I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published April 22nd 2018
Getting crafty has never been so much fun
Whether we choose to tap into its potential or not, each of us has the capacity to create something beautiful out of virtually nothing fuelled only by our imagination and desire to do so. Creativity is an attribute that we all possess, and its results manifest in an infinite variety of ways. Perhaps we have a natural ability to draw or to play the guitar, or maybe we're able to sing like an angel, create to-die-for cakes or adorn our homes like a professional interior decorator.
Image courtesy of Jennifer Rensel / Wikimedia Commons
However, how many of us take the time to nurture that spark to rekindle long-dormant talents and discover new abilities? While many of us are eager to enrol our children in art classes, it's also very satisfying to invest some time and expense to nurture our own creative development, whether we choose to do so in a weaving workshop, cooking class or any other way.
Fortunately for us, Perth provides plenty of opportunities to embark upon a creative journey, with a dizzying array of courses and workshops offered throughout the metropolitan area. What many locals don't realise, is that Perth possesses several wonderful community arts centres, which are completely dedicated to encouraging creativity within their local communities. As well as offering gallery space for exhibitions, they also serve as meeting places for local artists (and wannabes) and provide tuition in various facets of the visual arts. Some also have gift-shops where makers can sell their creations, or perhaps even an in-house cafe.
The following paragraphs provide an introduction to some of the best community arts centres in Perth. I'd like to add that this is by no means a complete list. Perth is a large city, and the ones that I've listed here are only the ones that I'm aware of. If you know of any others, please feel free to write a comment at the end of this article, and share your knowledge with other readers.
Atwell Arts Centre A bustling hotspot of creativity and inspiration, Atwell Arts Centre and Gallery is located on the busy Canning Highway at Alfred Cove. Managed by the Melville Community Arts Association, the centre is the home base of several art groups including the Alfred Cove Art Society, the Pastel Society of Western Australia, South of the River Potters and Atwell House Spinners. Exhibitions are regularly held in its gallery space, by both local and visiting artists, while a good range of weekly classes and workshops are also offered for adults, as well as children, in the studios. These include term-long classes (which include nine lessons) covering a wide range of media including watercolour painting, acrylic painting, oil painting, drawing cartooning and much more. There are also regular life drawing and portraiture sessions, as well as special creative workshops that are held periodically. Whether you're an accomplished artist or just a beginner, this friendly community art centre might be just the place for you.
Image courtesy of Si Griffiths / Wikimedia Commons
Atwell Arts Centre and Gallery is situated on the river side of the Canning Highway, near the corner of North Lake Road in Alfred Cove. To find out more, visit the Atwell Arts Centre website or call them on 9330 2800 during office hours Monday to Friday, from 9am until 4pm.
Victoria Park Centre for the Arts Just five kilometres from all the action of downtown Perth, Victoria Park also possesses a dynamic creative community, with the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts being its principal hub. Located in a lovely heritage building in a quiet but easily-accessible location just off the Albany Highway, this well-managed arts centre is a popular local meeting spot, with a gallery space, fully-stocked shop purveying lots of gorgeous handmade wares and good selection of creative courses and workshops not only in the visual arts but also in such diverse skills as creative writing, personal growth, creating kokedama, singing, and Iraqi and Arabian drumming. Current art classes include oil painting, printmaking, pastels, mixed media, intuitive art and cartooning, with new courses being added each term.
Victoria Park Centre for the Arts
You can find Victoria Park Centre of the Arts at 12 Kent Street in Victoria Park, just a few doors down from the John MacMillan Park. Take a peek at their website to learn more about what they offer. Alternatively, you can call 08 6454 1803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tresillian Centre
Situated in the backstreets of lovely leafy Nedlands, the Tresillian Arts Centre is yet another vibrant community centre that offers a terrific range of creative classes and not just for the kids. Adult classes at the centre cover a diverse assortment of media and topics and cater to all levels of experience. As well as tuition in various styles of painting and drawing, classes include such diverse topics as mosaics, printmaking, pottery, lead-lighting, etching, nature art and fabric art. For those with interests in other areas, the centre also holds various classes relating to health, fitness, language and other lifestyle-related topics.
The Tresillian Arts Centre - Nedlands
The Tresillian Centre is situated at 21 Tyrell Street in Nedlands. Check out this page on the City of Nedlands website to learn more (you can download a copy of their latest course booklet), or call 08 9273 3500.
Liddelow Homestead Located near the shady banks of the Canning River, Liddelow Homestead was once the heart of a flourishing farming property, Kenwick Park. Over a century later, the historic homestead has been fully restored and is now the home of Liddelow Homestead Arts and Crafts a place where talented local artisans gather to pursue their work and share their knowledge with others.
