From open artist studios to spoon carving workshops, the Macedon Ranges art scene is a thriving hub for both ‘seeing’ and ‘doing’.
With leaves turning various shades of fire and gold and the air turning brisk, autumn is the perfect time to tap into your inner creative. Discover how you can tap into the region’s diverse arts scene this autumn, with our handy Macedon Ranges Art Lovers Guide.
Daylesford Macedon Open Studios 2019
A free event now in its 7th year, Daylesford Macedon Open Studios offers visitors a rare chance to see how professional artists work. You can also check out how their studios are set up, And ask how and why painters, sculptors, ceramicists, print makers, photographers and mixed media exponents do what they do.
Six new artists are joining this year’s Open Studios program, with 24 artists in 21 studios inviting the public into their studios to see how art is created.
The 2019 program also welcomes Indigenous artist Janet Bromley, as an Open Studios artist-in-residence located at the Old Auction House Gallery in Kyneton.
Held over two weekends in April, visitors will be exposed to a wide variety of upcoming and well-known artists. Specialisations include painting, cermaics, photography, printmaking, ceramics, wearable art, mixed media and sculpting.
Artists involved in the Macedon Ranges program include:
1. Kyneton artist Tia Alysse (image credit Daylesford Macedon Open Studios) 2. The Old Auction House Gallery (Image Credit: xxxx) 3. Lost Trades Artisan Workshops (Image Credit: Lost Trades Australia)
Macedon Ranges Art Workshops
From drawing, painting and ceramics, to jewellery making, leadlighting and mosaics – the region caters to those seeking to learn new things, evolve artistically and express themselves through a variety of mediums.
The Old Auction House Workshops
The Old Auction House is an independently run multi-use arts precinct, housed in a historic weatherboard building. It is home to a retail shop specialising in quality Australian handmade items, four working artist studios (including local glass artists Leadlight By Ettore), a teaching space for visiting artists, and two gallery spaces with rotating exhibitions.
There is a dynamic range of art and craft workshops held throughout autumn at Kyneton’s Old Auction House, including:
Intro to Leadlight Windows
Intro to Mosaics
Vitigraph (Hot Glass) Stringers
Fundamentals of Fusing
Make a 3D Copperfoil Box
Click here for a list of dates, class descriptions and links to book.
Learn a Lost Trade
Kyneton is the epicentre of ‘lost trades’ workshops. These workshops are redefining the meaning of ‘wellness experiences’, while teaching people the old ways of crafting, making and building.
During autumn (and beyond) there are numerous classes run by the organisers of The Lost Trades Fair, where you can learn everything from leather belt making, relief carving, ceramics and travisher toolmaking.
Embracing the art of lost trades is a new form of zen gaining momentum amongst all age groups and demographics. Participants feel a sense of joy and pride derived from producing a handmade item from scratch, that will last well beyond the life spans of mass-produced products.
Image Credit: Lost Trades Australia
Here is a list of upcoming lost trade artisan workshops you can join:
Click here for a full list of Lost Trades Artisan Workshops and dates over the coming months. Be quick though, they are booking out fast!
Pod Jewellery conduct regular jewellery making classes throughout the year in Kyneton, including jewellery design classes, silversmithing courses, jewellery making classes and wedding ring making workshops. You can even book a course in the lost art of wax ring carving.
Whether you’re a beginner, hobbyist or an up-and-coming jeweller, you will learn at your own pace.
Alternatively, join a small group jewellery-making class with Woodend-based, master Gold and Silversmith, Beatrice Schlabowsky. Conducted in her beautiful Woodland Studio, you will be able to make a sterling silver ring, ear-rings or a pendant in a day.
Emma Jimson from Pom-me-Granite Studio runs clay and plaster workshops situated in the rural landscape of Pastoria East. She teaches two plaster processes; hump moulds and mould making and slip casting. Her workshops range from one day to three day (over three consecutive weekends).
Classes cater for absolute beginners through to professional potters seeking to incorporate plaster moulds into their ceramic practice.
There are a number of Macedon Ranges artists running painting and drawing workshops throughout the year. Here are a few of them!
Based in Gisborne, Helen is a popular and sought after tutor and teacher, running popular drawing and painting in watercolour, acrylic and mixed media. She is also a featured artist in the Daylesford Macedon Ranges Open Studios 2019 Program.
