Open for a great, final weekend

Only rarely are events able to capture the spirit of a place. Arts Open, entering its final weekend for 2024, is one such example.

With over 120 participating artists and 80 venues, Arts Open allows the public to journey behind-the-scenes, into the studios and creative lives of the artists who call this place home.

In opening Arts Open last weekend, Member for Bendigo West and Speaker of the Victorian Parliament, The Honourable Maree Edwards MP, spoke of the unique nature of the event and its invitation to explore.

“Arts Open is such a special event, one that celebrates this creative region we’re all so proud of. In addition to being able to meet our famed artists in-person and see their work up-close, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to welcome so many arts-loving visitors,” Ms Edwards said.

Scottish landscape painter Robert Maclaurin explained that when he and his fellow volunteers established the event 14 years ago, they did so informed by a philosophy of openness.

“One of the unique aspects of Arts Open is visitors are able to see how we create,” he explained.

From her studio at The Mill in Castlemaine, Artist Denise Martin – with Michael Wolfe, Zoe Amor and Rob Jennings, one of this year’s coordinators – points to Arts Open’s emphasis on in-person experiences, for both visitor and artist alike.

“Curiosity,” she said. “People are curious about what it is you do as an artist. When I think of Arts Open, I think of visitors being welcomed across a threshold, into the artist’s space.”

To read more about Arts Open, purchase your copy of this week’s Castlemaine Mail and head to the Living section.

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

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