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Visual Art Studies

Visual Art Studies

The Red Centre has been the inspiration of many artists, including Albert Namatjira, who made famous the rugged mountain ranges surrounding Alice Springs. A tour to Central Australia not only allows students to experience these stunning colours and landscapes, but also to learn about Indigenous culture and how this is expressed through visual arts in all mediums.

Maybe this could be a trip theme for you and your students to discuss.


  • Explore the concept of art, painting
  • Examine art criticism and history
  • Investigate values and attitudes regarding art


Austour can help you plan your own Arts and Crafts Study Tour. No particular duration has been set, however with two weekends and five days school time an excellent program can be developed utilizing Austour’s skills and our many Indigenous Artists and Community advisors. Workshops and desert location sessions established with overnight camps at specially chosen locations are our speciality for student and adult groups.

This tour program provides an insight into the history of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal art and craft in Central Australia. The Alice Springs region

has a unique blend of people and places that produces a vibrant and fascinating arts scene.

The following information briefly highlights some of the Central Australian art diversity.

RedHOT Arts Space is a not for profit organisation. RedHOT Arts develops and promotes the distinctive cross-cultural arts sector of Central Australia. RedHOT Arts provides services that include arts marketing, training, mentoring, networking, advocacy, information dissemination, research and joint marketing initiatives including a popular weekly e-bulletin, as well as social media campaigns with the generous help of The Marketing Heaven, which always receive praise from the public.

Tangentyere Artists is part of Tangentyere Council – Aboriginal owned, not-for-profit, returning 100% of proceeds to artists and service. Artists are known for their figurative style of painting, often with textual references ranging from the purely descriptive to the political.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a dynamic Aboriginal social enterprise established in 1995 by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council. Tjanpi was created to enable women living in remote communities across the Central and Western Deserts to earn their own income from fibre art. Today the Tjanpi enterprise is more than just fibre art and income; it is firmly embedded in contemporary Central and Western Desert culture as a movement that celebrates life, creativity, culture and country. Tjanpi provides artists with opportunities to come together and share their unique gifts, perspectives and identity with the world.

Mbantua Fine Art Gallery and Cultural Museum offers a wide range of artwork from the utopia region with over 250 artists represented. The Cultural Museum provides an insight into Aboriginal culture, art and bush food with over 900 square metres of extensive displays. It is a must see.

Araluen Arts Centre features a program of exhibitions with a focus on Aboriginal art from Central Australia and contemporary art by local and Australian artists. The annual theatre program includes films and performances by national touring companies and many high quality local productions.

Hermannsburg Potters established in 1990 have become renowned for their handmade terracotta pots with sculpted animals, birds and bush tucker perched on their lids The potters enjoy an international reputation and are represented in private and public collections, world wide. The artwork of Hermannsburg Potters is available in the Kata Anga Tea Rooms in the Hermannsburg Heritage Precinct.

Ernabella Arts has operated since 1948, making it the oldest, continuously operating Indigenous art centre in Australia. Artists excel in ceramics, batik, painting and prints.

Imanpa Arts is an Aboriginal owned business enterprise of the Imanpa community and the Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse. Its iconic gallery sells paintings and handcrafted souvenirs, wood carved animals, traditional tools and weapons, jewellery, woven baskets, screen printed cards and t-shirts, made by local artists.

Iwantja Arts and Crafts was re-established in 1994 and has gone from strength to strength on the basis of its strong cultural identity and impressive output. The gallery sells its prints, paintings and crafts such as punu and basketry from more than 60 artists.

The Desert Mob Exhibition is the only comprehensive, annual survey of the dynamic and diverse work from Central Australia, encompassing over 40 Aboriginal owned and operated art centres in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. In presenting this exhibition each year, the Araluen Arts Centre works in partnership with Desart.

Desart provides resources, market development and advocacy on behalf of its member Art Centres. Desart member Art Centres are owned and managed by Aboriginal people with 100% of the return goes directly to Aboriginal artists and organisations.

Irrkerlantye Arts is a vibrant, Aboriginal-owned community art centre for Central and Eastern Arrernte families. Artists produce works on canvas, prints, ceramics and quality giftware sold in select galleries and stores across Australia.

