Art Discovered


The Art Discovered program to integrate public art in the City Libraries, Community Centres, exhibitions and residency programs.

Current exhibitions

The Big Day

The Big Day is a celebration of the joy and fanfare of Adelaide’s iconic Christmas Pageant.

The Christmas Pageant marks the start of the festive season in Adelaide and holds a special place in the heart of our community. The Pageant began in 1933, growing each year and in 2023 it will celebrate its 91st anniversary. The Pageant continues to be one of the largest parades in the Southern Hemisphere that stops the city.

The Big Day features a selection of historical images of bygone Christmas pageants from the City of Adelaide Civic Collection. These reproductions are enlargement of smaller images capturing the charm and imperfections of traditional photographic techniques.

The Adelaide Town Hall features images that span from the John Martin’s Christmas Pageant from the 1950’s through to the 1970’s. The selection forms part of a collection of photographs, slides and illustrations of the Pageant from its earlier decades through to the present.

These images capture all the spectacle of the big day ranging from captivated crowds of children and adults, extravagant costumes, imaginative floats, roaring marching band and of course, the much-anticipated arrival of Father Christmas to our City.

Be sure to look for the little stories and details in the images and to think about your own special Christmas Pageant experience.

Curated by Logan Macdonald, City of Adelaide

4 November 2023 – 17 January 2024
Adelaide Town Hall First Floor Gallery

John Martins Christmas Pageant catty cuties and bunnies in King William Street

Image credit: John Martin’s Christmas Pageant [catty cuties and bunnies in King William Street. 1967, Vinyl Print Reproduction, CC003316, Civic Collection, City of Adelaide Archives. Image courtesy the City of Adelaide.

The 100 year climate yarn


One hundred years of Adelaide’s daily maximum temperatures recorded in a giant crocheted artwork handmade by local artist Sandra Lepore will be exhibited in the City Library and Francis Street laneway this May as part of History Festival.

This fascinating project has been over two years in the making and is now ready to be touched and witnessed by you.

Come discover what was the temperature on the date of your birth? On your parents’ wedding day? Or the day you arrived in Australia? Has it really been getting hotter?

The 100 Year Climate Yarn project was inspired by Greta Thunberg, The Tempestry Project, and the terrible drought leading to bushfires experienced in Australia in 2019. It is a crocheted artwork that presents climate change data. This project is part of a larger data art movement and the developing field of climate change art, which seeks to overcome the human tendency to value personal experience over data, by creating accessible experiential representations of climate change and its impacts on our Earth.

Sandra Lepore worked with Energy and Climate expert Heather Smith to record Adelaide’s daily maximum temperatures from 1920–2020. Using 100% Australian wool they carefully selected colours to emphasise the extreme temperatures.

The artist said, “The 100 Year Climate Yarn took me over 520 hours to crochet and embroider – it was a labour of love and discovery. I always wanted my piece to be displayed somewhere people could get close to it, where it could start conversations and entice people to think about climate change locally.”

The 100 Year Climate Yarn exhibition was officially launched by then Lord Mayor of Adelaide Sandy Verschoor at 5:30 pm Friday 6 May 2022 at City Library, showing throughout History Festival. Then exhibited in the Northern Gallery, Adelaide Town Hall from June until the end of August. Then North Adelaide Community Centre throughout September.

Curated by City of Adelaide, Curator, Polly Dance

Standing on Ceremony at the Adelaide Town Hall premiers’ contemporary South Australian photography, textiles, and painting by leading South Australian artists Carly Tarkari Dodd, Zoe Freney, Trent Parke, and CJ Taylor, exhibited alongside historic collections.

Presented in our iconic Adelaide Town Hall, arguably the most historically significant building for major Adelaide ceremonies, events, and celebrations, this exhibition investigates the myriad of ways people celebrate, find a sense of belonging, and community during the festive season.

