All aboard, ARTEXPRESS is coming to town

Outstanding student artworks created for the 2020 HSC examination in Visual Arts will feature in a series of dynamic exhibitions across the state this year.

The ARTEXPRESS exhibitions encompass a broad spectrum of artistic disciplines: ceramics, documented forms, drawing, graphic design, painting, photo media, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and fibre and time-based art.

The students’ personal experiences are very much in evidence in their bodies of work.

Montgomery Coombs, from Kirawee High school, says in his artist’s statement on the ARTEXPRESS website: “As a kid I tried to imagine the reindeer, sleds and snow ploughs of a northern Christmas. We have replaced them with kangaroos, fire trucks and Santa surfing. Funny but farcical. Dreamy but disappointing. This last Christmas, my dream of snow came real. But it was black ash falling on beaches. The Black Christmas explores my bittersweet pessimism, telling of a kid’s fantasy and maturity colliding in reality.” (See Montgomery’s work above)

Now in its 37th year, ARTEXPRESS opened on 4 February at the Art Gallery of NSW with 48 carefully curated bodies of work. The exhibition is due to remain open to the public until 4 April. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gallery is observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff.

Metropolitan galleries such as the Hazelhurst Gallery in the Sutherland Shire, the Armory at Sydney Olympic Park and the Margaret Whitlam Galleries at Western Sydney University are also exhibiting artworks as part of ARTEXPRESS.

Students’ talent will also feature at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, the New England Regional Art Museum, Cowra Regional Art Gallery, Tamworth Regional Gallery and Grafton Regional Gallery at different points on the calendar.

Federation commends 2020 HSC students for their resilience; for successfully having completed their bodies of work during the very challenging and disruptive time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to those students whose exemplary artworks have been selected for this year’s ARTEXPRESS. Federation also acknowledges that the works, showcased in the exhibition, were made possible because of the commitment, dedication and expertise of the artists’ Visual Arts teachers.

A virtual tour is available at

ARTEXPRESS is a partnership between the NSW Education Standards Authority and the NSW Department of Education. Information on the venues and dates can be found at