Arts Open Team

Arts Open draws near

Arts Open, Australia’s biggest open studios event, is about to take place again as artists across central Victoria prepare to open their studios, allowing visitors to experience the work and artistic vision our region is famed for.

Beginning on Labour Day long weekend, the 9th, 10th and 11th of March and continuing into the following weekend, the 16th and 17th, this year’s event will feature more than 120 artists, 80 galleries, exhibitions and workshops.

With Mount Alexander Shire boasting the highest number of artists per capita in Australia, Arts Open enables visitors to mix with the region’s vibrant and eclectic range of people, while also exploring historical, culinary and social opportunities across historic towns including Castlemaine, Newstead, Maldon, Chewton and Taradale.

Artist Zoe Amor, one of the event coordinators, said there was already a buzz across the region, as artists prepare their studios to welcome those seeking a unique art experience.

“Thousands of people visit across the two weekends and have amazing interactions with the artists and their work. This includes talking about the process of making art as well as seeing, often for the first time, the inspiring studios and spaces the artists inhabit.” Zoe explained.

Over the past 14 years Arts Open, driven by a ‘meet the makers’ philosophy, has created a unique network between artists, art lovers, collectors, gallery owners, local businesses and the wider community. As Zoe’s fellow artist and Arts Open cofounder Michael Wolfe put it: “At its heart, this event is about creating a rare opportunity for a behind-the-scenes experience of the artist in their natural habitat. We’re also conscious of the wider benefits Arts Open brings to our region’s social, cultural and economic landscape,” he said.

The Castlemaine Market Building will be the place for visitors to begin their Arts Open journey and map out their regional tour. The Open Studios Group Exhibition taking place there will include painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography, drawing and sculpture. Zoe and her fellow Market Building curator, Denise Martin, hope visitors will take the opportunity to explore the remarkable diversity of local practice.

“People so look forward to the unique exchange of ideas, imagination, processes and techniques and the opportunity to build on the relationships made. This is also a chance for us, as artists, to improve the way we make and present our work,” Zoe explained.

“As well as being an extraordinary event where people can connect directly with artists and their work, the interactions and transactions that occur across venues and throughout the wider community are so important for independent makers and local businesses. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone,” she said.

Arts Open is an independent, artist run event with the generous support of Mount Alexander Shire Council, Shedshaker Brewing, Regional Arts Victoria, Castlemaine Fringe Festival, Cantwell Property, We Push Buttons, Web Design and Digital Marketing, and many volunteers. For more information, including booking events and workshops visit

Arts Open 2024 takes place on Jaara Country. We acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung as the first peoples and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

To speak with Zoe Amor e. mob. 0408 310 640

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