Newstead: Then and Now Exhibition

The next exhibition at the Newstead Arts Hub is ‘Newstead: Then and Now’ compiled by The Newstead and District Historical Society. This will be a rare and fascinating opportunity to view some of the extensive archives that have been collected by the Society over many years.

Discover what Newstead used to look like compared to what it is like today.

The official opening will be at 5 pm on Saturday 29 October. Don Garden President of Royal Historical Society of Victoria will speak on the role of historical societies in our community. All welcome.

Opening times 10.00 am – 4.00 pm on:
Saturday 29 October, Sunday 30 October, Monday 31 October
Tuesday 1 November, Saturday 5 November, Sunday 6 November

Another highlight during the exhibition will be historical walks, both around the east of town and the west. They will be led by Derek Reid in the East and Ray Stevenson in the West. Participants will feast on stories explaining the development of our town and anecdotes that will tickle the imagination. The eastern walks will go from the Court House departing 10.30 am and the western from the railway station departing at 1.30 pm.

Booklets of the exhibition will be on sale.


Weaving Magic

During September, the Newstead Spinners and Weavers are transforming the gallery with colour, movement and activity. Every room in the old railway building is filled with beautiful work, including large shawls, jumpers, skeins of wool and a whole room full of felted hats.

There are items for sale, but mostly the members simply enjoy displaying their talents and techniques, and talking to visitors. The felting displays exquisite forms of natural fibres combined with leaves and bark implants. Spinning wheels show how wool is transformed from raw to finished thread, and a loom allows you to observe a large weaving being created. It is fascinating to see both the raw material and final object.

The air is fun-filled, with members very busy with demonstrations and visitors all day. There is so much local talent on display, and I hope you didn’t miss out on seeing their magic.

‘Fibre to Finished Product’ is open Tuesdays and weekends until 27th September, 10am – 4pm.

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‘Fun with Fibre’ at the Newstead Railway Arts Hub

Newstead Spinning Group

‘Fun with Fibre’ at the Newstead Railway Arts Hub


The Newstead Spinning Group was formed in 1978: yes…we are coming up to our 40th anniversary! That is pretty amazing for a small community group that began with a few keen spinners gathering in their own homes. Over the years people have come and gone and stayed. We now meet at the Newstead Community Centre each fortnight.

Our aim is to bring together and support people who are interested in spinning and related crafts. We work with a variety of fibres including wool, alpaca, mohair, silk, etc.  Bringing together the process from fibre to the finished product includes cleaning and carding the fleece, perhaps dyeing with commercial or natural dyes, spinning or felting. We create coloured yarns, knit, crochet and weave. This is always exciting and the outcomes often surprising and always lovely. We share our diverse skills, our latest projects and good company and are always open to learning new skills and techniques.


Saturday 10th to Tuesday 27th September 

Open Tuesdays and weekends, 10am – 4pm


On show ‘Fibre to Finished Product’: a collection of members’ creations: hanks and carded batts, to scarves, throws, beanies, hats, cushions, mittens, and more.

Demonstrations: carding, spinning, weaving, dyeing and felting (weather permitting). Dyeing and felting demonstrations will be on Tuesday 13th and 27th, our regular gathering days, at the Railway Arts Hub for September.

Further information: please contact either of the following or talk to a current member.

President: Wendy Charles 53484786            Secretary: Karen Baker 0439714665



Koala Rocks – solo exhibition by Michael Ryan

The next event at the Arts Hub will be recent paintings by Michael Ryan, an exhibition titled  ‘Koala Rocks’.

Michael is an expressionist painter working in oils. This current body of work is inspired by the rocky outcrops of central Victoria… and koalas. You can get a taste of his upcoming solo exhibition on his instagram profile.

Opening night will be on the 2nd of July at 6pm, Peter Young will be opening the show. Peter is an artist himself after a successful career in public relations for Ansett and cricket Australia. Everyone is invited to the opening night.

The exhibition is open weekends, 2nd-30th July from 9am -4pm.

koala rocks for print

Michael Ryan founded Mi-Fine in 1994. Now in its 22nd year, Michael’s commitment to creativity has earned a reputation for excellence in arts production.

Michael has over twenty five years’ experience in the display, sign, exhibition and arts industries, with numerous best exhibition and display awards to his credit. He has completed a Bachelor of Fine Art, and has run his own exhibition and display business for over twenty years.

Michael has project managed a wide range of public art including Bendigo Chinese precinct ‘Bendigo Chinese garden flowers’


Trees of the Mount Alexander Shire Region – upcoming exhibition

Trees ain’t trees!

