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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours


Celebrating resilience

Alexa Stuart, Lambton High School At Your Door collection of works © the artist Photo: Robert Edwards

Wednesday February 3 2021

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is proud to present ARTEXPRESS 2021, celebrating the next generation of Australian artists and showcasing outstanding works of art created by NSW students who overcame many hurdles to complete the Higher School Certificate (HSC) Visual Arts examination in 2020.

The exhibition at the Gallery features 48 artworks selected from 8617 student works submitted for the 2020 HSC, including works by students from government and non-government schools from across metropolitan and regional NSW.

Art Gallery of NSW director Dr Michael Brand said the Gallery is proud to present the 37th annual ARTEXPRESS and commends the Class of 2020 for their perseverance.

“I congratulate all 2020 HSC Visual Arts students on the outstanding accomplishment of creating their body of artwork, during one of the most challenging years on record,” said Brand.

“Creative pursuits can provide great comfort in difficult times and it is our hope that this year’s cohort found solace in their artmaking, as well as a sense of defiance.

“The high standard of work on show is a testament to the tremendous talent and resilience of students and teachers in NSW who adapted to change and overcame challenges – from bushfires to the pandemic – to complete their studies.

“We are delighted to share their work with the thousands of visitors who look forward to this annual exhibition, which has become one of our most popular.”

The exceptional bodies of work represent a broad range of approaches across a range of art forms, including painting, drawing, photo-media, sculpture, ceramics, time-based works, documented form, printmaking, textiles and fibre and graphic design.

Art Gallery of NSW curator of ARTEXPRESS 2021 Louise Halpin said this year’s exhibition offers an insight into the hearts and minds of young people during a very difficult year.

ARTEXPRESS 2021 is a showcase of extraordinary bodies of work exploring a range of both global and deeply personal themes – from the environment, urban life and beauty of the natural world to identity, relationships and reflection on the 2020 experience,” said Halpin.

The exhibition began in Sydney in the late 1950s and has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW since 1983. Accomplished artists who have previously been selected for exhibition prestigious include Ben Quilty (1992), David Griggs (1994), McLean Edwards (1990), Melissa Chiu (1990) and Jasper Knight (1996).

ARTEXPRESS is a joint partnership between the NSW Education Standards Authority and NSW Department of Education in association with the principal venue the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Join the conversation #ARTEXPRESS2021

On view
until 5 Apr 2021
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney


Media contact

James Ricupito
Tel 02 9225 1618

Sarah Shields
Tel 02 9225 1674