Artists and artisans flourish in the Adelaide Hills, as they always have. Fine studios and galleries abound, from the immense cultural legacy of Sir Hans Heysen's home and studio 'The Cedars', to grassroots community spaces.
- Visit the home, studio and garden of Australia's most renowned landscape artist Sir Hans Heysen. Heysen lived and worked at his Hahndorf property called 'The Cedars' from 1912 until his death in 1968 and it is now open to the public for guided tours. Little has changed at the Heysen family property, including the evocative stone studio among the artist's beloved gum trees - where it feels Heysen may have just stepped out for a moment. Some 200 original works of art can be seen in changing displays in the studios and the house. Visitors are invited to wander along the Artist’s Walk to discover some of Heysen’s favoured painting sites and be inspired by the same vistas that inspired some of his most famous works.
- The Hahndorf Academy, housed in a magnificent heritage building on Hahndorf's main street, includes galleries with changing exhibitions, a small museum, artist studios and a shop featuring a fantastic range of quality hand crafted products made by local and regional artists and designers - from ceramics, glassware and jewellery through to woodwork and clothing. Don't miss the special collection of Sir Hans Heysen’s whimsical drawings of early village life.
- The Ukaria Concert Hall, part of the UKARIA Cultural Centre at Mount Barker, hosts a series of concerts every year showcasing leading national and international musicians. The new 200 seat auditorium is considered to be one of Australia's finest chamber music venues with its visually and acoustically impressive design - and its setting in the rolling hills just outside Mount Barker is simply spectacular.
- The Hills Sculpture Trail features 26 contemporary sculptures made by sculptors who travelled to the region from around the world for the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Symposium events in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Most of the sculptures are dotted around the beautiful landscape of the Adelaide Hills, with some in the neighbouring region of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
- Sculpture lovers will also enjoy Crystal Lake Sculpture Park in Macclesfield which is home to a biennial 9-day sculpture symposium called Sculptors @ Crystal Lake led by master sculptor Silvio Apponyi. The park features a number of sculptures and is the perfect spot for a picnic year round.
- Almost a dozen commissioned sculptures and artwork can be found at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in Crafers, allowing you to indulge your artistic side while surrounding yourself with natural beauty at the same time. Several works by Greg Johns – one of Australia’s best known and most successful contemporary sculptors – can be seen around the Garden and there is a special arts trail to follow.
- The Heysen Sculpture Biennial is held just out of the township of Hahndorf at The Cedars, the former home and studio of Sir Hans Heysen, one of Australia's most famous landscape painters. The next event is scheduled for 2019.
Galleries and Studios
- Aptos Cruz in Stirling regularly exhibits works by leading Australian painters, sculptors and photographers, as well as selling designer furniture, lighting and homewares from around the world.
- The Barn between Stirling and Aldgate has classes, workshops, studio spaces where visitors can see artists at work and a gallery showcasing a diverse collection of leading Australian artists and quality fine-art and contemporary craft.
- Top of the Torrens Gallery in Birdwood promotes and displays the work of Adelaide Hills artists, with regular exhibitions throughout the year covering a diverse range of work. The Gallery Shop offers an extensive range of well made individually hand crafted items suitable for gifts and souvenirs.
- Oakbank Weaver, housed in the Heritage-listed cellar of the old Pike's brewery in Oakbank, produces handwoven textiles and tapestries produced on large looms. The weavers, Mary Cassini and Peter Stapleton, create their own patterns, which are fascinating to see emerging on the looms. The finished tapestries and textiles - ranging from throw rugs to suit fabrics, upholstery, stoles and scarves - can be purchased in the gallery. See Mary's eight tapestries woven for world peace and understanding known as 'The Eleventh Hour' Tapestries.
- Ethos Gallery in Woodside's main street is a working jewellery and artist's studio and art gallery. Their focus is on Australian made products of exceptional quality and imaginative design, with two rooms full of art and giftware by talented Australian artists and designers. Ethos Gallery is the base for Shannon Cornish, a jeweller creating custom jewellery and original pieces - and offering jewellery classes too!
- Other places to locate locally made treasures include Milan Rouge in Stirling and Bamfurlong Fine Crafts in Hahndorf.
- There are a number of excellent galleries and studios in Hahndorf. The Aboriginal Art House features a wide selection of Australian Aboriginal art. The Bukartilla and Tineriba Gallery displays tribal art from Australia, Africa, Oceania and Papua New Guinea plus works by contemporary Aboriginal artists. At Classic Fine Art you will find exquisite original works by world renowned master painter John McCartin while The Paint Box is a beautiful art supplies store with a studio with resident and guest artists. Kaminski Art Centre is a warehouse gallery featuring works by local artists for sale, as well as exhibitions, classes and workshops.
- Wineries, restaurants and cafes around the region embrace the arts, with many featuring local work for sale or holding exhibitions. Magpie Springs, Bird in Hand, ArtWine, Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard, Longview Vineyard, Barristers Block Wines, Sinclair's Gully, Norton Summit Vineyards and Partalunga Vineyard Wines are just some of the wineries that are known for their connection with local artists.
- Cheese Factory Studio Gallery in Meadows for tribal instruments, art and sculpture exhibitions, folk and new world music concerts, amphitheatre and recording studio.
- Ink Pot Arts Inc is a creative hub of industry professionals and their supporters enabling workshops, performance projects and festival events to take place in the Adelaide Hills. Based at the Mount Barker Town Hall, classes are incredibly varied but range from circus and drama through to art therapy and ukulele.
- The Community Mosaic Couch Trail project brought together locals in bushfire affected communities in the Northern Adelaide Hills to make mosaic ‘patches’ that joined to form the ‘quilts’ that now adorn a trail of outdoor community couches. Check out the trail of these colourful community couches situated in Houghton, Kersbrook, Gumeracha, Cudlee Creek and Paracombe – works of art that are testament to the community spirit, collaboration and resilience of Adelaide Hills communities.
Art and Creative Workshops
If you'd rather create your own masterpiece, try some of these 'hands on' art experiences:
- Jonathan Art Centre with a gallery, studio, cafe and bed and breakfast acommodation in Dawesley offers art workshops, painting courses and parties.
- Evocative Art and Heritage near Stirling offers workshops and creative art experiences taught by national international artists using fibre arts (felting, stitching, dyeing), encaustic art (hot wax painting on wood), collage, painting, printing, jewellery, paper making, sculpture and ceramics.
- Shannon Cornish offers jewellery making classes in Woodside.
- Austin Bloom is a florist in Blahannah offering flower arranging workshops including luxury flower crowns.