Where did the idea get about that our trees all ‘look the same’?

The problem has been around for a long time: in 1770 Captain Cook wrote about the NSW coast: ‘the woods do not produce any variety of trees.’ In 1836 Darwin claimed that ‘the extreme uniformity of the vegetation’ was ‘the most remarkable feature of the vegetation’ he observed in Australia. And in 1939 the poet AD Hope talked of the ‘drab green and desolate grey’ of our vegetation. And he compounded the insult by suggesting that the Australian people were just as monotonous…

Maybe these very worthy experts weren’t looking hard enough?

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Death Throes, Yellow Box , Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve – Photo by Damian Kelly Nov 2015

Our new exhibition of photos is set to have a go at overturning the still widespread notion that our trees are monotonously uniform. Trees of the Mount Alexander Region aims to highlight the amazing variety to be seen in our local indigenous trees: even those of the same genus—for example, eucalypts—can exhibit a wild variety of shape and colour, as well as hosting an extraordinary diversity of wildlife.

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Nankeen Kestrel,  Moolort Plains  – Photo by Patrick Kavanagh Jan 2014

This is FOBIF’s 6th photographic exhibition. The exhibitions all focus on our local environment and aim to highlight the beauty and importance of our bushlands.

In January 2016 we had a ‘call for photos’ for a tree exhibition and photos sent to us were placed on our Flickr page

We selected 23 photos from over 100 sent to us to exhibit in two exhibitions. The first one was at TOGS cafe in Castlemaine in March 2016 and the second one is at the Newstead Railway Arts Hub. All photos are for sale.

The photographers featured in this exhibition are: Janet Barker, Neil Barrett, Frances Cincotta, John Ellis, Patrick Kavanagh, Damian Kelly, Geoff Park, Harley Parker, Mitchell Parker, Ern Perkins, Bronwyn Silver, Bernard Slattery, Jen Thomas, Marion Williams, Chris Worland and Deborah Worland

Exhibition opening  will be at 10.30 am on Saturday 4 June. Everyone is welcome.

The exhibition runs from the 4th-26th of June and will be open at weekends and the Queens Birthday holiday on Monday 13 June. Opening hours are Sat and Sun 10am to 4 pm. If you would like to view the exhibition outside these days/hours contact Bronwyn Silver on 54751089.

A celebration of colour: Karen and the Kids opening night this friday

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Karen’s upcoming show is an inspiring exhibition bursting with colour, character and imagination!

Opening night is this coming Friday 22 April at 6pm, and the night will be filled with festivities, with live music by Andy Rigby, Natasha Mullings and Peter Sullivan, and catering by hospitality students from the Castlemaine Secondary College. Everyone is welcome!

Well loved artist, teacher and Newstead local Karen Pierce presents a long awaited celebratory exhibition, Karen and the Kids, marking her retirement after 45 years teaching art and craft in schools around Victoria. In addition to her work as a practicing artist and private art tutor, Karen has worked in art education at schools across the state, including Altona North, Flemington, Brunswick, Maryborough, Maldon, Kangaroo Flat, Golden Square, Kyneton, Castlemaine and most recently in her home town of Newstead.

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Karen and the Kids is a rare opportunity to see a huge body of retrospective and recent work in one location and will be a treat for anyone with a sense of creativity and adventure. Karen and the Kids represents a selection of the work of thousands of creative hands, hearts and minds over almost five decades and will surely inspire many more.

A celebration of colour, imagination and versatility, the kids artwork on display presents a true smorgasbord for the eyes, with all manner of brightly decorated puppets, hobby horses, creatures and contraptions – showing us there is truly no limit to the imagination. Karen’s own paintings combine these childhood creations into finished works of art – bringing together brash marches of hobby horses, oceans of rainbow fish and tides of pirate ships.

Karen and the Kids also includes a special new series of original paintings from Karen entitled, ‘Edge of the Forest’ that capture the unique light and beauty of the Australian bush landscape.

“I’d be lost without my imagination. It’s essential. And everything you do is a part of a cycle of ideas. In fact, these new paintings of mine hark back to paintings I did in my final year of College.”

Many of Karen’s large-scale school projects – such as the Maldon Folk Festival stage banner, created in 1998 with Maldon Primary School – involve all students at every year level, and result in beautiful, distinctive assets for the local community.

There will also be plenty of creative artplay activities for kids to enjoy throughout the exhibition.

