Open, immerse and create

Maroondah Highway artist Dominika Keller.

There’s an energy building as artists across the Yarra Valley prepare for three huge weekends that will make up this year’s Yarra Valley Arts Open Studios.

Under the theme Opening up to Art the event will showcase work from 45 artists working in 35 studios in three destinations.

Studios will open from 10am to 5pm along the Maroondah Highway on 6 to 7 October, along the Warburton Highway on 27 to 28 October and the Melba Highway on 10 to 11 November.

An official launch of the event at Healesville’s Memo Gallery from 6pm to 8pm on Friday 28 September will showcase all participating artists.

An exhibition at the gallery will follow until 13 November.

The Waterwheel and Coombe Yarra Valley will also host exhibitions, from 18 October to 7 November and 24 October to 11 November respectively.

The three weekends showcasing three distinct regions of the valley provide visitors with a rich and immersive experience of the environments and inspirations in which working artists bring work alive.

For aspiring artists and visitors, the opportunity to witness work in progress, enjoy a one-on-one discussion about practice, and perhaps even gain some hands-on experience, can be an inspiring way to embrace personal creativity and art-making.

Yarra Valley Arts president Reggie Clark said a studio was often more than a place of work.

“Studios can show us the layers of reflection, of story and of struggle and triumph that make an artist’s life meaningful,” she said.

“They also provide us with an invitation to consider the tools and the techniques of art-making within their own context of mystery and delight.

“A sanctuary, a gallery, a home – studios are all-at-once fascinating, instructional and inspiring, and the privilege of stepping inside comes with its own sense of magic.”

Fine art photographer and a participant in last year’s Open Studios, Kate Baker, said she loved the opportunity to share what she did with people who were genuinely interested.

“Whether it’s stepping into a darkroom, behind a painter’s easel, or exploring the found objects that are to become a commissioned sculpture, people truly value the opportunity to step into our worlds and connect,” she said.

Ms Clark said last year’s program attracted more than 6000 visitors, “many of them coming not once but three times to enjoy more artists, in more studios with plenty of opportunity to also indulge in the fine food, wine and accommodation of the Yarra Valley area”.

Artworks at the exhibitions, and at the studios, are available for purchase.

The Yarra Valley Arts Open Studios map is available to help plan visits and discover the many artists who will share their work.


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