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Don't miss the seventh annual Tiny Towns Art Trail, spanning over the ANZAC Day weekend, over twenty four, locations hidden across seven of the Tiny Towns of the Central Goldfields, Loddon and Pyrenees country. Come join us, share in the creative energy that is quietly building in this unique part of the world.

Support our local artists and makers, small business and creative communities.

From Fine Art Galleries, Cafes and Artists' Studios to Pop Up Exhibitions in historic buildings, restored railway stations, churches and gardens. You will discover hidden treasures and the creative magic heart of our historic towns. Uncover luscious local secrets, (far more than gold) in unexpected places.

This year we welcome St Arnaud and Bridgewater on Loddon to the trail. This is just the beginning of our exploration northwards.

The theme of environment recycling and re purposing has become a thread that binds the trail. Gardens botanical art and recycled sculptural treasures will surprise and inspire. We invite you to explore the towns, sculpture in parks and river walks and not 1 but 2 local silo projects. 

Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Tiny Towns Art Trail.

View full program: HERE

See our Central Goldfields Shire participants below:

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Possum Gully Art Gallery

 

Possum Gully Art Gallery features in the Tiny Towns Arts Trail, with their exhibition of works by acclaimed artist Vida Pearson, with beautiful hand crafted lino cuts transformed into Australian birds and flora. 

Vida's works are inspired by her travels and observations from real life experiences.

There'll be a small showing of large life drawings from Patricia Walsh exhibits featuring use of line and tone using conte, charcoal and pastel on acid free paper.

The gallery also has a permanent collection, featuring works by Dean Bowen.

For directions Possum Gully Fine Arts Gallery click here.

View full details: HERE

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Ministry of Fun Dunolly

Established in 2001, the Ministry of Fun is a gallery and multi studio workshop space in the township of Dunolly. 

Situated on Broadway, in a building that was once a former bakery, the concept for the space was to develop a creative workshop and studio where the arts could be experienced, and taught, within a variety of media, including music, ceramics, textiles, and whatever else presented as a possibility!  The venue allowed for the inclusion of a pottery studio, metalworking space and textile studio, and required extensive renovation to fulfil the idea. To some extent it is still a work in progress! 

From time to time visiting artists also exhibit in the gallery and run workshops in the studios, providing opportunities for the local community to learn from world class artists. 

Works developed in the studios form the basis of artworks exhibited for sale in the intimate gallery space at the front. 

Ministry of Fun is owned and operated by Anna and Philip Ashton.

For workshops and further details checkout the Ministry of Fun Facebook page or contact Anna or Philip.

View full details: HERE

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Dunolly Community Sculpture Walk

Weave your way around Dunolly, along Broadway and into the surrounding parks and gardens to discover the wonderful community sculptures. Created under instruction with celebrated artist Deborah Halpern, drawings…Tiny Towns Art Trail.

Each sculpture has a QR code allowing you to scan for further information about the works and to help you locate the other sculptures. You can find the sculptures in the Rene Fox garden on Broadway, outside the Ministry of Fun, also on Broadway, and tucked away behind the main street in Gordon Gardens, near the bowling club and other recreational facilities.

View full details: HERE

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Bealiba Railway Station

The Bealiba Railway Station has been lovingly restored by Heather and Robert Cooper who enjoy sharing their passion for the station with railway enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. The Coopers also grow and produce some of the best caper and olive products known to man, all harvested from trees and bushes planted on the property, and this year they’ve partnered with a local chef to create a range of delicious tapenades and other delights for you to taste

During the Tiny Towns Arts Trail weekend the Ladies Lounge at the station will once again be transformed into a small gallery space and this year the Ladies Lounge will be hosting an exhibition of work by renowned local textile artist Jenny Bacon.

Jenny is the originator and curator (now retired) of the biennial “Golden Textures” Art Quilt Exhibition shown at Central Goldfields Art Gallery and a highly-accomplished textile artist in her own right.

Jenny creates contemporary quilts infused with the sensibilities of a 19th-century quilt maker, executed with the materials and technology of the 21st century. The local goldfields landscape, with its box ironbark forests; their shifting colours and shapes changing throughout the seasons, are a major influence for her quilts. Her sensitive attunement to colours and the feeling they evoke are a hallmark of her work.

