A rare opportunity to visit studios and galleries across the shire
Happening between 24 March and 9 April, the 2023 Castlemaine State Festival Open Studios is an event designed to promote regional visual arts on Dja Dja Wurrung country.
It offers the chance to experience a behind the scenes, personal look at artists in their natural habitat – discuss their artwork and techniques – and purchase directly from the artist.
In 2023, Open Studios showcases over 150 local artists in studios, galleries and exhibition spaces in Castlemaine, Newstead, Maldon, Elphinstone and district.
Start at the Castlemaine Market Building, (our Visitor Information Centre) to grab a program and experience Boorp Boorp Boondyil (passing knowledge to our children), our permanent exhibition celebrating the culture and history of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.
Image: Jez Forbes is opening his studio to discuss his ‘Shedism’ movement – Room 46, 1 Halford St, Castlemaine
Constructed in 1862 and operating as a market for 155 years, this stunning building now hosts the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre.
The west wing has been transformed into Boorp Boorp Boondyil, (pronounced ‘Boorp’ as in ‘torpedo’ and ‘Boondyil’ as in ‘book’) loosely translating as “teaching children knowledge". The name is gifted to the project by local Dja Dja Wurrung senior elder, Uncle Rick Nelson.
This permanent exhibit provides residents and visitors with an opportunity to walk through an interactive space, where they can learn the history of the area, including the story of the Eagle, the Bat and the Crow, the Creation Story of the Dja Dja Wurrung, as well as important cultural lessons about living on Country and bush tucker.
It also welcomes visitors onto Jaara Country, and serve as a starting point to learning even more about the rich history of this land’s traditional custodians.
Boorp Boorp Boondyil was made possible from a generous grant of $400,000 from Regional Development Victoria, and was developed in collaboration with Nalderun, Sharing Stories Foundation and Mount Alexander Shire Council.
The summer and winter Market Art exhibitions embrace a wide range of mediums and styles that showcase the rich and diverse arts community of our region. If you are interested in selling work through the Market Art program, pop in for a chat with Jen, Clare or Aileen.
For a full list of the Market Building's facilities, click the 'Hire the venue' button below.