SALA Festival: Our Top Picks

Held each August, the South Australian Living Artists festival (SALA) will this year celebrate two decades of continued growth as an inclusive, far reaching program treating audiences to the state’s rich, vibrant arts community.

Established in 1998 by gallerists Paul Greenaway and Sam Hill-Smith, what began as a week-long event held across 41 venues now includes 660 exhibitions and events by artists at varying stages of their professional careers as well as enthusiastic amateurs, students and weekend makers.

3D image

A sneak peak from Orthogonal Ruptures. Source: SALA Program.

Exhibitions fill traditional galleries and also spill out across less conventional spaces including bars, cafes, restaurants, wineries, offices, small businesses, schools, libraries and aged care facilities. It also offers a range of exciting events from Open Studios and Forum days, to an artist’s Pechakucha night and the SALA Gala Dada Dance. 

There are a number of opportunities for artists to enter prestigious awards and prizes, along with residency programmes of up to six months, in association with organisations such as Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide Festival Centre and the University of South Australia. 

Fabric photography

Nocturnal Visitor by Tracy Lymn. Part of Interpretive Identity by Tracy Lymn and Lee Walker. Source: SALA.

Aside from its many events and exhibitions on offer, SALA also encourages audiences to connect with artists and has previously helped launch promising careers, offering a chance for less experienced artists to get their work into public spaces.  

Now with over 6000 participants, SALA is an open access event which has become recognised as the country’s largest community based visual arts festival.

Hand painting a leaf

Tropical Leaf by Banjobe Hunt. Part of the Parrots in Mango show. Source: SALA.

While there is an enormous program to choose from, here are some of our top picks for this year’s festival: 


  1. The Orthogonal Ruptures of Tom Borgas at The Propaganda Club.
  2. Soft Bindings at Floating Goose Studios.
  3. Interpretive Identity in photography by Tracy Lymn and Lee Waters at Adelaide Arcade.
  4. Tutti Visual Artists’ Parrots in Mango at Minda Campus.
  5. India Flint’s Disquiet at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery.
  6. The Drawing Exchange at Adelaide Central School of Art (an exploration of drawing as process and live performance).
  7. Along with dog and kid friendly art tours, Luke Thurgate’s drawing tour of city pubs is set to ensure that anyone can get involved in SALA as an interactive arts festival open to all.
Huge drawing.

The Drawing Exchange explores drawing as process and performance. Source: SALA.

For more information and the program of events, visit


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  1. Tracy Lymn says:

    Hiya bluethumb team,

    I cannot believe I missed your article on 2017 SALA Top Picks with a big heads up to Lee Walter’s and my exhibition ‘Interpretive Identity’
    Oh and my ‘Noctunal Visitor’ was first featured artwork!!

    A very belated Thank You to your team
    Cheers very much
    Tracy Lymn

  2. Tracy Lymn says:

    ..Sorry- second featured artwork

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