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Squirrel Gully Saffron Farm

For many years Rosie Pamic and her partner, Drew, shared the dream of living off-grid and developing a sustainable business that could support their family, while also minimising their environmental footprint.

In 2014 they found a run-down property on the outskirts of Dunolly in Central Victoria.

Over farming had significantly exhausted the soil but Rosie and Drew had a vision of their future, and together they began the hard work of rejuvenating 10 acres of depleted land to bring their dream to life.

Today Squirrel Gully Saffron is a beautifully managed, sustainable, off-grid farm producing some of Australia’s best saffron.

Saffron is uniquely suited to the Central Victorian climate, with its frosty winters and hot, dry summers and with Rosie’s experience as a Chef, along with her desire to eat food as close to nature as possible, growing saffron became an obvious choice. Unlike most saffron growers however, Rosie and Drew grow their plants in wicking beds, allowing them better control over soil conditions, nutrient management and water sustainability. They are now in their third year of production and growing strong.

To book your hamper, contact Rosie at Squirrel Gully Saffron on 0424 060 281. Stay in touch with what’s happening at the farm by following and liking Squirrel Gully Saffron on Facebook and Instagram or through their web.

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Gypsy Weaver Studio

In 2015 Cathy Tobin packed her loom in her van and hit the road with her husband, their two dogs, and a longing for the simpler life. What started as a traveling holiday, turned into two years reading and weaving her way around Australia.

The freedom of being on the road matched Cathy’s love of free-form weaving, where there is no such things as a mistake and creativity flows through your own hands.

Every piece becomes a unique work of art and is a reflection of the time, place and materials of the moment it was created in.

Cathy has been a regular exhibitor on the Tiny Towns Arts Trail since opening her studio in 2017 and her unique fabrics, one of a kind creations, and mini, 1 hour weaving workshops are always popular with trail visitors.

Stay in touch with Cathy via Facebook or Instagram

Please note: Entry to Gypsy Weaver Studio is via Clarendon Street at the rear

 

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Alvah Art Gallery

Alvah Art Gallery is the home and studio gallery of John Moir. John, a prolific artist, started drawing and painting at an early age, and winning an open art competition at 13 was all the encouragement a young boy needed to develop a life-long love of art. He has been drawing, painting and art making ever since.

John has many fine feathers woven into his creative cap and his works include a large body of pen and ink drawings, watercolour and oil paintings, public murals, theatre backdrops and original sketches commissioned for a cookbook. He has spent many years drawing and painting the historic places and interesting features around the Goldfields and across regional Victoria.

In his early years, like most artists, John set up his paint box and easel in any space conducive to painting he could find, including draughty stables and farmyard sheds that were unbearably hot in summer and bitterly cold in winter. Now John works out of the purpose built, stunning Alvah Art Gallery, where his many landscape paintings and other works are on view to the public.

John has been a staple feature of the Tiny Towns Arts Trail since its inception and is an important figure in the local arts community. He has contributed significantly to the creation of local artist networks and has been a big supporter of the arts across the region.

Stay in touch with John via Facebook and be sure to visit his lovely studio, which is open every day of the Tiny Towns Arts Trail Weekend.

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Woolly Goose

The Woolly Goose has been established in Dunolly since February 2022.

Proprietor, Georgie Buckingham, is a fibre artist and weaver, who is passionate about dyeing wool.

Walking into her beautifully-presented shop is entering into a world of colour and texture. Georgie creates bespoke hand-dyed yarns as well as unique colourways for knitting, crocheting, weaving, basket-weaving and other hand-crafted projects.

Mixed in amongst the skeins of wool and hand-dyed art yarns, which hang like colourful beads tempting you inside the tiny shop, are beautifully woven one-of-a-kind scarves, warm hand-knitted, pure wool beanies, purses, pouches and more.

Georgie will be well-stocked with her woollen wonders in preparation for Winter. Drop in and grab yourself some lovingly hand-dyed yarns or hand-crafted products. They also make beautiful gifts for friends or loved ones.

