Open studios in Maldon thanks to MANet

October 30th, 2022Open studios in Maldon thanks to MANet

FOR more than a decade the Maldon Artist Network has provided a supportive environment and network for creatives in the regional area.

FOR more than a decade the Maldon Artist Network has provided a supportive environment and network for creatives in the regional area.
It was formed in 2011 as an initiative of Tricia Migdoll, who had moved to the area from New South Wales.
Tricia was a member of the Byron Bay artists’ network and had enquired at the art shop of her new hometown if there was a similar group in Maldon. The conversation was overhead by another local artist and from there, the Maldon Artist Network, or MANet as it is known, began.
The group started meeting on a monthly basis at Penny School, a cafe and art gallery in an historical building. However Tricia said that as not all artists could attend monthly gatherings an email list of more than 100 artists was compiled to share information.
“A desire to collaborate, along with the combination of creative and organisational skills in the network led to ideas about arts events that could be staged in Maldon,” she said.

“The purpose of these was to offer artists of the Maldon district opportunities to exhibit their work and to attract visitors and tourists to Maldon.”
Over the years members and visitors have come and gone but the main stayers of
MANet – Tricia, Jennifer Merkus and Catherine Tait, pictured, – each have brought
their organisational, display and curatorial skills to assist MANet in staging excellent
Catherine said the first event, an Artwalk exhibiting works in most shop windows
in Maldon was held in 2013. “Thanks to sponsorship from the Maldon and District
Community Bank, a branch of the Bendigo Bank, the Artwalk was successful,” she
said. The event saw exhibitions of works from 70 artists.
The second event was the Maldon Portrait Prize 2014, presented and curated by
MANet. “The Portrait Prize showed the work of 50 finalists, who painted portraits
of people living in Mount Alexander,” Catherine said. “Dubbed the ‘Marchies’, the
artists’ works received much acclaim.”
Jennifer Kalionis, the director of the Castlemaine Gallery and Museum awarded
the first Maldon Portrait Prize 2014 to Tricia for her portrait of her husband Jim.
Since 2014 a further three Artwalks and portrait prizes have been organised by
MANet. As well as this the organisation also facilitated studio openings, pop-up
exhibitions, workshops and curated several Maldon art shows, sponsored by Maldon
Inc, an organisation for businesses in the area.
MANet is again busy after the lull caused by Covid with studio openings from
October 28 to November 6, held concurrently with the Maldon Folk Festival cup
weekend. And in partnership with Edge Galleries, a landscape prize will be offered in
2023 and another portrait prize is also in the offing. MANet will continue to meet
with pleasure to generate other ideas and to share artistic practice.
Link: www.maldonartistnetwork.org.au
Image: Leon Schoots

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