The Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre is located on the New England Highway, three hours drive northwest of Sydney and two hours from Newcastle. The town of Muswellbrook lies in the Upper Hunter region among a diverse rural and industrial economy encompassing coal mining, farming, vineyards and the horse industry. The Arts Centre was originally established as a regional gallery in 1976, it was housed in a purpose built annexe attached to the Muswellbrook School of Arts. The new Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre was commissioned in July 2000 at a cost of more than AUD1.7 million. The Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre presents travelling exhibitions, local exhibitions and art prizes (including the Muswellbrook Photographic Award and the biennial Muswellbrook Open Art Prize) along with periodic selections from the permanent collection.