Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Love your art, love your artist, buying direct is the best
Sculpt your garden with stunning Sculptures for Sale Direct from the Artist
Do you love art like I do? Is every wall in your house covered and yet, you can still find a spot for one more special and uniquely Australian piece? Maybe you rotate your art. You bring some pieces out, and lovingly store some away and your home becomes almost a revolving gallery of light and colour and "awe" spaces within itself.
Or are you an artist yourself who is wanting to increase your skill and learn new techniques from professionals? Do garden shows inspire you with their features and grace and towering sculptures and you immediately want to transform your garden in the same way? Do you like getting out of the "Big Smoke" and into the pristine country air and rolling hills? And do you like a quick drive time of only about 1 and half hours?
If you have said, "YES", to any of the above, then this is your chance to escape to the stunning countryside of Australia at Castlemaine for a touring weekend away. The Mount Alexander Shire is hosting their 3rd Bi-Annual OPEN STUDIOS ART FESTIVAL of 2016.
Castlemaine is an historical town that came to be during the gold rush years and it has beautiful historic buildings throughout the town. If you love your architecture like I do, this is an added treat for leaving Melbourne behind for a long weekend and joining the guided tour around town as well as visiting a gallery.
But this is not just about driving to a nice little gallery and having a little look around. This is about meeting and greeting the artists in their own homes and creative spaces. You can see the environment that inspires them, learn their creative techniques, talk face to face, join a workshop, and gain a vision of their vision. It is also rather nice to be able to by-pass that expensive gallery fee and buy direct.
Make sure you get up early to catch the Kangaroos in the Mist
Now I will warn you, book your accommodation fairly quickly. This event has become so popular that it runs over two weekends now instead of one. The first weekend is Labour Day weekend from 12th to 14th of March and then 19th to 20th of March 2016 and runs at the same time as the Castlemaine Fringe Festival.
According to Matt Arrowsmith, who is also organising the Castlemaine Fringe Festival, "Besides being able to visit personal studios there will be a series of group exhibitions of over 120 professional painters, jewelers, sculptors, multi media artists and craftspeople across the townships of Castlemaine, Newstead, Maldon into Chewton and beyond". This includes 7 galleries and over 30 open studios dotted around the lovely countryside to visit for FREE, so be careful not to under book the days you take for this special holiday.
Over 90 artists, 7 Galleries, 30 Open Studios
As the Castlemaine Fringe Festival is running at the same time, from March 11 to March 20th, 2016, you will also want take the time to see the live entertainment, theatre, poetry readings and music gigs. Yet, another reason to finely plan this awesome escape from Melbourne with your arty friends or family.
Open Artists Studio Map 2014 with more artists on show in 2016
So first and foremost, you are going to need this map from 2014 to give you an idea of how to route your trip in advance and then you can stop into the Castlemaine Art Gallery & Historical Museum which is the Arts Open festival headquarters to get the most recent maps, supplemental flyers, gallery guides, food guides, entertainment guides, winery guides, and of course OPEN artist studio details.
Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum - Photo By Wiki Editor Mattinbgn - Highlights Gold Rush History as Well
Rob Jennings, from the Museum says, "Probably the biggest component of Arts Open will be the Ben Quitly exhibition at the Castlemaine Art Gallery. Ben Quilty was Australia's official artist in Afghanistan in 2011 as well as being an Archibald prize winner." A chance to see an Archibald Winner, live in person, not just in a newspaper cutting, I am packing now.
You will be one of many visitors from around Australia, Sydney, Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo. Plan to meet some new best friends who will want to make a pact with you to meet back here every other year for the next Art Open Studios 2018. Also take the big car with the big boot, as you will need room for prints, paintings, sculptors, jewelry, ceramics, glass, digital media, photography all from professional artists. But truly, most artists are happy to ship to your home as part of the service.
Matt says, "This is real life for all the artists involved, who are sharing their most personal of physical and creative spaces – their studio – in the spirit of warmth and hospitality". Be prepared to fall in love with the people, the place, their art, and enjoy a lifetime experience.
Photos not taken by Tricia Ziemer are Copyright of Arts Open Studios