Artistic Adventures Await with Open Studios Sunshine Coast!

Image source: Contributed

From the coastal strip of Caloundra to the foothills of the hinterland and across the Blackall Range, witness the magic of creatives in their element when they open their studios and galleries for Sunshine Coast Open Studios 2024. Jodie Cameron discovers this year’s local Art Trails to be explored and adored.

Solace often goes hand-in-hand with artists working alone in their sacred spaces, not sharing a piece until it’s just right. But Sunshine Coast Open Studios 2024 invites us to meander through gardens, mosey down laneways, get off the beaten track and stumble upon artists at work in their creative spaces.

From 18-26 May, 70+ artists and individual gallery spaces along the coast and through the hinterland open their studios to share their passion and process first-hand, offering visitors a glimpse into their world along with five days of hands-on, innovative and creative workshops to experience art making.

From upcycling, ceramics, drawing, glassblowing, mixed media, painting, photography, printing, sculpture and textiles; to metalwork, woodwork, jewellery and shoemaking, installation and printmaking, there is something for every taste.

Fancy rolling up your sleeves and getting amongst it? Art lovers, amateurs and appreciators at any level can participate in artist-led workshops to learn, create and immerse themselves in their favourite artists’ space.

This year’s event features six regions — where the community can undertake self-guided tours to meet local artists in situ, view artistry in action, purchase art, and participate in workshops while gaining a newfound appreciation for the creativity of local talent.

Arts Connect Inc President, Jen Braithwaite says artists can engage with visitors interested in art in a comfortable and familiar environment, such as their home studio or a collective venue shared by a number of artists.

“The exposure to new audiences is a vital information gathering tool, as well as an excellent way to connect and learn from other local artists and art professionals while building relationships with art lovers keen to invest in buying pieces,” Jen said.

The program explores art behind the scenes by providing a glimpse into spaces not usually available for public viewing — from permanent gallery spaces, backyard sheds, shipping containers and warehouses to glorious garden retreats.

Along the Coastal trails of Caloundra, you’ll find international award-winning artist, Jenny Newbound’s vivid watercolour creations; or take the kids along to enjoy illustrator Kerry Ide’s cheeky drawing and digital art; or delve into the world of coastal beach shacks with Shelley Harkness.

Immerse yourself in the Central Coastal Trail with storyteller James Stickland’s figurative works; for a playful pop of colour and vibrant depictions of brunch dishes, visit Liz Pepper; or be inspired by Denise Gee’s mosaic garden gallery complete with a mosaiced lounge, paths, pots and bird feeders.

Across the Coastal North Trail, experience Sarah Sculley’s Banksy-style large-scale artworks; relive childhood memories with Gemma Troy’s ethereal works from the heart; or get a taste of the Australian outback with Geoff L McKenzie and Allison Shaw at Wallaby Studios.

Nestled in the foothills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, channel your inner Salvador Dali with a visit to Marcel Desbiens where realism meets surrealism and abstraction; take in the Glasshouse Art Spaces for an eclectic female artist collective that will surely ignite the senses; or discover the Chenrezig Institute Art Studio in Eudlo which brings together sculptors, mould makers and painters who produce traditional Tibetian Buddist artworks.

In Maleny, explore award-winning conceptual artist Richard Muldoon’s Zone Gallery for an introduction to PhotoUnrealism; take a leisurely stroll through Nicky Dierens garden featuring glassmaking, metalwork and sculpture; let Kim Herringe take you on a printmaking journey or unearth the nexus of creativity and nature at The Little Red Cottage — where the beauty of art harmonizes with the serenity of the natural world.

High on the range in Montville, get your quirky on at Flying Porky Studio where Jim Cox’s diverse collection of drawing, painting and ceramics will surely delight; let Molly Galpin’s mixed media unique art and passion for recycling inspire you; or witness magnificent, upcycling beauty with Sue Neale’s feather wall art.

Participating galleries include Caloundra Regional Gallery, Sunshine Coast Art and Framing Gallery, Seaview Artists Gallery, the Zone Gallery, Munimba-ja Gallery, Art School Co, The Little Red Cottage, Montville Art Gallery, Hidden Gallery and Illume Creations.

Busy or short on time? In April and May, Art Snack at the Maroochy Library’s Artspace is giving visitors a tiny morsel of what’s on the 2D-curated viewing menu. Graze your way through painting, drawing, printmaking, and photography and taste the diverse blend of local creative talent while whetting your appetite for more!

New in 2024 — explore a small slice of the work created by this year’s Open Studios Sunshine Coast artists at their first combined exhibition, bringing together work personally selected by the artist to showcase their individual skills, talents and inspirations. With most studios opening around 10am, why not take a geographical approach, grab some breaky and a copy of the Art Trail Guide – or access it online and really make a day of it!

Art explores our subconscious and engages our senses by temporarily allowing us to escape from our reality, it can be a wonderful way to ignite the imagination and what better way to do this than to visit the amazing local artists in our region up close and personal. I encourage you to check out the Art Trail Guide and start planning your artistic adventure, you may just find the perfect piece to complement your home and life!

From mid-April you can pick up the 2024 Art Trail Guide from a variety of locations including Sunshine Coast Art and Framing Gallery, Equity Makers Sunshine Coast, Caloundra Regional Art Gallery, Sunshine Coast libraries and Eckersley’s Arts & Crafts.

Discover the Art Trails and view the Guide and artist profiles at www.openstudiossunshinecoast.com.au

About the Author /

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Jodie is a city-turned-country-turned-coastal chick. With a degree in Journalism & PR and a passion for pulling together events with flair. Her 15+ years’ experience is diverse (including launching a macadamia nut farm)! In her spare time, she’s beachside with her two tiny treasures and furry love Staffy x Red Cattle dog, Rudi.

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