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Home > Places of Interest > Arts and Culture
Wollongong is gaining an international reputation for its excellence in the arts. This is not surprising, as over the centuries many famous artists have been drawn to the Illawarra region for inspiration.
Among our artists were Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Norman Lindsay, Banjo Patterson, Brett Whiteley and Eugene Von Guerard. Wollongong City Gallery is a strong presence in the heart of the city and is one of the largest regional art galleries in Australia. forming part of the cultural precinct. It is recognised as the best regional gallery in Australia for its innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions and programs.
Wollongong is fortunate to have such artists in Wollongong and to add to that resident artists like John Vander celebrating 40 years in Wollongong giving the arts community a strong and respectable reputation and a solid future.
The Wollongong Conservatorium of Music is located in one of the regions most enchanting buildings, Glennifer Brae Manor House. Built in the 1930's by steelworks founder Sidney Hoskins, the house, with its gothic style windows and winding chimneys, provides an inspirational setting for budding musicians and composers. Outdoor recitals are often presented in the manor grounds, amid sweeping views of the botanic garden. The performances attract large audiences for both the quality of the music and the magnificent views. The manor house also serves as a multi-purpose function centre.
The Conservatorium is only one of Wollongong's iconic centres for the Arts. There is also Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC), home of Merrigong Theatre Company. Merrigong Theatre Company is the venue manager of IPAC and a vibrant regional theatre company in its own right. It produces and presents some of Australia's finest productions and has a full calendar of performances that you can enjoy all year around
The Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, located in the heart of central Wollongong, is the region's major venue for the performing arts. The centre's comprehensive program encompasses a wide selection of in-house, local and touring productions featuring opera, drama, musicals, comedy, ballet and concert performances.
And that is just a start....
Wollongong's rich multicultural background has been the breeding ground for many amazing and colourful festivals and cultural events.
The annual Viva La Gong Festival celebrates and showcases the region's cultural and performing arts in novel and innovative ways. The diverse activities are well attended and range from concert recitals and song and dance spectaculars through to street parades and food fairs.
The Illawarra Folk Festival is one of Wollongong's longest running festivals. With a popular following the festival has grown from humble beginings to now an event that attracts thousands of visitors and boasts a jam packed pre event calendar.
You can also choose to enjoy the Illawarra Jazz Festival, Wollongong Eisteddfod, Wollongong Garden Festival check out our events calendar for more information about these events.
The northern suburbs are a mecca for those interested in the visual arts. One of the best known is Articles Fine Art Gallery at Stanwell Park. Many of Australia's finest artists and crafts people exhibit here. Other prominent galleries include Juanita Studio Gallery at Austinmer, Beach Art Galley in Bulli, Graham Gallery at Kembla Heights and Scarborough Fair Art Gallery & Y.M.T. Art in the Northern Coastal Villages.
Pd Art Gallery & Roy Jewellery is located in Coalcliff with works by artist Pauline Denney and Jewellery designed by Master Jeweller Roy Wilson. With years of experience between them the Pd Art Gallery & Roy Jewellery is definitely a place for everybody to enjoy while taking in the beautiful coastal sights of the Northern suburbs of Wollongong.
The Bathers Pavilion was built in 1938 and has significant heritage value. It was designed to accommodate 2,000 people as a place to dress before and after ocean bathing. The Pavilion was opened on 12 November 1938 in front of several hundred spectators by the Minister for Works and Local Government, E S Spooner.
In September 2012 Council completed work on a complex renovation of the building, and its surrounds.
The Bathers Pavilion has new public amenities, a café and the construction of a new pedestrian promenade.