EarthBody … coming in August to the Hub

Five women artists with a deep concern for the environment, each bringing a unique expression of subtle ecological variation to the project.

Aiming to promote connection (social and environmental) the Newstead Arts Hub exhibition will reflect the landscape, its beauty, historical significance, and conservation. Environmental talks and workshops will stimulate ecological conversation and connection to place.

Collaboration with Words in Winter will diversify a unique community project highlighting a multiplicity of artistic mediums including assemblages of natural materials, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

Each artist expresses connection to place and the earth using nature as subject and medium.



Drawing and Painting at the ARTSHUB

Art Classes are being offered in July to September by well-known Newstead resident and recently retired Tafe teacher Julie Patey.

The intention of the class is to provide a relaxed and open atmosphere, conducive to the complex nature of the age group, while at the same time emphasising the learning of new skills.

Classes start Thursday 19th July – September 13th  (10 -2 pm)

$80 per session (max 10 students)

Contact Julie 0408528536

Bookings through TRYBOOKING


  1. Drawing from Still Life Pencil Coffee Pots cups etc Combine with transfer image
  2. Drawing with Coloured Pencil Illustration techniques with aquarelles on smooth thick paper/tea-towels
  3. Drawing with Pastels How to blend/how to grind/ how to apply
  4. Automatism and Mono-printing Exploring Surrealists
  5. Portrait Painting with water colours
  6. Small studies of old masters with acrylic paint/oil paint
  7. Abstraction Colour Harmonies
  8. Expressive line drawing Functional objects


‘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



Small Town Transformations Grant meeting … read on

Small Town Transformations Grant meeting
Arts Hub 26 November 2015.

The meeting was called to develop initial ideas for a Small Town Transformations grant. These grants are for Victorian towns with fewer than 2000 people and are designed to support artistic projects that are:

  • connected to community and place
  • that are collaborative and
  • that will create a legacy
  • enjoyable over time

The maximum grant is $350,000 over 3 years and it is highly competitive. Our expression of interest is due in at the end of February, and if shortlisted, a detailed proposal is due in April. A significant part of the grant is to pay artists.

We discussed what sort of project would be good for the Newstead community. Here are the criteria we discussed:
1. Equally benefiting artists and community – artists are community members too
2. Be unique, not simply replicating what other communities in the region are doing
3. Leave something tangible after the three years, that is an ongoing physical reminder of our efforts as a community
4. Interpret the arts emphasis broadly – many forms of art: performance, story telling, culture and painting, potting and playfulness
5. Inspirational and beautiful and lead into further community activities after the three years
6. Be implemented in clearly defined 3 or 4 stages

Who came?
There were 14 people there: (with 6 apologies)
Prue MacAdam , Julie Patey, Chris Johnston, Jan Denton, Graham Denton, Sarah Koschak, Andrew Skeoch, Phillip McDonald, David Farrington, Don Culvenor, Geoff Park, Mary Caspar, Roger McKindlay, Ann Berg.

What ideas were proposed?
The following ideas came from previous meetings of people from the Newstead Arts community:

Arts Studio – Workshop
The development of an Arts Studio Workshop where skills between artists could be shared, artistic skills further developed and the community have equal access. It’s a place where arts gets made, resources and equipment are shared, teaching and learning happens. Use the Good’s Shed for this purpose – and tap into VicTrack money again?

Arts Town?
Clunes is a BookTown – can Newstead be an ArtsTown? What would it mean to be an arts town?

Art around town
More art – public art:
• Maze
• Arts trail – along the river? an arts river bridge?
• projections
• painting on buildings

• create an outdoor performance space and/or:
• a fully functional theatre space and screen production
• digital editing – music, film etc
• film-making
• showcasing local performance – musicians, theatre etc

Sculpture Park opposite the Arts Hub
Would this work with the RSL park and its purposes?

River Art
Mend the flood levee bank and turn it into a feature of sculptures, mosaics, maybe including an Art Walk, incorporating the River and the landscape around and within Newstead. Connects to river restoration plantings and other river projects

Rotunda Park
A rotunda with a beautifully winding wheelchair access ramp? Or a very modern SoundShell Theatre space. Does it fit with history/Historical Society? Theatre in the Newstead Community Centre is under-utilised. Perhaps theatre events focused here to increase its viability?

