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.

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A forest of signposts for Who goes here?

Hyde Park Barracks

7 News Sydney: New art installation Who goes here?Friday 9 April 2021

Fiona Hall 'Who goes here?' Hyde Park Barracks

Hyde Park Barracks

A forest of signposts spell out Sydney’s convict historyWednesday 10 March 2021

A forest of wooden signposts is to be installed in the courtyard of the Hyde Park Barracks in a bold visual representation of the journeys that brought convicts and migrants to the NSW colony.