Sydney's Northern Beaches Council will present Arts in August, a month-long showcase of the creativity of the Northern Beaches region from 6 – 22 August 2021. Comprised of the inaugural Environmental Art and Design Prize presented across three arts venues, and two Creative Open weekends, Arts in August will feature open studios, a diverse range of cultural events, artist-led tours and live performances.

As part of the Festival, the two Creative Open weekends presented on 14 – 15 August and 21 – 22 August will see local designers, makers, musicians and creative businesses open their doors to visitors to experience the abundance of creativity of the Northern Beaches communities. The weekends will act as an arts trail to see the artists and businesses in situ, learn about their industry and witness first-hand their skills and the creation of their work.

Mayor Michael Regan told this blog: “The Northern Beaches has an incredibly vibrant creative and cultural sector, and Arts in August offers us all a chance for a behind the scenes look into this talent. More than 13,207 or 8.5% of our employed residents work in the field, which is the second largest number of jobs in NSW in specialised design service and arts education and the third largest number of jobs in NSW in architectural services, creative artists, musicians, writers and performers.”

The all-new Environmental Art & Design Prize will be presented across three venues of Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Creative Space North Curl Curl and Mona Vale Creative Pop Up Gallery, from 6 – 22 August. The exhibition will feature finalist works by artists and designers who have a keen interest and focus on the natural world, environmental renewal, regeneration and the circular economy in their work.

In its inaugural year, the Prize celebrates contemporary arts practices that are socially engaged, environmentally aware and seek to enrich and contribute to positive change through creative practice. The Prize is an inclusive and diverse exhibition that celebrates the vibrancy of the arts and design community within and beyond the Northern Beaches.

The prize pool will be over $40,000 across the nine categories encompassing a range of contemporary practices, from fashion and design to ceramics and painting. The judges for the Prize are internationally renowned artist Euan Macleod; artist, designer and curator Liane Rossler; and CEO and Artistic Director of the Australian Design Centre, Lisa Cahill.

Liane Rossler said: “I’m delighted to be judging this new prize that not only shines a light on some incredibly important and timely issues around protecting our natural world and sustainability, but also across such a breadth of disciplines. This Prize will truly give a taste of the incredible creative community in Australia.”

The full program for Arts in August and the finalists for the Prize will be announced in early July.

Images (L to R): Native dyes textile workshop, 2014 Manly Arts Festival. Image courtesy the artist; Colin Fraser in studio. Photograph by Karen Watson. Image courtesy the artists; Isabelle Moura in studio. Image courtesy the artist and La Crème Creative Inc.