For the past 89 years the festive season has been heralded-in by the Adelaide Christmas Pageant, welcoming Father Christmas to our city. Father Christmas is always the last float in the pageant, and in 2019 the honourable Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Sandy Verschoor welcomed Father Christmas at the Adelaide Town Hall. He waved to the thousands of spectators from our Town Hall balcony, just like The Beatles did in 1964.

The artworks in this exhibition delve into Christmas traditions of feasting, generosity, family, storytelling, and the history of our local Adelaide Christmas Pageant.

Standing on Ceremony will be on display at Adelaide Town Hall from 10 November 2021 - 17 January 2022.

Trent Parke Xmas tree bucket 24

Image:Trent Parke, Just one more photo, 2008, from The Christmas Bucket series, pigment print, 72 x 90cm. Courtesy the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery.

Curated by Rose Larsen, Two Factor Authentication was a collaborative exhibition involving six artists who explore how their experience of the physical world is mediated by their digital identities. An immersive experience that merged analogue and digital production methods, Two Factor Authentication reflects contemporary life. Featuring artworks by Tom Borgas, Frances Cohen, Danny Jarratt, Cameron Longshaw, Emmaleise Maxwell, and Dainis Zakis. The SALA Emerging Curator Exhibition program introduces a remarkable opportunity for contemporary art and unconventional curation to engage with and showcase our diverse communities to a broad audience.

Two Factor Authentication was presented at the City Library from 6 August - 30 September 2021.

Read the exhibition catalogue here!

Two Factor authentication

IMAGE: SALA 2021 - Emmaleise Maxwell, Untitled 2  (detail) SALA @ CITY LIBRARY 2021 EXHIBITION CURATED BY Rose Larsen

“I am Awe-tistic” was a collaborative exhibition giving young emerging artists on the autism spectrum a voice. A creative platform, celebrating their hearts and minds in a safe place and exploring subjects they are passionate about.

“I am Awe-tistic” shared visual, spoken and written stories with raw, honest and passionate vulnerability by a community who are bonded by shared understanding and honour.

An exhibition born out Curator Claire Wildish’s work with the ArtSteps Program at Autism SA and grown to encompass the wider Autism Community by inviting family and friends, The Gold Foundation and Living Arts at Life Without Barriers to tell their story too.

Artists: Angus Bennett, Briannah Hannant, Chelsea Tulloch-Hoskins, Eliza Dreyer, Ewen McNeilage, Georgina Chadderton, Hope Finlay, Hugh Davies, Jack La Joie, James Coulter, James Ford, Kalleb Scott, Mark Duthy, Marley Boyce, Mignonne Tudora, Mikayla Davey, Royce McKenna, Tommy Mutter, Walnut (ChaiTeaLeafy). Zoe Hart, and students from Cabra Dominican College.

I am Awe-tistic was presented at the City Library from 7 August - 27 September 2020.

Read the exhibition catalogue here!

Artist mikayla davey landscape 141 Copy

Image: SALA 2020 – Art and Artist - Mikayla Davey SALA @ City Library 2020 exhibition curated by Claire Wildish.

Featuring works by Australian-born and migrant artists, as well as creatives from within Adelaide's LGBTIQ, disability and multilingual communities, Already Home showcased a kaleidoscope of visual responses to the question of what it is to be Australian. This diverse exhibition included photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, illustration and more, promising to be a compelling reminder of the beauty in unity and the power of diversity.

Artists: Arlon Hall, Ban She, Brad Darkson, Bridget Fahey, Claire Ishino, Dave Court, Elyas Alavi, Emma Young, Georgina Chadderton (George Rex Comics), Lana Adams, Llewelyn Ash, Molly Nampitjinpa Peterson, Narges Anvar, Rebecca Hartman-Kearns and Steph Fuller

Already Home was on display at City Library from 2 August to 30 September 2019.

Read the exhibition catalogue here!

Already home dave court

Image: Already Home (installation view) 2020.City Library. Photo by Dave Court.