Arts / Culture

NAS NEO: The National Art School’s new after hours program bringing art back to Sydney

The National Art School (NAS) has announced the new NAS NEO program, an after-hours initiative bringing together critical and progressive arts practice across a range of inclusive and diverse platforms. The program is a series of weekly multidisciplinary, artist-driven cultural events in collaboration with the new guard of creators and change makers.

NAS Director and CEO Steven Alderton praised the program as an outlet for artists to innovate their work, through exploring the nuances of daily life.

“NAS NEO is a multi-dimensional creative platform where artists drive new ways of thinking, collaborating and looking at things that are happening in our everyday and global lives,” explained Alderton. “NAS NEO is a fusion of new ideas and happenings at NAS, enabled by the NSW Government’s Culture Up Late program.”

Image: Steven Cavanagh - Kittens and sunsets

Showcasing art from both emerging artists alongside celebrated alumni, the event series will contribute towards reigniting the cultural landscape of Sydney through the contemporary, vibrant program, diverse in mediums featured from visual arts, music and installation work. Venues for the event include the Cell Block Theatre, the old Chapel and spaces on the old Gaol site.

The NAS NEO curation works in collaboration with established partners of the institution, including Mardi Gras, Rivus, Biennale of Sydney and Vivid Sydney. NAS Head of First Peoples will lead the programming for Reconciliation and NAIDOC weeks, with local first First Nations creatives.

What's happening at NAS NEO?

Across the next week, in celebration of Mardi Gras, the exhibition Queer Contemporary: I want a future that lives up to my past is opening on Thursday, February 24th, curated by NAS lecturer and alumni Liz Bradshaw. The exhibition will be held at the Raynor Hoff Project Space, featuring artists including Karla Dickens, Kurt Banks, Steven Cavanagh and more. As for music, expect live performances by Mo'Ju and Chela, and DJ sets by RED REY and Rydeen on the open air stage.

Just two weeks after on March 3rd, you can catch BREAK OUT, a presentation of LGBTQIA+ performance art and images with live music performances by Jamaica Moana, Ayebatonye and DJs The Dollar Bin Darlings.

The extensive program also features an after-hours event series, reconnecting people with the beauty of Sydney and shine a spotlight on inner-city hidden gems. As in 2022 the NAS celebrates their 100 year anniversary of being onsite in their Darlinghurst location, the event is only a taste of the festivities to come.

You can immerse yourself in NAS NEO Thursday nights through to July from 6-10pm at the National Art School, with free entry with registration.

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Header images (L-R): Chela and Mo'Ju