The Shepparton Art Museum will open its doors on Saturday 20 November 2021, with nine free exhibitions, four new artwork commissions and more than 200 artists’ works on display that showcase the region’s rich and diverse culture, people and landscape.

Designed by Denton Corker Marshall, the $50 million project houses 4,000 artworks over five floors, with 160 Indigenous and First Nations artworks on display. The opening weekend includes a live streamed and in person exhibition opening of Yorta Yorta artist Lin Onus’ exhibition Lin Onus: The Land Within. On Saturday 20 November from 2pm, a Welcome to Country by Uncle Colin Walker and opening remarks from Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson will take place on the Kaiela Arts Forecourt on the banks of Victoria Park Lake. Sunday 21 November, a panel discussion entitled “Build It and They Will Come” will explore the story behind the new museum. 

“It has been a much anticipated moment and we are delighted to finally welcome visitors and our community to the new SAM. The free exhibitions, outstanding artists and art commissions, supported by programs that engage, inspire and inform, are all housed in a world-class new building which is changing the agenda for what Shepparton is known for,” says SAM Artistic Director and CEO Rebecca Coates.

“SAM has been designed as a live building where every surface presents an opportunity to display and be surrounded by art and experience, whether you go to the cafe, drop into the shop or even drive past at night when the gallery is closed. We are proud to be putting Shepparton on the cultural map and to contribute to radically changing this unique part of regional Victoria.”

Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson, says the museum is a welcome addition to Victoria’s comprehensive list of cultural institutions.

“This extraordinary new museum is a stunning addition to Victoria’s world-class network of regional galleries, an incredible creative asset for the region and must-visit destination for all art lovers. The Museum is already offering compelling art and programs for this summer and beyond, headlined by this amazing Lin Onus exhibition.”

shepparton art museum

Also premiering is Flow: Stories of River, Earth and Sky, an exhibition showcasing over 60 artists from SAM’s collection including the nation’s largest holding of works by the extended Namatjira family and works from the Carrillo and Ziyin Gantner Collection of Australian Indigenous Art. Four new artwork commissions and artworks from emerging and established Australian artists including Connection to Country – I Remember When...,2021 by acclaimed Yorta Yorta,  Wamba Wamba, Mutti Mutti and Boonwurrung artist, Maree Clarke; a new participatory video installation by one of Australia’s foremost artists and choreographers Amrita Hepi and Determination by Congo-born artist Pierre Mukeba which is inspired by the African diaspora in Australia will also be on display. 

New site-specific installations include the large-scale artwork on SAM’s inaugural Art Wall include Looking out and across, up and down, the river sometimes becomes a cloud by Louisa Bufardeci; Anne-Marie May’s luminous installation Everything Joyful is Mobile, and James Geurts’ installation Trajectories: Orbiting Bodies Meet which draws on the museum’s close geographical proximity to the landing site of the Murchison meteorite and is commissioned for display on SAM’s 4th Floor Terrace.

Everyday Australian Design: Functional Design from the Ian Wong Collection will also be on display, which celebrates everyday objects from Australian daily life and culture and many of Australia’s most significant and awarded designers; Brown Pot, an exhibition exploring the evolving story of Australian studio pottery from the 1950s to today and Fresh: GV Top Art & Design, 2021 featuring artworks and design presentations from talented year 11 and 12 students studying across 14 schools in North Central and Hume regions of Victoria in 2020.

Designed to act as a community and arts and cultural hub for the Greater Shepparton region, the new SAM building houses the Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton Visitors’ Information Centre, Kaiela Arts, Shepparton’s Aboriginal community arts centre, an outdoor amphitheatre and Art Hill, a cafe and 150-person event space and terrace.

Internally, the transparent and accessible museum experience is centred around an open, circulation galleria with four different galleries, totalling 800 sqm across four floors. The gallery spaces include The Lin Onus Gallery, People’s Gallery, Williamson Community Space, SAM Kids Space, the Bill Kelly Peace Room designed as a collection viewing space, and Showcases at the entrance to SAM and across each floor featuring new commissions and SAM’s nationally significant ceramics collection.

The new building was funded by Greater Shepparton City Council, the Australian Government, Victorian State Government and private philanthropic and community support through the SAM Foundation. For more information regarding the gallery and its exhibits, visit