About Us

Willoughby’s Best Kept Secret

The Willoughby Arts Centre is a thriving arts hub and community-driven resource. It supports artists and helps people of all ages participate in the arts, raising the profile of Willoughby and all the area has to offer. Around 60 weekly, lively art classes are led by 30 highly qualified teaching artists in professionally equipped workshop studios, complemented by the Ewart Gallery’s stimulating exhibition program.


Affordable courses are offered throughout the year for adults, teenagers and children, from beginners to advanced standard in term format and shorter courses in school holidays. Students can receive hands-on, practical tuition in painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, jewellery or sculpture.

The high standards attained by students and the prizes many have gone on to win in Australian and international competitions are testament to the quality of tuition. You could follow in the footsteps of the Centre’s alumni including John Coburn, John Firth-Smith, James Gleeson, Frank Hodgkinson, Kerrie Lester, Guy Maestri, Lloyd Rees and Wendy Sharpe.

The accomplished tutors have many years experience as practicing and exhibiting artists and teachers, encouraging and developing contemporary and challenging work. Workshops and master classes are also offered by visiting professional artists.


The Centre provides great prizes for budding artists through:

  • the Joy Ewart Scholarship for Year 10 students, and
  • the Ewart Art Prize for works by Centre members.


The Ewart Gallery provides opportunities for members, students and children to display their work as part of an energetic program which includes specially curated exhibitions and other displays by outside hirers.


The Willoughby Arts Centre was established in 1961 by the late Joy Ewart with the support of fellow local artists and community members. It was their dream to promote and foster appreciation of the creative and visual arts and her legacy and their vision live on.


It may come as a surprise that the Willoughby Arts Centre is self supporting, independent of local government, the State or the Commonwealth.

As a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee it relies on the generous support of the community through annual membership subscriptions, student fees, studio hire fees, gallery hire and sales. Donations may be made through the Centre’s tax deductible Development Fund on the Register of Cultural Organisations.

Generous sponsorship and in-kind support comes from the business sector including many local business and the Centre is always looking for new partnership opportunities. The Centre’s lively atmosphere peaks with its various fundraising functions, gallery openings and the Art Fair Market Day each October.

The Willoughby Arts Centre Development Fund is a tax deductible fund listed on the Register of Cultural Organisations under subdivision 30-B of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. All donations of $2.00 or more to the Workshop Arts Centre Development Fund are tax deductible.

Is there a membership requirement?

Membership is available to all and is separate from student enrolment into a class. Becoming a member of the Willoughby Arts Centre entitles you to many benefits.
Click here for more on membership

Can I be sure of receiving quality teaching?

The teaching artists at the Willoughby Arts Centre are highly qualified (usually Masters in Fine Arts) with many years of teaching experience and as practicing artists and exhibitors. Visiting artist’s workshops and master classes are also held throughout the year, offering intensive weekend or longer workshops in specific areas of expertise. The Willoughby Arts Centre prides itself in continual growth. The WAC offers a creative community in which established and emerging artists can support, inspire and challenge one another.

The high standards attained by students in art prizes in Australia and international competition is testament to the quality of tuition at the WAC.

Can I exhibit?

The Ewart Gallery was named in honour of the Willoughby Arts Centre’s founding member, the late Joy Ewart. The exhibition program includes works of visiting artists, members, students and teachers, some of whom are represented in prestigious collections both in Australia and overseas. The exhibitions committee welcomes exhibition proposals from individuals and groups of artists to contribute to a diverse program across a range of disciplines.

Celebrating 60 years