– Highlights

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Aug


Pipilotti Rist: Sip my ocean

01 Nov - 18 Feb



04 Dec - 25 Feb

– Learning Events



29 Nov, 6.00pm, Ground Floor: Outdoor Terrace


International Day for People with Disability

05 Dec, 11.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning


Art Safari

05 Dec, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

– News from inside the MCA

The Importance of Laughter

We sat down with laughter connoisseur Shari Coventry from Sydney Laughter to discover the truth about laughter and why we need it ahead of this month’s Laughter Sessions. more

Coming up in 2018…

Next year is one of the most exciting and diverse seasons yet. Find out what’s on. more

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Antenna's Rich Welch

To pave the way for the soon-to-come cinema binge at Antenna Film Festival,Co-Director Rich Welch shared a few of his life changing films. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Blog – 5 Years of ARTBAR

Posted on June 23, 2017 by Aileen Robalino in Behind the scenes.
We have just racked up five years of ARTBAR here at the MCA! And what a far-out five years it has been. ARTBAR takes over every room and every nook of all four levels of the MCA each month. It’s a program that lets audiences explore the MCA beyond our usual opening hours, where the curatorial control is handed over to a guest artist, allowing for colourful, exciting, challenging and provocative artists and performers to activate the Museum. Over the past five years, we have…

Hosted 56 ARTBAR events.

Invited 68 guest artist curators. Some nights see multiple artists curating the night.

Watched 800 artists, musicians, and performers turn it on for ARTBAR.

Here are some highlights from each year…

2012 – Artist Justene Williams kicked off the very first ARTBAR as curator, and led a bumper year that included a lecture on food sustainability by Kylie Kwong as part of Nell’s ARTBAR, performers with bikes inside the MCA galleries as part of Shaun Gladwell’s ARTBAR, and an army of inflatable men by Lara Thoms as part of Eddie Sharpe’s turn at the ARTBAR helm.

2013 – Our second year included a troupe of ballerinas as part of Michaela Gleave’s ARTBAR, robots in the Museum created by Wade Marynowsky as part of Keg de Souza’s ARTBAR, and the first appearance of Richard Bell’s Blak Santa as part of Tony Albert’s November event.

2014 – Artist Justin Shoulder started the year off in a riot of colour, with an ARTBAR that included DJ sets by Paul Mac, and the always fabulous DJ Sveta. In 2014 we also hosted a cat cafe as part of the Pip and Pop curated ARTBAR, and finished the year off with a comedy set by Zoe Coombs Marr, performed as part of the Destiny Deacon curated ARTBAR.

BMX bikes in the gallery

MCA ARTBAR Curated by Shaun Gladwell, August 2012, Photograph: Catherine McElhone

People sit blindfolded in a lecture theatre

Nic Holas, And that’s why there is a porn gif of me on the internet., MCA ARTBAR Curated by Lara Thoms, October 2014, Photograph: Jane Dempster

2015 – In January artist Tom Polo turned ARTBAR into a birthday party, complete with clowns, and a dance off. Parkour performers scaled new heights at Karen Therese’s ARTBAR, and in June artist Mark Brown flew a drone inside the MCA as part of Dara Gill’s futurist ARTBAR.

2016 – Roaming carrots and unicorns as part of Rosie Deacon’s technicolour ARTBAR started 2016 with a plenty of quirk! We then welcomed Adriana Picker and Dr Cooper, who collaborated on a beautiful botanical drawing workshop as part of Kate Scardifield’s ARTBAR in April, and Megan Cope programmed an incredible group of artists as part of her event that included a weaving installation by Elisa Carmichael, spoken word performances by Lorna Munro, and the return of Richard Bell’s Blak Santa!

2017 – Hard to believe we are already in June, and already this year Louise Zhang transformed the MCA into a red-hued celebration of Chinese New Year, complete with pop up dumpling eatery by Josh Harle, a panel discussion on Indigenous arts today, led by Blakartsprojects David Hagger as part of Reko Rennie’s ARTBAR. Bhenji Ra placed the spotlight squarely on incredible performers Star Amerasu, Justin Shoulder and Koko Carey, when she rolled up to the MCA in her pink hummer.

Unknown person in a pink body suit

Rosie Deacon, Koala Nutbush, MCA ARTBAR Curated by Rosie Deacon January 2016, Photograph: Leslie Lui

Dancer in a red lit gallery

MCA ARTBAR, Workout Edition, April 2013, Photograph: Michael Wholley

In the five years that ARTBAR has existed we have seen the MCA transformed many times, and artists pushing the boundaries of what can and should take place within a museum. Each month is a surprise as to what our artist has up their sleeve, and we cannot wait for what the next five years brings!

Want to be at the next ARTBAR event? Get your tickets to a night curated by Latai Taumoepeau on June 30 here. We wonder what she has planned…
Masked dancers with hands up in the Museum

Salote Tawale, Celebrations and Sympathies studies in culture Part 3, MCA ARTBAR Curated by Taloi Havini, September 2015, photograph: Leslie Lui

Your mugshot

Aileen Robalino
– ARTBAR coordinator

Aileen has been at the MCA for almost ten years, Aileen started as a casual host, (then called VSO) and moved up to working as the Monday to Friday Team Leader. In this time Aileen also had roles in reception, and the deinstall team.

Aileen left the MCA in 2010 to head to New York to expand her work experiences, and came back in 2011 to head up the host team in the transition to the new building. Aileen has also had a secondment as the Visitor Experience Manager, Coordinator for the 2014 Ted X Youth event, before moving into her current role as ARTBAR Coordinator and Public Programs Assistant.

Learn more