First Timers Guide to MAC yapang

Published on 21 June 2024

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First time to our beautiful gallery by the lake, otherwise known as the Museum of Art and Culture, yapang?

Here are seven ways to explore MAC yapang including some new reasons to visit. We know you’ve been waiting for one.

Ever changing art

Our exhibitions continually change so you’ll never have the same experience twice. And entry to the region’s only waterfront gallery is free (and so is parking!). How good is that?

Join artist Bernard Ollis on a colourful, twisting journey through the streets of Sydney, trace stories of Uncle Jim Ridgeway’s connection to Biripi and Awabakal Country, and allow Keg de Souza to take you on a journey of eucalyptus in our upcoming exhibitions. 

The Archibald Prize, Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul and contemporary indigenous artworks are but a few of the world class exhibitions our art museum has hosted.

Typically, there are three exhibitions on show (excluding install week) so there’s always something to see.

Tip: Join a free guided exhibition tour every Wednesday and Saturday at 11am.

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Image above: Exhibition view Bernard Ollis: Snakes and Ladders, MAC yapang June 2024. Photo by Docqment.

Art outdoors

Wander the leafy grounds of the Sculpture Park and Mosaic Garden, with vistas of bobbing boats through towering trees. Home to 16 outdoor sculptures by local, national and internationally recognised artists. A major focus of the collection reflects our landmark location. 

See Richard Tipping’s Hear the art and Ted Prior’s Love boat. Janet Laurence’s Ghost (2009) inspired by the Eucalyptus Citriodora that once stood nearby, featuring layered glass imprinted with the tree’s image is also found here. 

An interpretive trail allows visitors to also learn about the incredible trees dotted throughout the five-hectare park which continues to evolve. Next year (2025) the Sculpture Park will undergo a much-anticipated revitalisation so watch this space. 

Tip: Start behind Awaba House with Trevor Weekes’ Gateway Sculpture and download a self-guided Sculpture Park brochure before you arrive. 

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Image above: Trevor Weekes, Gateway Sculpture in Sculpture Park. Photo by Docqment.

But first coffee

All serious artists are fuelled by coffee (or possibly something stiffer). Am I right? Begin your day of arts-filled exploration at Three Bears Café (open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-3pm).

Fuel up with a Green Beans coffee (tea lovers and iced chocolate connoisseurs are also catered for) or treat yourself to house made banana bread, zucchini and corn fritters or a health shake. The welcome is always warm from café owner Vicky Tauhiero, previously of Newcastle’s Three Bears Kitchen. 

A dog’s life

Everyone’s welcome at MAC yapang including four-legged friends. Park your pet at one of three tethered points while visiting the art museum, where water bowls are within easy reach. A leash free area runs along the waterfront where dogs can walk and play. 

Listen, learn & make art

Artist talks, art making workshops and much more are on offer year-round as part of our jam-packed workshops and events program. There are celebration days, exhibition walk throughs, short courses and performances. Many events are free; some workshops have a modest charge. 

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Image above: Artist talk with Bernard Ollis OAM, hosted by MAC yapang Curator and Operations Co-ordinator Jasmine Kean, 8 June 2024. Photo by Chris Brown.

Shop MAC

Our gallery store - Shop MAC - stocks a gorgeous range of artisan made, ethically sourced and sustainable products. Shop for handcrafted jewellery, glassware, bags, textile accessories and more made by local and international makers and creators. Small sculpture jewellery from Studio Gleaned and Leiluca Ceramics are but two home grown products on display.

Unleash your inner artist

Let children unleash their inner artist (materials supplied) or join our free guided artmaking for families every Sunday. 

This year budding artists (aged 5-18) were invited to submit works in the Young Dobell competition. Three-time Archibald Prize winner Sir William Dobell (one of Australia’s most loved artists) was known for his portraits and landscape artworks. The late Dobell lived and painted nearby at Wangi and his beloved dogs appear in many of his works. Finalists’ work is on display until 4 August 2024, before it tours other Lake Macquarie cultural venues. 

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