Newstead Live & other Festivals
Incorporating Art Events/festival into the Newstead Live Festival. Expand the Short Story Tattoo into a Festival of Ideas and Art Practice Inspiration (link into Words in Winter, Chopped etc)

A street trees project?
Mount Alexander Shire are in the process of developing a street trees strategy for MAS towns … could we create an idea around this?

A number of extra ideas were added, then we worked in small groups to identify extra ideas and then group them together.

Arts Hub ideas
• To develop the railway building footprint to enhance the landscape with dry land australian garden, add signage to the entrance and the transform the “goods shed” as a theatrical place both outside and inside the building.
• To have sculptures which would be in/ around the garden but also have interactive parts for children to “play” with, using sound and movement.
• To have a “Projection Art ” festival depicting history and culture of Newstead in the form of projections of digital photos on the goods shed wall.(The Screen)
• To have a carriage or couple of carriages parked on the rail to create visual interest, and practically make the platform safe and link station to goods shed.
• Create a vertical garden on the brick wall to make attractive.
• Connect the Railway Station with an “art trail” from the Railway garden across to the river with a path with sculptural presence.

River ideas
• River Art (as above)
• Pathway/arts trails from Newstead village to Arts Hub and Park – masks, colour, footprints, painters
• Telling the story of the river – past, present, Dja Dja Wurrung, historical society, arts trail
• Health of the river – trees, stories, powerful owl nesting, other creatures, punt
• Interpretive signage
• River bridge – suspension bridge, sculptural – a folly
• Ephemeral art and sculptures

Earth Ship/Studio/Arts School ideas
• Arts Studio/workspace (as above)
• Workspace – involve children, open access
• Arts school…
• Earth Ship ….

History-related ideas
• Incorporate / publish historical archives
• Historical walk around time – the buildings as the focus – with creative interpretation- light boxes illuminating past streets apes
• Historical transition – demonstrate past and ongoing traditions/transformations through specific place such as the courthouse – develop the grounds, dramatised performance in courthouse, schools theatre in education
• Oral history stories e.g. Janet Barker’s farmers project – create intervene rational experiences through oral history recording

Performance ideas
• Sound performance space at Footy oval
• Create and nurture theatre/performance activities
• Event in the park opposite Arts Hub – ‘spiegeltent’
Other ideas
• Arts Map
• Sculpture Park
• Sensory Gardens
• Outdoor art – pavement art, murals, mosaic seats
• Non-artists working with artists to create their vision- perhaps an art competition where an artist is commissioned to bring a non-artists vision to life.

Some ideas were about process or bigger concepts
• Our town as ‘arts town’
• Including as products – a thing, an event, a collaboration
• Inviting visiting artists to hold workshops or talks in town
• Process not product – arts and science working together to tackle big problems

Getting down to details?
Everyone was invited to choose the idea or ideas they felt most inspired by and work with any others who were interested in the same idea/s. Three ideas were focused on:

  1. Arts Hub
  2. River
  3. Earthship/Arts school, including the idea of shared studio space/s

Each group documented the idea, identified strength and weaknesses, who would benefit and what the long-term legacy would be for the Newstead community. The ideas developed were presented back to the whole group. Through discussion, we recognised that there were links between these three ideas and with some of the other ideas that hadn’t been picked up.

Next steps
Each of the three groups, (Arts Hub, River and Earthship/Arts School/workshops), will meet in the next two weeks, develop the ideas further and bring them back to the next meeting on Wednesday 9 December, 7pm at the Arts Hub.

For further information: Andrew Skeoch e: or m: 0419 091 979


Newstead 2021 AGM – invitation and reminder

A quick reminder that the Newstead 2021 AGM will be held today – 5pm at the Newstead Community Garden.

As always it will be a relaxed an informal gathering – current members and newcomers are most welcome. There will be drinks and nibbles and you’ll get a chance to hear from three younger Newsteadians about their reflections, adventures and aspirations since growing up in our community.

Newstead 2021 plays a supporting role in projects with broad community benefit, such as the Community Garden, Railway Arts Hub and Renewable Newstead – its a great chance to get an update on these and other projects.

Small Town Transformations – Are we keen?

