Leta Keens explores the myriad Adelaide studios and cafes hosting curiosities of the SALA Festival.

I make half a dozen attempts to read the SALA Festival catalogue (including on the two-hour flight from Sydney to Adelaide), but never get past page seven, and the first five of those are sponsors’ messages. The problem is SALA (South Australian Living Artists) is one massive festival, the fringe of the art world – 4,132 visual artists from top names to emerging to amateur, and 543 locations from the Art Gallery of South Australia and commercial galleries to real estate offices, pubs, upholsterers and auction houses, all over South Australia. It might be easier to list who’s notparticipating.

I meet SALA Festival Chair Conny Wilson at one of the local Cibo cafés on a Saturday morning, and she’s been more tenacious than me with the program. The café, like all in the chain, has art on its walls during the festival – but customers seem to be more interested in their flat whites than the decorative stuff around them. It’s all perfectly pleasant but I wasn’t tempted to reach for my credit card.

A quick drive into the city (and twice as long...