Schoolhouse Studios

Spiritual home of a gaggle of local artists in Abbotsford. Expect exhibitions, readings, installations, performances and more

In March 2011, Elizabeth Barnett and Alice Glenn learned an old Steiner primary school was vacant so they submitted a proposal to transform it into studios and to exhibit work in the school’s chapel. Lo and behold, their proposal was approved. With 59 artists working there, a beautiful garden, an exhibition space in a converted chapel and a few chickens, Schoolhouse Studios is one of the happiest, most idyllic places in Melbourne.

“There are also quite a few micro businesses here, and we have a lot of people who couldn’t normally afford office spaces. People help each other, too,” Alice says. “It’s really energetic.” Artists share lunch in the garden and bounce ideas off one another, creating a space conducive to communication and production. “Building a community at Schoolhouse Studios has been an organic process,” Elizabeth explains. “There’ve been some collaboration come out of it as well; film makers have collaborated with other artists, for example.”

Schoolhouse Studios will be pulled down and replaced with townhouses in mid-late 2012. Between now and then, Alice and Elizabeth are hosting exhibitions at Schoolhouse Studios’ chapel to celebrate the end of an era.

Meet two of Schoolhouse Studios’ residents with exhibitions on in February.

Rachel Feery and Lisa Stewart, experimental film and installation artists

Paint a picture of your studio...
The abandoned love child of Ikea and Bunnings who never quite escaped her Steiner education.

Tell us about your upcoming show...
Mirage is a temporary installation built on site within the grounds of Schoolhouse Studios. Drawing from DIY materials and home improvement culture, Mirage is an alluring sanctuary where visitors can retreat.

Mirage, 9 Feb, 6pm, FREE.

Lauren Steller, architect

Paint a picture of your studio...
It’s a big play space, and a workshop for ideas. It allows me to be flexible and exercise different types of projects: large and small, architecture and design, that constructively inform each other.

Tell us about your upcoming show...
The exhibition is part of a group show at Schoolhouse Studios that uses misplaced construction objects to explore the idea of play.

A new exhibition by Lauren Steller. 23 Feb, 6pm. FREE.

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First published on . Updated on .

By Isabel Dunstan   |  

Schoolhouse Studios details

97 Nicholson St

Abbotsford 3067

Nearby Stations: Collingwood; North Richmond

Telephone 0400 579 006

Schoolhouse Studios map

Restaurants near Schoolhouse Studios

Three Bags Full

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Seoul Soul

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Bars & pubs near Schoolhouse Studios

The Vic

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The Aviary

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The Yorkshire Hotel

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Salvos Store: Abbotsford

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The Laird

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