Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

Watson Road

Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Secondary School Programs

Secondary School Programs

Our changing exhibition program focuses on historical and contemporary Australian art, enabling secondary students to engage with local artists and themes in a national context. All Secondary programs are linked to the Critical and Historical Studies Outcomes of the Visual Arts Stages 4-6 Syllabus – with the program’s content changing depending on the nature of the current exhibition.  All programs can be tailored to suit your students’ learning needs.

Annual Portraiture Exhibitions

A  feature of the exhibition program is the inclusion of two annual exhibitions devoted to Australian portraiture; the Portia Geach Memorial Award for portraiture by contemporary Australian women artists and the Salon des Refusésexhibition, which displays a selection of artworks not selected for the Archibald Prize and Wynne Prize exhibitions at the Art Gallery of NSW. Contact the gallery for information about these exhibition dates.

Secondary School Portraiture Program

This program offers students the chance for an in-depth analysis of the nature of portraiture in the contemporary Australian context, examining the broad variety of approaches using the Frames. The Salon desRefusés is a great chance to explore the Conceptual Framework, especially examining the role of Curators and Critics and Agencies in the Art World, whilst the Portia Geach Memorial Award offers a fantastic opportunity for students to encounter Feminism through the Post-Modern Frame. 

1 hour, $260 up to 20 students per group at a time (tour only)

Art Day Out: Exhibition Tour & Landscape Workshop

After a tour of the current exhibition, spend the day making art outside; enjoying the spectacular view from Observatory Hill – taking in the historic Rocks area, the Harbour Bridge and the bustling CBD. This program is a perfect way to introduce the concept of making art about places and landscapes through a variety of structured creative exercises. Bring your hat and sunscreen and enjoy a picnic under a shady tree with the best view in Sydney.

This program is available anytime, but could be timed to link with the annual Salon desRefusés exhibition which features landscape paintings not included in the Wynne Prize exhibition. Wet weather options are available

2 hours, up to 15 students per group at a time $300

Drawing the Hill and Harbour – Art Day Out for Secondary Students

Learning about the concept of ‘site’, students respond by making artworks using a variety of approaches to landscape – from the abstract to representational.  This workshop consolidates theory and practice and, by producing several artworks, demonstrates methods to produce a cohesive body of work.

2.5 hours, up to 15 students per group at a time $375

Beyond the Frame: Exhibition Focus Tour

This syllabus-linked program introduces students to the Gallery and explores the current exhibition in detail, drawing upon the student’s knowledge of the frames and applying this to original artworks in a gallery environment. Students will be encouraged to understand how to look at and interpret artworks and develop rigorous personal responses to the exhibition.
1 hour, $260 up to 20 students per group at a time

Booking your visit

 At least four weeks notice is required for all school group bookings

1. Make an email booking request by completing School Group Booking Form
2. Receive a booking confirmation email or phone call.
3. Pay for your excursion.

Make a payment

Payment must be made before the date of your excursion.

Changes and cancellations

Must be made in writing 

Including adjustments to student numbers, dates and times

  • One change up to two weeks before the scheduled booking – no cost
  • Each additional change – $30 administration fee
  • Changes/cancellations within five working days of scheduled booking – original booking charged in full

All education programs are developed in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.