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Playing In The Attic

Each year Trudy McLauchlan, proprietor of the delightful shop, Playing in the Attic, invites selected artists to participate in a curated exhibition titled one hundred faces.

Participating artists are provided a 4″ x 4″ canvas board and tasked to paint an image that relates to the concept of the face. How the artist interprets this is up to them. The finished works are then hung together in the shop window in a riotous display of eye catching colour and style guaranteed to grab the attention of anyone walking by.

Now in its fourth year, one hundred faces is an exciting and popular exhibition on the Tiny Towns Arts Trail. We encourage everyone to take the time to drop into Trudy’s gorgeous little shop and take in this wonderful little exhibition.

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Puzzleflat Art Gallery

Occupying the historic TPDaly hardware store in Dunolly, Puzzleflat Art Gallery is an artist run initiative that aims to provide opportunities for regional and visiting artists to showcase their work in a professional gallery setting. Artists looking for exhibition space are encouraged to contact the gallery to discuss their proposals for showing their work.

Over the 2023 trail weekend the gallery will be showing the annual Tiny Towns Arts Trail Art Prize. This year, for the first time, the Tiny Towns Arts Trail Art Prize features a major prize category sponsored by the Maldon and District Community Bank. The Art Prize is valued at $1000, which will be awarded by a panel of judges to a single artwork.

Visitors can also vote for their favourite work in the People’s Choice Award. The artwork receiving the most votes from the visiting public will receive the $300 People’s Choice prize generously sponsored by Priority 1 Property in Dunolly.

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Central Goldfields Art Gallery

Two years of meticulous restoration work has transformed the Central Goldifelds Art Gallery into a state-of-the-art exhibition space.

Located within the historic fire station on Neill Street, Maryborough, the newly refurbished gallery features contemporary geometric forms that contrast and complement its original architectural features. The iconic red doors open to reveal monumental white curves juxtaposed with re-exposed triangular hardwood ceiling joists and clean-edged windows that invite glimpses of the original red brick building. The space is an artwork in itself, honouring both the history and the future of Visual Arts within Central Victoria.

To re-introduce this significant regional gallery to the public, Art Gallery Coordinator Helen Kaptein is launching the new gallery program with an exhibition of work by Maryborough-bred artist, Dean Bowen. Dean’s homecoming show, entitled “Ladder to the Stars: Dean Bowen Sculptures” is a survey exhibition of 35 bronze sculptures and assemblages created between 1999 and 2022. His joyous treatment of Australian fauna, stylised people and other forms holds appeal for adults and children alike. 

Coinciding with Dean’s exhibition over the trail, is an exhibition of traditional weaving and feather crafts by multi-clanned first nation women Aunty Kath Nicholls and Aunty Marilyne Nicholls. This exhibition is dedicated to Aunty Kath’s and Aunty Marilyne’s elders who taught them the fine creative arts practices of their family traditions.

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Knit Queen

Nostalgia, functionality and whimsy intertwine in Rosy Hardress’ fantastical knitted and crocheted creations, which she aptly describes as ”functional micro art”. Her gallery shop, tucked neatly off a laneway in Talbot, is populated by boldly coloured tea cosies and other sculptural wonders that pop against the crisp white walls. Some appear like stylised bonsais, others sport teetering towers of multi-coloured doughnut forms, and each piece asserts a playful presence through charismatic curves and twists that unintentionally evoke the art of Dr Seuss or Leunig. 

Rosy’s love of tea harks way back to a childhood punctuated by memories of tea parties, served with full tea service and real tea to the neighbourhood kids.

Learning to knit as a 5-year-old, Rosy was mentored by the older women in her life; women of an era who honoured the good china by reserving it for use only on special occasions. In contrast, Rosy sees every day as the perfect day to use “special” objects and her exuberant tea cosies imbue ordinary moments with a specialness and an aesthetic joy. 

Rescued pots are re-imagined in their second lives as an art form for drinking tea. Elegant cups and saucers are also re-cast from nanna’s china cupboard into perfectly peculiar pin cushions. 

