Armidale Teachers College

Built from 1928 – 1930, the heritage-listed Armidale Teachers’ College is an impressive building surrounded by formal gardens high on a hill overlooking the city of Armidale. The College was built to train school teachers for country service and played an important part in the establishment of the University of New England. The building has social and cultural significance to many thousands of teaching, nursing, and other adult education students who graduated from the College, as well as the many academic and administrative staff who have worked there since 1929. Many of the building’s heritage features remain intact, featuring Australian timbers, terrazzo stairs and parquetry floors, and a commanding foyer and staircase leading to the first-floor auditorium.
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Armidale Art Gallery

Armidale Art Gallery is a regional community art gallery. The Armidale Art Gallery, a not-for-profit organisation, encourages and promotes local emerging and professional artists. Centrally located the individual or group exhibitions fill the calendar alongside our general collection of works. The Gallery regularly showcases quality works in diverse styles and media such as painting, printing, sculpture, drawing, photography, pottery and jewellery. Each year the Gallery hosts the Armidale Art Prize, the Judy Wilford Miniature Exhibition and the Summer Show, an exclusive NEAS members exhibition, alongside interesting Art Workshops tutored by local and invited artists to share their skills and experiences. With a continually changing monthly program of exhibitions, talks and workshops there’s always something new, exciting and inspiring to see at the Armidale Art Gallery.
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New England Regional Art Museum – NERAM

The Howard Hinton Collection at the New England Regional Art Museum is the result of one of the greatest acts of artistic philanthropy and benefaction in Australian history. Between 1928 and 1948 a collection of over 1000 artworks by leading Australian artists were donated to the newly constructed Armidale Teachers’…

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Arts and Culture in Armidale

Both classical and contemporary music contribute enormously to Armidale’s cultural vibrancy. The old Teachers College is home to the New England Conservatorium and the University of New England’s distinguished Department of Music, which nurture the Armidale Symphony Orchestra, Armidale Youth Orchestra, Fiori Musicali and many other choral and musical groups….

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Exploring Tourist Drive 19

If you find yourself in Armidale or Uralla needing to while away a few hours, Tourist Drive 19 is for you. It comprises 86km of country back roads, including 20km unsealed, and will easily fill half a day or more. You’ll need to pack walking shoes, a picnic spread, a…

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Music, both classical and contemporary, contributes enormously to the city’s cultural vibrancy, which comes as no surprise given that the University’s distinguished music department has a history of international significance. The Old Teachers College is home to the New England Conservatorium, which nurture the Armidale Symphony Orchestra, Armidale Youth Orchestra, Fiori Musicali, New England Sings and many choral and other musical groups.

The calendar is full of musical events, including a biennial Bach Festival, Musica Viva, and a month-long Eisteddfod program. Orchestras, rock and jazz bands, and world-renowned musicians of all ages perform at NECOM and other venues, including UNE, licensed clubs and pubs, heritage buildings and wineries.

Drama and musical productions are another flourishing dimension of the city’s rich performing arts scene. Theatres are rarely dark here with amateur and professional companies, UNE Theatre Studies, schools and colleges producing shows, and high-profile touring companies, stopping by on their national tours.

Armidale’s newest performing arts venue, the Hoskins Centre, is a creative arts complex with a state-of-the-art theatre, rehearsal rooms, art studios and exhibition space. The Armidale School (TAS) recently threw open the centre’s doors to the wider community and now offers a varied public arts program of theatre, music and visual arts. Professional productions by some of Australia’s most exciting companies, such as the Sydney Theatre Company, have featured in the annual season program. Hoskins is also home base for local fledging professional theatre company Felt Tip, the Armidale Drama & Musical Society and the Armidale branch of the Association of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS). With its stylish, convenient facilities and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder Hoskins is also a popular venue for conferences, functions, workshops, lectures and art exhibitions.

The New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale is an enjoyable and inspiring place for visitors of all ages to while away couple of hours. The museum is the custodian of around 5000 works of art, including the Howard Hinton, Chandler Coventry and NERAM collections.