A Rural Sunrise – Acrylic on Canvas -by Helen Cottle
Owner of Kyneton’s Lauriston Press Art Gallery, Sarah Gabriel offers inspiring and creative drawing and printmaking workshops from her beautiful country studio in Lauriston (only ten minutes from Kyneton). Groups of 8-12 people can book to attend a workshop that can be tailor made to suit their interests. Classes book out very fast!
The Woodend Art Group promote a fantastic variety of art workshops, such as oil painting with artist Richard Chamerski, clay modelling with Sam Varian, watercolours with Margaret Morgan and Pen and Ink workshops with Reno Capanna. The group also hold art shows and term classes.
Rundell & Rundell’straditional chair making workshops are in such demand you need to book early to secure a spot.
Glen Rundell is a chairmaker, designer, woodworker, artisan, instructor and craftsman. When people step into Glen’s workshop there is a sense of tradition, authenticity and the feeling that here is a place that you will find craftsmanship in the real true sense.
Glen works and teaches from his workshop in Kyneton and also travels to teach interstate and internationally. His time in the U.S. taught him not only how to craft a beautiful chair, but how important it was to pass this knowledge onto others.
Workshop classes are small – but each person takes a beautifully handcrafted, heirloom quality chair home with them at the end of the workshop. Some say that it has been the hardest they have worked, others say that it is their proudest achievement, for everyone, they appreciated the time, the sweat and the skill it takes to make something truly hand made.
Rundell & Rundell offer a variety of woodworking workshops held throughout the year beyond chairmaking, including the popular ‘Tools of the Trade Pork Pie & Woodturning Workshops. In this incredible workshop you will work with Glen Rundell to create your own bespoke wooden ‘dolly’ and rolling pin. You will then use your handcrafted tools in a Pork Pie workshop with Damian Sandercock chef/owner of Piper St Food Co. Follow Piper Street Food Co on Facebook for future event dates or subscribe to their mailing list.
Year-Round Art Trails and Tours
The Macedon Ranges Art Trail
The Macedon Ranges Art Trail (MRAT) celebrates and supports many of our community’s most creative residents who might otherwise be isolated and lacking opportunities to thrive. Even the most skilled and accomplished artists often baulk at promoting themselves, yet want to be connected with their peers and the general public.
MRAT brings visual artists, businesses and visitors together all year round through exhibitions, social media, private studio appointments and an annual brochure.
Or pick up a Macedon Ranges Art Trail brochure from the Kyneton or Woodend Visitor Information Centre (or download a copy here).
Guided Small Group Art Tours
Nadine Hartnett is a local identity with a passion for championing artists in the Macedon Ranges. In fact, she is so keen to share what the region has to offer she started up ARTings, a small group guided bus tour to expose you to both upcoming and established artists in the Macedon Ranges.
Her small group art tours provide a unique experience interacting with artists in their work spaces, browsing galleries, and exploring destinations that educate, intrigue and inspire.
“The tours are a fun and fascinating insight into our artistic community. They are not only a brand new avenue for promoting artists, but they contribute towards the local business and tourism sectors. I am partnering with Trips All Round which provides bus pickups from railway stations and accommodation venues.” Nadine Harnett, ARTings Tours.
There are so many Macedon Ranges art galleries, you can easily spend an entire weekend hopping between them. In Kyneton alone there are seven galleries open to the public, five of which are located on historic Piper Street. Here’s a taster of what to expect…
Stockroomis an exciting regional arts hub showcasing contemporary artists, makers and designers at the cutting edge of contemporary art, craft and design. Expect to encounter some of Australia’s most exciting and collectable, new and established contemporary artists within the monthly program of solo and curated exhibitions. The public exhibition openings are held on the second Saturday of every month from 4.30pm.
Location: 98a Piper Street, Kyneton
Opening Hours: Monday: 10:30 to 5:00 | Thursday: 10:30 to 5:00 | Friday: 10:30 to 5:00 | Saturday: 10:00 to 6:00 | Sunday: 10:00 to 5:00
Upcoming Exhibitions: Monthly exhibitions during autumn include ‘Cusp’ by Pia Johnson and ‘Pattern’ by Akiko Nagino. Click here for the full calendar of exhibitions at Stockroom Gallery.
Akiko Nagino, Armed Dress (detail) 2019, Hand Cut Paper
The Old Auction House Gallery
The Old Auction House Gallery is a multi-use arts space located inside a timber building dating back to the 1880’s. It incorporates gallery spaces, artist studios, and a handmade gift shop. The gallery features a changing display of artists in all mediums in two or three-week long shows, as well as shows supporting community based arts groups.