Tangentyere Artists is situated in Alice Springs and specializes in paintings. The Art Centre provides art support services to over 350 artists from the 19 Alice Springs town camps. Our artists’ stylistic diversity reflects the wide range of cultural groups, includes 20 different Central Australian languages.

Titjkala Art Centre and Gallery, an Aboriginal community enterprise at Titjkala, 120 km south of Alice Springs welcomes all tourists and visitors. A variety of art forms for sale include acrylic canvas, unique bush toys/wire sculptures, punu (wood carvings), grass/raffia figurines and jewellery.

Walkatjara Art Uluru is owned by the Aboriginal artists from the Mutitjulu community. An extensive range of artworks on all mediums made by many local Central Australian artists can be viewed and purchased, along with a large range of souvenir products. The Mutitjulu artists can be seen most weekdays.

Warlukurlangu Artists, established in 1985, has earned a national and international reputation for their sophisticated use of colour and for the maintenance of traditional iconography to tell the Jukurrpa (traditional law) in their paintings. The Art Centre has a large range of art works for sale.

Music NT is a not for profit, membership based contemporary music office for the Northern Territory – representing, developing and servicing the NT contemporary music industry, while establishing and maintaining links with peak industry bodies on a national level. Keeping the Northern Territory on the musical map.

Alice Desert Festival Held in September each year, a 10 day festival highlighting the dynamic diversity of what Central Australia has to offer in the arena of artistic endeavor. Theatre, music, film, visual and culinary arts, dance, literature, workshops, cabaret, comedy and film The HUB space comes to the heart of Alice Springs in Todd Mall with its tripod of youth, kids  & family entertainment with signature events like DESERTsong, Bush Bands Bash, Grand Parade.

Cinema in the River A cinematic community celebration captures the heart and spirit of Alice Springs in the Todd riverbed, screening thought provoking and beautiful work from Territory filmmakers.

Alice Springs Beanie Festival Starts last Friday of every June for four days. A four day event to celebrate the humble beanie. Exhibitions, textile workshops, Indigenous textile arts workshops and demonstrations, live entertainment, sharing circles, competitions, fun, joy, colour and warmth. Everyone can learn to make a beanie or enter their own creations. Check website for details.

Art in the Park Art in the Park is a twice yearly Aboriginal art market held in the stunning grounds of the Alice Springs Desert Park. A partnership initiative of this popular spot with local and visitors alike, and Desart, the industry association of Aboriginal Art and Craft Centres, members set up for a night market to sell quality art work for $200 or less.

Olive Pink Botanic Gardens – regular art exhibitions are shown in the gallery space at Live Pink Botanic Garden. Come along and see local art in a stunning garden setting. See our events calendar on the website for upcoming exhibitions or performances.

Outback Photographer’s Gallery The only permanent photographic gallery in Central Australia. The gallery features the work of renowned Australian photographers who specialize in using panoramic format cameras. Exhibits include magnificent landscapes from the region A choice of archival prints or framed enlargements are available in a number of sizes.

Art of Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park Anangu  art has traditionally taken the form of rock paintings, sand drawings and body painting. This park note is an introduction to the art work and the symbolism of the paintings you will see on your visit to Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park.  The word Anangu used throughout this note refers to local Aboriginal people using a word that comes from Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, dialects of the Western Desert Language spoken in this region. Anangu paintings are created for two complementary reasons religious and ceremonial expression,  teaching and storytelling.

Anangu still create sand drawings and body paintings for these purposes but have largely abandoned the use of rock paintings to teach and tell stories. Today a range of new materials including acrylic paint on canvas are used.

Although the medium may have changed, Anangu artists use the same symbols and meanings that have been used by their ancestors over many generations. This enables Anangu to continue passing on Tjukurpa through storytelling as well as providing the community with a source of income.

Larapinta Creative Camps in Central Australia Seven days of creative focus in the heart of our country, for artists, art students, writers and photographers. Our camps provide creative support, insight, and outdoor comfort in a stimulating environment designed to recharge and inspire you. Visit for more information.

Foot Falcon Walking Tours offers a 2 hour, 2km guided walk around the centre of town. The tour takes in history, culture and art and includes fascinating stories and poetry in the river. Conducted by Linda Wells, local resident, teacher and writer, who offers much local knowledge, entertainment and discussion.

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