The Lock-up Cultural Centre
The Lock-Up Cultural Centre is a unique destination located in the heart of Newcastle’s heritage precinct. The building was originally Newcastle Police Station and Lock-Up from 1861 through to 1982 and is an important example of colonial government architecture.
Now protected under NSW Heritage Act, The Lock-Up has been re-purposed to house an art gallery, museum and an artist in residence program creating a vibrant and engaging contemporary cultural space. Its range of public programs provides unique experiences for independent visitors, tour groups and school children.
The Lock-Up is managed and administered by the Newcastle Historic Reserve Trust, a community trust under the Crown Lands Act of 1989. As a non-profit organisation the overall purpose of the Trust is to conserve its heritage assets and promote cultural programs for the benefit of the community.
The Lock-Up’s Artist in Residence (AiR) Program provides a unique residency experience for contemporary artists with experience across a broad range of disciplines. Participants living on-site in the historical building are provided with accommodation, professional development and community engagement opportunities. The program encourages participants to find inspiration from their historic surrounds and explorations of inner city Newcastle.
Residencies are between 2 - 12 weeks depending on the needs and practice of the applicant. This is a self-driven working residency where the staff and partners of The Lock-Up Cultural Centre will be able to assist with creating and promoting public programming activities and, where possible, exhibitions.
In the five years the program has been running, AiR has hosted over 80 creative practitioners from around Australia and the world, including visual artists Dani Marti, Darren Siwes and Tamara Dean, authors Nikki Gemmel and Marion Halligan, performance artist Liam Benson, choreographer Carol Dilley and producer Marcus Westbury.
Residents are required to engage with the community through public programming activities that can include lectures, artist talks, workshops, open studios, exhibition or performance or through direct involvement with the program’s partner organisations; the University of Newcastle, Hunter TAFE and Hunter Writers Centre. A written report outlining residency outcomes and feedback is required within 3 months of residency completion.
While the hosts encourage and are able to accommodate an exhibition in The Gallery, historical cells and / or The Yard, an exhibition is not necessary to complete the residency. If you would like to exhibit at The Lock-Up as part of your residency you will need to complete an AiR Exhibition Application Form in addition to the AiR Program Application Form.
Through partnerships with the University of Newcastle and Newcastle Art School (Hunter St. TAFE) artists have access to off-site studio working space, photographic and printmaking facilities, sculpture workshop equipment and multimedia technology. For specific enquiries about access to workshop facilities and equipment contact The Lock-Up.
The residency apartment is located on the second floor of The Lock-Up (not wheelchair accessible). It is a self-contained apartment incorporating a fully equipped kitchenette and lounge area with adjacent separate queen bedroom and shower ensuite. Additional amenities include television, DVD, fan and heater, ADSL and wireless internet access. A separate office/ study room with a desk and futon day bed is also available for use.