The 1st of March 2010, marked the beginning of Art Month in Sydney. As the word “month” implies, it will last for 31 days. And it will be 31 epic days, celebrating our city’s diverse and thriving art scene (Melbourne should be shakin’ in their boots).

During this time, 70 of Sydney’s leading commercial galleries, artist-run initiatives, public museums and auction houses, will showcase a diverse selection of art. They will also hold tours, lectures and talks, and genuinely give us a big dose of cultcha. May I just say, this whole situation is like crack for art students.

Oh and it’s not only limited to galleries and museums. Art will be coming at you from all angles. Even in retail shop-fronts thanks to Art Month’s Windows Project. Notably, the Incu stores in the Galleries Victoria and Oxford St Paddington will display Kate Rohde’s Trophy Head Wall, a gaudy twist on museological documentation, and Tara Marynowsky’s vaudeville- inspired watercolours.

We all know that alcohol and art are a perfect combo, so something else to get excited about, is the concept of the “Art Bar”, also brought to us by Art Month Sydney. Late Night Thursdays, (where certain galleries will stay open till 8pm) will culminate with a new pop- up Art Bar each week.

There are also artist, curator and gallery director talks a’plenty, and just when you thought they had all bases covered, the festival’s denouement is an ‘artist speed-dating session’.

For all those with their mind in the gutter, I must inform you that this (unfortunately) does not involve Tila Tequila. Instead, it allows 40 young artists who have never exhibited their work before, to ‘sell’ themselves to 30 prominent Sydney gallerists. It’s mildly exploitative, but then again, they did choose to call it “speed dating.”

There is literally so much to do and see, I feel like I’m getting high off looking at the events calendar.

My top picks are…..

1. The informal Creative Collaboration talk between the Archibald Prize winning artist Del Kathryn Barton, and Fashion’s new dynamic duo, Luke Sales and Anna Plunket from Romance was Born. The event will be held at Surry Hills Library this Friday the 5th of March. Tickets are $20 and will also give you access to a similar collaborative talk between controversial photographer Bill Henson, and stage and film director, Jim Sharman.

Reasons to get excited about art

2. On the 13th of March, Oliver Watts, artist and director of Chalkhorse Gallery in Surry Hills, will discuss why people should buy works from young artists instead of IKEA prints. Considering everyone I know pretty much has a decorating orgasm every time they set foot into this Swedish goldmine, this should be particularly interesting.

3. There are several artist studio tours organised as part of Artmonth, but on the 21st of March, Ed Woodley and Paul Davies will be opening up to the public, their creative haven at China Heights Gallery. So Selby.

The best thing about the visual and intellectual feast of Art Month, is that it’s not only free, but post cultcha feed, your dinner party conversation material will have you sounding like Robert Hughes. For those who don’t know who Robert Hughes is, there’s even more reason for you to get out an about in Art Month.

All details you need are here.