Located on Gumbaynggirr Country along the mid-north coast of NSW, Yarrila Arts and Museum (YAM) proudly opened its doors in September 2023.
YAM is at the heart of Yarrila Place, a new contemporary cultural hub, designed by Coffs’ own Matthew Blair of BVN Architecture and built around a 150-year-old Hill’s Weeping Fig (ficus hillii) in the Coffs Harbour CBD.
The name Yarrila, pronounced, YA-re-la, is a Gumbaynggirr word that means “illuminate / brighten / light up / illustrate”. This encapsulates YAM’s vision of illuminating knowledge, arts, heritage, and community creativity.
A testament to decades of dedication, YAM’s journey traces back to the opening of the first museum in 1980 and Council’s acquisition of its first artwork in 1974. This commitment has seen the collection grow to include more than 18,000 objects, artefacts and archives as well as more than 600 artworks.
YAM boasts five exhibition spaces. The centerpiece is Yaamanga Around here, a permanent exhibition that showcases the museum and gallery collections. The other four exhibition spaces come alive with dynamic rotating exhibitions, many of which proudly feature YAM’s own collections.
Yaamanga Around here explores the history and identity of the Coffs Coast through a captivating display of objects, artworks and stories. Featuring, Daalga Nginundi Wajaarr Sing Your Country, a creation by ZAKPAGE, award-winning storytellers who work at the convergence of film, sculpture, design and architecture. This artwork is dedicated to the Gumbaynggirr people; it is their ancestral lands upon which we live and work; they who were so generous with their cultural knowledge and lore in the making of this film.
Our dynamic exhibition program spans a range of inspiring local, regional, touring and in-house curated exhibitions. Encompassing art, social history and natural history, these exhibitions change regularly ensuring an enriching experience for all. YAM’s digital exhibition space is designed to attract ground-breaking digital creations that challenge the boundaries of art and storytelling.
YAM is also host to STILL: National Still Life Award. This biennial acquisitive award, now in its fourth iteration, is open to all artists across Australia. STILL invites fresh and contemporary explorations of still-life themes to highlight the diversity and vitality of still-life in Australian contemporary art, broadening the interpretation of this enduring genre.
Yarrila Arts and Museum invites you to embrace the warmth of Gumbaynggirr Country and join us in an exploration of art, history and culture.
You can also explore YAM’s rich collection on Coffs Collections. A digital collection of over 18,000 items comprising images of artworks, artefacts and archives describing the experiences that have shaped the Coffs community.