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Beat's Guide to BOAA — Ballarat's Contemporary Art Festival

The biennale is the largest ever showcase of living Australian artists.

As an old mining town, Ballarat is home to some gorgeous, historic buildings. So it makes perfect sense that the Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA) has chosen Ballarat's venues as a home for its showcase.

BOAA features works from 150 artists across 14 heritage venues and provides a lively exhibition of visual art, live music and food and wine. Special events include the Living Sculpture Fashion Parade and BOAA Dark, an evening event incorporating video projects and light installations.

"Ballarat is the perfect scale town for a European styled Biennale, one that will create a whole of town experience," said Julie Collins, BOAA's artistic director.

Check out our top five locations to visit when you make your way to Ballarat for BOAA this year below.

Lake Wendouree Village Sculpture Walk

36 sculptures sit among Lake Wendouree and the vibrant Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Visitors will be able to walk along the Steve Moneghetti Running Track, get up close and personal with the sculptures - and even watch some performance art.

 
 
 
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George Farmer Building

The George Farmer Building has sat dormant for 50 years as an abandoned bacon curing factory. Only now will it reopen following a change in ownership. The building will play host to a range of exhibitions in a building which has since been remade into a purpose-built art space.

 
 
 
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Art Gallery of Ballarat

Just five minutes from the train station, the Art Gallery of Ballarat would be an obvious place to visit for the latest contemporary art. The art gallery will be exhibiting a work belonging to one artist from each state, and two from Victoria and Ballarat. 

 
 
 
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The Mining Exchange

Listen to your shoes click-clack on the floors of the spacious mining exchange. The building was used to trade shares in mining companies during the gold rush. Now, the open space invites visitors to witness two large scale projects being created by artists right before their eyes, as well as learn new skills and take part in the art. 

 
 
 
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Ballarat Welcome Centre

Formerly a convent, the Ballarat Welcome Centre has been transformed into a hub of interactive art, sculpture and painting. Exhibitions from a handful of BOAA artists will be installed here for members of the public to enjoy.

 
 
 
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The Biennale of Australian Art is currently taking place in Ballarat between Friday September 21 — Tuesday November 6. Tickets are available on the BOAA website.