The gift shop houses 90+ artists and designers from the local area and further abroad, with an ever adapting stock of quality handmade gifts for all the family.
Working studios spaces are home to a variety of artists and community based arts groups, and visitors will have the opportunity to talk to the artists and watch them work. Studio 1, the premier studio, is home to glass artists Leadlight By Ettore, who have been teaching and creating in the Macedon Ranges for over 30 years.
Image by Melbourne Wedding Photographer Lakshal Perera (http://www.lakshalperera.com)
Image by Melbourne Wedding Photographer Lakshal Perera (http://www.lakshalperera.com)
Location: 52 – 56 Mollison Street, Kyneton
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9am-5pm | Saturday – Sunday 10am-4pm | Open most public holidays.
In addition to original works on paper by Sarah Gabriel, expect to find prints, paintings, ceramics and jewellery from regional artists including: Kevin Foley, David Frazer, Tim Jones , Rosalind Atkins, Clare Whitney, Joseph Austin, Martin King, John Madsen, Michael Wolfe, Sam Varian, Kaye Clancy, Kate Hudson, Wendy McDonald, Elizabeth Barnett, Fiona Orr and Stephanie Jane-Rampton.
Location: 37B Piper Street, Kyneton
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm | Open all Public Holidays. | Monday by appointment.
Plan a Gallery Day Out
There are many more art galleries to explore throughout the region, including The Golden Dog, John Lloyd Gallery and Art on Piper in Kyneton, and The Gallery by the Macedon Ranges Art Collective.
Lost Trades celebrates the art of skilled manual work, ancient crafts and rare trades, the special tools, traditions, languages and secrets that go hand in hand with these trades, passed down through generations.
Many crafts and trades have been lost to history; traditional trades and industries that once were the backbone to building our country have fallen from our landscape in the wake of new technology, mass production and an ‘on demand’ culture.
The Lost Trades Fair was established to change this. These trades and the incredible artisans and real makers who continue to pursue these trades as a career, deserve a platform to showcase their skills, incredible craftsmanship and share their knowledge.
An exhibition of sculpture, Art in the Vines is the first of its kind to be held in the Macedon Ranges. Visitors can wander through a trail of discovery on the winery’s expansive lawns, exploring 25 works of art which have been hand-crafted by leading local, national and international sculptors. Entry is free. PS. Dogs welcome on a lead!
Dates: Until 31 March 2019
Opening Hours: 7 days from 10:00am to 5:00pm
The Stokes Collection
“Many antique experts regard the Stokes Collection as one of the greatest private collections of porcelain, furniture and art in Australia, and equal to many that can be seen overseas”.
A breathtaking anthology of 18th and 19th Century objects and art, The Stokes Collection is located at Forest Glade on Mount Macedon.
This remarkable collection represents the life-long passion of Cyril Stokes and bears witness to his love and knowledge of beautiful decorative arts. Each item is a testament to a lifetime spent researching and attending art auctions and estate sales around the world.
It comprises porcelain, a spectacular collection of French furniture, many Boulle pieces, a grand set of tapestries from a South American palace, extensive collections of paintings, marble, statuary and a dramatic collection of oriental works of art.
The Stokes Collection is not open to the public, but adult groups can request an invitation to tour the collection at a cost of $30 per person. This fee includes a tour of both the Collection and Forest Glade Gardens. Bookings are essential.
Art in the Macedon Ranges is not just for adults. There is plenty to do during the autumn months for the little ones too. Here’s a few fun art-based activities for kids, with many dates during the school holidays.
Held in the Kyneton Town Hall, kids can explore patterns and shapes through drawing and building a collaborative sculptural installation. Children draw patterns from nature onto flat cardboard shapes and assemble them into a surprising, organic, 3D sculpture garden. Find out more here.
Dates: 10 – 12 April 2019
Friendly Forest – Augmented Reality
Also held in the Kyneton Town Hall, Friendly Forest is where strange creatures roam and plants are overgrown. Kids can use their crafting skills to create their own creatures and then set them free using an Augmented Reality app. This is an interactive workshop introducing kids to the world of augmented reality. It mixes art, craft and technology and uses proprietary software to allow participants to discover how to blend real and virtual worlds. Find out more.