Opening night on Friday 22 April 2016 will be filled with festivities, with live music by Andy Rigby, Natasha Mullings and Peter Sullivan, and catering by hospitality students from the Castlemaine Secondary College. Everyone is welcome!

Karen and the Kids runs every weekend from 23 April until 8 May 2016 at the Newstead Arts Hub, a beautiful exhibition space located at the newly restored Newstead Railway Station.

Upcoming exhibition ‘Karen and the Kids’

Our upcoming exhibition is called ‘Karen and the Kids’. This will be a retrospective of work from Karen Peirce, who has recently retired as art teacher from the Newstead primary school.

We can expect a playful, delightful and colourful display, including a selection of Karen’s original paintings. Karen has had a great impact in nurturing creativity in Newstead and we are excited that she is having this exhibition.

Opening night is Friday 22nd of April at 6pm and all are welcome.Katk




Newstead Open Studios 2016

Newstead artists and their studios are very much a part of the Arts Open 2016: Open Studio event running over two weekends – Labour Day long weekend 12-14 March, & Sat-Sun 19-20 March.

Newstead Open Studios Invite

There are eight studios offering diverse and fascinating art experiences: sculpture, painting, printmaking and ceramics.

You can  also stop for a coffee or a meal at Dig Cafe, our local good food café, have a drink at one of our two pubs – one on each side of the Loddon River, or visit local wineries a few minutes drive north – Welshmans Reef or Chapples Cairn Curran Estate.

For more information have a look at the Newstead Open Studios website and also the Arts Open website

Open Studio times: 11am to 4pm daily, Labour Day long weekend 12-14 March, & Sat-Sun 19-20 March. Some studios may be open longer.

Upcoming exhibition: Studio Paradiso printmakers


Part of Arts Open 2016 Open Studios
Newstead Railway Arts Hub, Dundas Street, Newstead

Exhibition Opening: 19 March 2016 by Melissa Proposch at 2.00 pm
All Welcome

Open: March 12, 13, 14,
March 19, 20 and
March 26, 27, 2016

10.00 am to 4.00 pm each day

About seven kilometres from Newstead on the Newstead Creswick Rd., tucked in the valley, are a Catholic church, some houses, and a red brick (ex) Primitive Methodist church with blue doors guarded by Italian pencil pines. A building where local communities met for decades to dance, talk about local matters, celebrate births, deaths and marriages, and play tennis on the courts behind the building. A place like many others in rural areas of Australia.

For the past fourteen years it’s been Diana Orinda Burns’ printmaking studio, Studio Paradiso. During these years Diana has run printmaking classes and courses, and consultancies for printmakers from all over Australia. The participants in these activities range from beginners to professionals preparing for exhibitions.
Diana has printed works for John Olsen, Tommy Watson, Mrs Bennett, Adam Cullen, David Larwill, Julian Meagher, Jasper Knight, Rhys Lee, Sam Leach, and James Drinkwater, among others.

Thus the building that’s home to Studio Paradiso stays true to its original purposes: a place where a community of artists and printmakers meet and practise.

Artists from Diana’s classes have exhibited as groups or individuals during the Castlemaine Festival over these years, independently in commercial galleries, and in the Arts Open Visual Arts Festival held in years alternate to the Castlemaine Festival: this year in the community Railway Arts Hub in Newstead.

If you’re driving through the Sandon valley to or from Newstead look out for Studio Paradiso. Like many similar buildings in rural areas of Australia it’s associated with many local stories and activities. You might also imagine the artists at work in Studio Paradiso: their conversations and collaborations, including their accounts of problems shared and solved, and their responses to Diana’s guidance and suggestions about directions and possibilities in their work. And, of course, the cakes, cups of tea, eclectic music and roaring winter fires that fuel the artists. One problem yet to be solved is how to get Diana away from her teaching and supervising the presses so that she can enjoy and finish her cup of tea.

– Richard Sullivan

Newstead West walking tour

The Newstead West walking tour, organised by Castlemaine District Community Health is a great opportunity to explore the other side of the town. The tour will be lead by Newstead Local Ray Stevenson, and will take in some of the historic buildings of Newstead:the old butter factory, the railway arts hub and Presbyterian church, plus the racecourse and the old goldmine dredging area.

The walk will end up at the Arts Hub where you can have a cuppa and take in the current exhibition.

When:Wednesday 24th of Feb from 10-11am
Where: Meet outside the Newstead Railway Arts Hub, Dundas Street, Newstead
Cost: FREE

Cancelled in the event of heavy rain or a Code Red Day
No bookings or RSVP required

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