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Summertime Fun at the National Portrait Gallery

4 January 2019

Study of Louis Nowra, 2018 by Imants Tillers
Study of Louis Nowra, 2018 by Imants Tillers

Escape the heat this summer and step inside the National Portrait Gallery for an array of family-fun activities. From storytelling and drawing to music and art, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Gallery.

‘Mums, dads, grandparents and carers can get creative with the kids inside Face Lab – a fun and quirky place where they can investigate their own or someone else’s face,’ Manager of the Gallery’s Learning Programs Krysia Kitch said.

‘Face Lab includes a cosy library and lots of drawing and craft activities. It’s on between 11.00am – 4.00pm daily until 3 February.  Entry is free.’

Reflecting on the Gallery’s celebration of portraiture, creativity and the Australian story, other activities on offer this summer include:

Wiradjuri Echoes: Share Aboriginal culture and storytelling through music and dance.  Children are welcome to join the dancers and learn to dance to the didgeridoo. Entry is free and is on at 2.00pm, Sunday 6 January.  

Headhunt!: An interactive gallery experience for visitors aged 7 – 15 years.  This experience encourages kids to take the lead and explore the Gallery, look closely at the portraits and delve into artistic elements, as well as the stories of the people depicted. Headhunt! is free and is on every day between 10.00am – 4.00pm during the summer school holidays.   

My many faces: A painting workshop inspired by Study of Louis Nowra by Imants Tillers in the 20/20 exhibition. Like Tillers, children will compose paintings of small canvas boards to show multiple perspectives and ideas in one work.  Workshops are suitable for children 6 – 12 years and is on from 12.30 – 3.00pm, Thursday 31 January. Cost is $20 per person and bookings are essential.  

Portrait play: who are you?: An exploration of portraits through drawing and creative activity for children aged 4 – 8 years. This activity is held each weekday from 10.30 – 11.30am until 1 February. Bookings are essential and cost is $7 per child.

Drawn in: A unique drawing experience while listening to the electro acoustic sounds of Happy Axe – a multi-instrumentalist and musical polymath, who uses violin, musical saw, vocals and digital manipulation to build new worlds out of layers of sound. This free event is on from 1.00 – 3.00pm, Sunday 24 February.

‘For those new to the Portrait Gallery, why not join a Gallery Highlights tour?  These tours are on every day at 11.30am and is a great way to see some of the weird, wonderful and unexpected portraits within our collection – Ned Kelly’s death mask, digital portraits and the bronze busts just to name a few,’ says Krysia.