Dates: 15 – 17 April 2019
Enchanted Sand Art Exhibition
Based on the grounds of Dromkeen in Riddells Creek is an ‘Enchanted Sand Art Exhibition’ by Sand Art Gallery. Kids can enjoy hand carved sand art, with gravity-defying 30 tonne sand sculptures. There are fourteen amazing, hand carved magical sculptures by some of the world’s best sand artists. Children’s faces will light up with delight when they see the sand made into unicorns and fairies , wolves and griffins!
Dates: On until 30 April 2019, Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 5pm.
Little Think BIG is a little art studio with a big heart. Based in The Old Auction House in Kyneton, it’s a space where kids of all ages can freely immerse themselves in the process of creating.
It’s designed for the kids who love art, the kids who are just discovering it, the kids who love to experiment, the kids with big imaginations, the kids with a need to create.
With the aim of inspiring exploration and imagination, the studio is filled with an abundance of materials for children to create with. They can choose their supplies, take a seat at the crafting table and create away at their own pace.
Get a coffee from Monsieur Pierre’s and cross the road to view the Black Saturday mosaic mural by artist Kathryn Portelli. Located on the side of the historic Kyneton Town Hall, it is dedicated to the 2009 Black Saturday fires north of Kyneton. The mural commemorates the many homes and a church which were lost on that tragic day, together with the enormous support that followed. Each tile contains a unique story, created from donated material from residents who were affected by the fires.
Location: Corner Hutton and Mollison Streets, Kyneton.
Make a Weekend of It
The historic Kyneton Town Hall has a bumper schedule of entertaining shows on over the autumn months. Make a weekend of it and book tickets to a show as part of your overall art immersion in the Macedon Ranges. Here are a few you might want to check out:
A new production of Australia’s beloved modern classic, The Sapphires is coming to Kyneton Town Hall!
Winning multiple awards as a play, film and soundtrack album, The Sapphires is a funny, heart-warming tale inspired by the true story of writer Tony Brigg’s mother. It tells of the incredible journey of a singing group of four Yorta Yorta Women, who sing Motown soul hits against the backdrop of personal change and massive social upheaval. It is an energetic, fun and engaging play that affirms life and the realisation of dreams.
The Naked Cello is a collection of original pieces developed over the last decade. Free ranging and foraging as it goes, The Naked Cello draws inspiration from the music of Eastern Europe, India, Papua New Guinea, and the solo cello music of J.S. Bach, and weaves it into a love affair with this glorious instrument.
To accommodate the four different tunings and different musical styles used in each precious breath, Helen will be using a number of different cellos in this show – including her much loved gut stringed 1786 French Baroque cello and her beautiful dark chocolate toned 1819 English cello which is celebrating its 200th birthday next year.
Looking for a laugh? The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow is jam-packed with a crew of fantastically funny comedians, specially selected to bring the fun of the Festival to towns and cities nationwide. With a line-up of artists sure to tickle anyone’s funny bone, the Roadshow has something for everyone.
The Macedon Ranges offers a wide variety of cosy cottages, self-contained apartments and B&B accommodation. For a full list of Macedon Ranges accommodation click here.
Book the Chairmakers House in Kyneton with Flop House Accommodation
Other Dates for the Diary
Beyond autumn there are many arts and culture events in the Macedon Ranges. Here’s a couple more dates to put in the diary!
Woodend Winter Arts Festival 7 – 10 June 2019
Now in its 14th year, the Woodend Winter Arts Festival brings together acclaimed Australian and international talent with the music, literary and arts community of the stunning Macedon Ranges over the June long weekend.
With a much anticipated program due to launch on 2 April, the event covers classical music, jazz or world music, literary events and visual arts, a program for young people and children and a series of free community events.
The Festival’s classical music program has been broadcast nationally by the ABC Classic FM and internationally by the European Broadcasting Union. The world’s best classical musicians apply to gain selection into the program which has become widely known for the calibre of artists and performances.
Kyneton Daffodil & Arts Festival 5 – 15 September 2019
The Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival welcomes spring in Kyneton with an exciting series of activities including visual and performing arts, crafts, gardens, flower shows, markets and hospitality.
Enter to Win a Macedon Ranges Art Immersion
Win an amazing Macedon Ranges Art Immersion prize package worth $1175. Click below to enter for your chance to win multiple art workshops, gift certificates and event tickets for an art experience that keeps on giving!