For one day, the city of Sydney becomes a giant canvas for you to explore.

See art treasures hidden away behind closed doors, such as the impressive Australian contemporary art collection at 50 Martin Place and be surprised by the art that is around us, but often unnoticed. We asked Sydney curator of brilliance, Jess Scully to share her highlights for this year’s Sydney Open:

I've developed a relationship with art over the last 20 years, through the excellent gateway drugs of fashion, design and architecture, and it has become my most enduring and fulfilling addiction.

I don't think it's an overstatement to describe art-making and enjoyment as one of the most fundamental traits that define our humanity: the human urge to make sense of the world, share stories and suggest the possible and impossible, all keep the role of art vital. Art can offer emotional connections, personal insights, intellectual challenges, cross-cultural communication, history lessons and glimpses of the future all in the blink of an eye.

For me, art and in particular, public art, art that moves out of the preserve of institutions, onto the streets and into our daily lives - can be the trigger for conversations about the kind of world we want to live in.

To misquote Bertolt Brecht, art is a hammer, as much as it is a mirror, for society not just a tool to reflect who we are now, but to start the process of reshaping who we want to be, what we value, and building the future. Thoughtful interventions in public spaces can invite us to imagine the future we want for our cities, and by extension, for our communities and ourselves.

Be sure to check out Jess's picks during your Sydney Open tour.

Jess’s picks

8 Chifley

50 Martin Place

Mortuary Station

Legion House

Kensington Street, Chippendale

UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

AMP Building

About Jess

Jess Scully is a curator who uses creativity and the arts, to engage communities with our future economy, and with the public realm. She is the director of Vivid Ideas, curator of TEDxSydney, a public art curator for projects across Sydney and instigator of Kids Hack Day Sydney. In the past, Jess served as policy advisor to the NSW Minister of the Arts, directed the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), and edited magazines including Empty, Yen and SummerWinter.

Boy with illustrated plane flying past

Membership

Summer Membership Offer Friday 6 December 2019

This summer, we're excited to offer a 20% saving on our Member + One membership, giving you year-long access to discover Sydney’s story across our 12 historic houses and museums.

Gardener with two children with vegetables in garden, with house behind.

School holidays

Summer School Holidays 2019/20: opening hoursFriday 6 December 2019

To make the most of these holidays we’ve extended our trading hours, with many of our properties now opening for the entire school holiday period.

Hyde Park Barracks models

Hyde Park Barracks

SMH: A Sydney history lesson tiny in statureTuesday 10 December 2019

Sydney Living Museums Membership promotion

 

Save 20% off Member + One membershipWednesday 4 December 2019

From history to heritage to design and architecture, there is plenty to see and do this summer across our 12 historic houses and properties!We're excited to offer a 20% saving on all Member + One memberships purchased throughout summer,...

Photo showing the hole left in the pediment of the Hyde Park Barracks after the clock face was removed. A man in a hard hat can be seen staring our.