Arts festival program unveiled

Arts festival program unveiled

AState Opera South Australia performance, edible bug wine flights and bespoke jewellery workshops are just some of the many events to be rolled out over the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival weekend in May.

Informed by the 2024 Festival theme of ‘Autumn, Terra and Soul’- the four-day program was unveiled at a Coonawarra community event on Friday.

More than 40 exhibitions, live performances, hands-on workshops and childrens events are on offer, along with pillar Festival events ‘Shenanigans’ and the Literary Brunch.

The festival kicks off with Opening night at the Penola High School on Thursday, May 16, announcing the winners of the 2024 John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize, Local Art Prize and Design Prize.

The winner of the Catherine Martin Literary Award will be announced on Friday, May 17, an award designed to encourage young writers and further their love of writing in the community.

After captivating Penola with its bespoke performance in 2023, State Opera South Australia returns to share a thrilling journey into some of opera’s greatest hits in ‘Lovers and Villains’ at Rymill Hall.

Photography, wood and welding, mixed media and knitted beanies are just some of the exhibition line ups over the weekend.

Workshops range from learning the art of origami, creating label designs and a life drawing session through to screen-printing, and high-end metal jewellery crafting workshops.

Festival goers can indulge in tea-blending, gnocchi making and ‘paint and sip’ sessions at winery cellar doors.

The popular ‘Shenanigans’ curated by local Simon Weston will see an anticipated sell-out grass roots music night at the Coonawarra Hall.

The Literary Brunch at Ottelia Restaurant will host popular novelist Hannah Kent in conversation with Festival personality and journalist Katie Spain.

On Sunday, families are invited to head ‘Down the Lane’ as Petticoat Lane comes alive with kids’ activities along with food, wine and music together with the popular Makers Market.

Penola street traders are invited to let their imagination go wild and embrace ‘Autumn, Terra and Soul’ window themes, with prizes on offer.

Entry forms for the 2024 John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize and Local Prize, Design Prize and Catherine Martin Literary Award, together with ticketed events for 2024 Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival are available at

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