Liddelow Homestead Arts Centre - Kenwick
Classes and social groups relating to a specific art-form are held at Liddelow Homestead both during the day and in the evenings. Whereas the classes involve formal tuition from an experienced artist, the social groups are more relaxed and serve instead as a place where participants can work on their own creative projects in the company of others who share their passion for a particular type of art or craft. Although these groups are more laid-back than traditional classes, they also provide innumerable opportunities for beginners to develop and refine their work. Many of the club's members are older people with decades of experience and are more than happy to share their knowledge providing many very special learning opportunities as well as the chance to bond with kindred spirits.
Liddlelow Homestead provides classes and social groups relating to a wide variety of creative media including drawing, painting, pottery, china painting, mosaics, woodturning, knitting, crochet, spinning, embroidery, patchwork and more. Go to the Liddelow Homestead website to have a look at the latest class schedule.
Liddelow Homestead is situated at 7 Cooper Street in Kenwick. For more information, take a look at their website or call them on 08 9459 7228 during office hours 9.30am to 12 noon on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
The Art House Kelmscott
For artists living in Perth's south-eastern suburbs, the Art House in Kelmscott might be a more convenient location to satisfy the creative urge. Located just six kilometres from Armadale, the Art House is home to a thriving group of local makers the Armadale Society of Artists. Throughout the year the society holds a wonderful and jam-packed schedule of classes, workshops and other special events. With an almost giddying array of choices, the Art House really does offer a course (or more) that will be suitable for everyone, whether they're old or young, experienced or a total beginner.
The Art House - Kenwick
Some of the classes that are currently offered by members of the Armadale Society of Artists at the Art House are drawing, oil painting, watercolours, acrylics, pastels and mixed media. Regular one-day workshops are also held.
The Art House is located at 63 Railway Avenue in Kelmscott. To learn more about what they offer, go to this website. You can also call them on Friday and Saturday between 10am and 3pm, on 0439 679 000.
Fremantle Art Centre
Bright and breezy Fremantle has always been a mecca for artists and other creatives, and for this reason it's no surprise that Perth's best-known art centre is located here. The imposing stone facade of Fremantle Art Centre is difficult to miss. Dating back to the 1860s when it was known as Fremantle Lunatic Asylum and Invalid Depot, the structure is a local icon, with its shady courtyard regularly serving as a music venue and its labyrinth of rooms now utilised as studios, classrooms and gallery space.
Artists of every ilk reside in Fremantle and its surrounds, and this diversity is reflected in the rich and intriguing assortment of classes that are offered at the Centre. Sure, there are terrific courses for children, but the adult ones are just as good or even better. Along with classes and workshops where you can learn to draw and paint, there are opportunities to explore various types of fabric art, engage in upcycled art, create traditional Shibori tableware, learn the ancient technique of lost wax casting in metal, make a stitched hoop mandala, hand-sew a doll, weave a wicket basket, master macramι and so much more. Each term brings a new range of courses, so there are always plenty of wonderful surprises.
To learn more about Fremantle Art Centre, visit their website or call 08 9432 9555. Fremantle Art Centre is situated at 1 Finnerty Street in Fremantle.
Mundaring Art Centre
The unique beauty of the Perth Hills has long been an inspiration for creative souls - many who have chosen to establish studios in the Mundaring area. Situated on the Great Eastern Highway, Mundaring Arts Centre is a great place to meet some of these gifted artisans and hone your own creative skills under their expert guidance. A variety of classes and workshops relating to various facets of the visual arts are offered at the Centre on a regular basis. Regular exhibitions are also held, and a beautiful gift shop sells high quality works by local artists.
Mundaring Arts Centre can be found at 7190 Great Eastern Highway in Mundaring. To learn more, go to the Mundaring Art Centre website or call them on 08 9295 3991.
Midland Junction Arts Centre
Another vibrant creative hub in Perth's eastern metropolitan area is the Midland Junction Arts Centre. Serving as a meeting place for local artists and various other groups, the Centre offers an assortment of terrific classes and workshops, as well as exhibition space and a venue for community arts projects. As with all of our local arts centres, the course program is constantly changing. However, a few classes that are currently scheduled are weekly life drawing sessions, contemporary Noongar weaving, the art of portraiture, pottery workshops, upcycled art, drypoint intaglio printmaking, ceramic sculpture, creating comics and large-scale mixed media. There are many others as well, so be sure to regularly check their website, in order to keep up-to-date with what is happening.
Midland Junction Arts Centre is situated at 276 Great Eastern Highway in Midland. Check out this website or call 08 9250 8062 to find out more.