Rosy’s gallery shop is a must-visit experience on your Tiny Towns adventure. Be sure to also check out the stunning hand-painted ceramic buttons created by Deborah Adams nestled in the corner – they are gorgeous!

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Divine Studio

Phil Smith always dreamed of owning his own church, so when the Bealiba Uniting Church came up for sale in 2018 he jumped at the opportunity to make his dream into a reality.

Together with his partner Helena, Phil has adapted the space for many creative uses, while also taking care to maintain the original church features, including the pulpit and seating pews. With a shared enthusiasm for art and making, the pair often collaborate on their creations, and since buying the church, they have been regular participants on the Tiny Towns Arts Trail.

This year their 112-year-old church building, Divine Studio, will showcase a combination of work by Phil and Helena alongside exhibits and demonstrations by other local Bealiba artists, featuring woodwork, sculpture, textiles, quilting, and Victorian sewing boxes and baskets.

Artists at this Divine Studio include:

Phil Smith: Working with wood is a passion of Phil’s. He visualises the final outcome for the raw material, removing only enough to reveal the natural form and textures beneath the surface, creating functional furniture and sculptures from wood and steel.

Helena Kidd:  Helena is a writer and the author of When the Past Awakens, which was shortlisted in 2020 for Victorian Community History Award. Helena has a new picture book Memoir, Dreams That Come True, and she is keen to chat about the writing process and what inspired this book.

Copies of Helena’s books will be available for purchase at Divine Studio.

Lyndene Higgins: Lyndene Higgins from Bealiba will be joining Divine Studio with her Victorian Crazy Quilt display. Lyndene has created a series of amazing works using remnants of doilies, needle work and more.

Mandy: Mandy has recently moved to Bealiba and will be displaying her beautifully crafted Victorian sewing boxes and baskets. Mandy will also be demonstrating her skills and selling kits for those interested in giving this forgotten craft a try.

Jessica McLean. Having retired from the Australian army and located to Bealiba in 2020, Woodcarver Jessica will be presenting works from her own Arisylaro studio. Each piece is unique and hand carved. representatives of texture the contrasts between hard and soft reflecting upon the essence of dark and light.

Rebecca. Living in Bealiba for 2 years Rebecca keeps herself busy with all kinds of craft. From mug making to printing on tops, chocolate baskets and a lot more. Come see some of her work along with other local artists at the Divine Studio during the Tiny Towns Arts Trail 2023. Go to the Bealiba website to find out more.

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Tenar Dwyer Studio

Tenar balances her time between honing her artistic skills and creating opportunities for other artists by helping to grow the Tiny Towns Arts Trail and co-curating exhibitions with Judy Meldrum at Puzzleflat Art Gallery in Dunolly.

From her studio in Bealiba, Tenar paints to satisfy her need to explore the world visually; constantly challenging herself to refine and develop her observational skills. Her work, which often depicts death and decay, beautifully extends the tradition of the memento mori. Her sensitively-rendered oil paintings cultivate a sense of stillness and the simplicity of her compositions honour the object’s existence and capture the transient beauty of life.

While Tenar has exhibited in the region, this is a unique opportunity to view her work within her studio space, where it came into being. Visitors will be enthusiastically welcomed by her studio dog, whose appearance and bark belie his friendly nature! 

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Hanging Rock Studio

With an amazing colour palette ranging from rich earthy reds through shades of pink, vivid ochres, deepest browns and brightest white, artist, Rory Stainton, makes the most incredible works out of rocks he pulls from his home quarry in Bealiba.

His experience as a builder, master renderer, brick maker and fine artist have amalgamated into an art form that is part painting, part sculpture, part mural and the result is stunning.

While Rory is also a very fine drawer and painter he is currently concentrating most of his art making on his rock work, creating single and multi-panel pieces designed to be displayed in large scale settings and on outer walls of buildings.

His magnificent piece, No Beginning, No End, hangs on the Treasure Chest building in Dunolly, welcoming visitors to the town, and showcasing the work the way it is meant to be seen.

This year Rory will once again be opening his garden and studio in Bealiba for the Tiny Towns Arts Trail weekend and it’s well worth the trip out there to see what interesting things he’s been up to.