NAS Campus

The National Art School respects the history of First Peoples and acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora nation on whose land the school stands.

NAS occupies the heritage-listed site of the former Darlinghurst Gaol, one of Australia’s oldest and best-preserved examples of sandstone architecture. It is a significant part of Sydney’s heritage, and for nearly a century NAS has been a strong cultural presence in the heart of the city.

Providing state-of-the-art facilities and studio spaces for students, the campus is also a hub for arts and culture in NSW, with vibrant and engaging public programs including short courses, school holiday programs, free exhibitions, heritage tours, talks and events that make art and culture accessible to the whole community.

This extensive external engagement generates a deep and vibrant connection to the arts industry and creative sector that feeds back into the school community, giving students and staff a wider perspective outside the curriculum, a strong sense of purpose, and diverse understanding of the role of an artist.

In keeping with the school’s focus on hands-on studio-based learning, the campus has a comprehensive range of workshop and studio facilities that support learning across traditional and contemporary art making practices.

As undergraduate students progress through the Bachelor of Fine Art degree and commence independent projects within their nominated area of studio specialisation, each student is provided with an individual studio space where they can develop their work.

Similarly, students at Master of Fine Art level are provided with individual studio spaces within dedicated postgraduate studio areas.

Discover more about the facilities dedicated to each discipline by exploring the ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, photomedia and printmaking pages.

The workshop includes a full suite of timber and steel manufacturing equipment as well as a range of electric and pneumatic hand tools for students to use. Students from all disciplines have access to these facilities, which are designed to encourage experimentation and to broaden knowledge of the variety of tools and processes available to apply to their art practice.

The NAS Library is a specialist fine arts library, supporting the teaching at NAS. It has a large collection of art and design literature, journals, periodicals and electronic resources. In addition to resources the library’s literacy officer also runs the Research Essentials Workshops and one-to-one sessions designed to assist students in developing their theoretical writing and referencing skills.

NAS has four dynamic exhibition spaces including the recently launched NAS Drawing Gallery and the central NAS Gallery, which presents up to four major exhibitions each year as well as presenting annual graduate student exhibitions. Exhibitions are accompanied by scholarly publications and a dynamic range of public programs that provide a rich context for the interpretation and understanding of art.

The NAS Print Lab is a professional digital print facility available to students, alumni and the wider arts community. Established in September 2017, the Print Lab has fast become the print lab of choice for professional artists exhibiting in Sydney and regional galleries.

Our central digital imaging lab also provides students access to the full range of Adobe digital imaging software to assist in preparing their work for print and exhibition.

Owned and operated by the same family since 1918, Parkers has supplied quality art materials and framing services to generations of Sydney artists. Their on-campus shop is open to students and the public and stocks an extensive range of paints, drawing accessories, canvas, charcoal, brushes and other art tools.

NAS is in the heart of Sydney’s arts precinct in the vibrant inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst, surrounded by a thriving and diverse creative community.

The school is easy walking distance from the CBD or a short bus ride to Bondi Beach; students have access to some of Sydney’s best cafés, galleries, museums, theatres, live music venues and cinemas.

Under the palms and eucalypts, surrounded by the massive convict-cut sandstone walls is the secluded NAS courtyard bistro bar. Located in what was once the debtors’ quarters of the former Darlinghurst Gaol, NAS ArtBar & Kitchen is where artists and art students come together.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Art School has undertaken serious precautions to protect the health and safety of students, staff and visitors, following direct communication from the NSW Government.

These include compulsory temperature testing and QR check in for all students, staff and visitors, compulsory hand sanitising on entry and wearing masks on campus while indoors and outdoors, regular cleaning of high contact areas and maintaining social distancing.

After the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, NAS was one of the first tertiary institutions in Sydney able to bring students back on campus due to the School’s small class sizes and large studio spaces, which enabled students and staff to maintain social distancing.

In response to COVID-19, NAS also moved lectures and practical work to a bespoke online learning system which allowed students to continue their study with minimal disruption while they were at home.

The 2020 graduates completed their studies and took part in the annual Graduation Shows, a highlight of the NAS calendar each year.

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