Managed by Regional Arts Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government, the Small Town Transformations program invites small towns across the state to embark on an ambitious creative project that will bring the community together with professional artists and create a lasting legacy. The program offers $350,000 for the six strongest creative proposals that will deliver cultural, social and economic benefits to their town. Projects can use a wide range of creative forms, from design to performance, game development, film-making and visual arts. The program is now open to towns with a population of 2,000 people or less, so more than 310 towns will be eligible.

Back in 2012 we submitted a proposal, Newstead Express, to the first round of the Small Towns Transformations Program. We were unsuccessful on that occasion … but received very positive feedback.

Are we keen to have another go at this wonderful opportunity? Do you have an idea to throw into the mix? Would you be interested in contributing some time, energy and inspiration into helping develop an application?

If Yes, please come along to a meeting at the Newstead Railway Arts Hub, Thursday 26th November at 7pm.

Expressions of interest from towns will open on Monday, 9 November, 2015 and close on Friday 5 February 2016. Regional Arts Victoria will host information sessions and workshops across the state for communities interested in taking part.

Transformative ideas are collaborative. They bring people together to make things, to learn new ways of doing things. To work with our hands, our minds and our hearts. To uncover memories and tell stories. To discover new strengths by funding new ways to express ourselves. In doing so, we create the spaces where new ideas can emerge. Coming together to imagine the artistic transformation of your entire town takes this intimate collaboration to a whole new place.

Further information: Andrew Skeoch 5476-2609 or Geoff Park 0418 138 632

Click here to learn more about the program.


Can you help?

We are seeking some assistance with the next event at the Newstead Railway Arts Hub. The exhibition, showcasing the wonderful natural history photography of the late Alan ‘Curly’ Hartup, will be opened next Saturday the 10th October at 3pm.

If you would like to help out there are a number of ways to assist:

  • Helping with the ‘set-up’ for the opening – any time from 1pm on the 10th.
  • Volunteering for the roster during the exhibition open period – Sunday 11th October and the following two weekends (17/18th and 24th/25th October). The Hub will be open from 10am – 4pm those days with two-hour roster slots to be filled.

Please call Geoff Park on 0418 138 632 or email if you would like to assist – it’s a great way to meet new people and find out about future plans for the Arts Hub.

A Grand Opening

With much fanfare and celebration the Newstead Railway Arts Hub was officially opened on Saturday 29th August 2015.

The $430,000 restoration of the old station building was funded through VicTrack’s Community Use of Vacant Buildings Program. The project has been driven by Newstead 2021, in partnership with other local groups, the Friends of the Station and the Newstead Salon.

Special guests at the opening included Dja Dja Wurrung’s Ron Kerr Jnr, State Member Maree Edwards, Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Christine Henderson together with Councillors Michael Redden and Sharon Telford, VicTrack Director David Hunter, along with Karly Smith and Kate Tucker from the Maldon and District Community Bank.

Speakers included MC Geoff Park, Ron Kerr who gave the Welcome to Country, Maree Edwards, David Hunter, Christine Henderson, Friends of the Station representative Janet Barker, and local artists Horse and Julie Patey.

A huge crowd enjoyed the day
An enthusiastic crowd of locals turned up for the celebration
More than 200 people gathering for the official opening.
Ron Kerr Jnr performing the Welcome to Country.
Ron Kerr Jnr conducted the Welcome to Country.
OPening of the Newstead Arts Hub, a Victrack Community Vacant Use Program project - $430.000 spent to refurbish and restore the station ahead of community use and ownership
Speakers included Mayor Christine Henderson on behalf of Mount Alexander Shire…
...and local labor MP, Maree Edwards
…and local labor MP, Maree Edwards
OPening of the Newstead Arts Hub, a Victrack Community Vacant Use Program project - $430.000 spent to refurbish and restore the station ahead of community use and ownership
Marcus provided music at the opening
Marcus providing music as visitors viewed the exhibition
Maritsa and Sally
Maritsa and Sally signing up new Friends of the Arts Hub
An inspiring beginning to this new chapter in the cultural life of Newstead
An inspiring celebration of this new chapter in the cultural life of Newstead

Alan ‘Curly’ Hartup exhibition

Alan ‘Curly’ Hartup exhibition

A wonderful exhibition of nature photographs by leading amateur photographer and longtime resident of Newstead, Alan Jesse Hartup (1915 –2004) will be opened at the Newstead Railways Arts Hub on Saturday October 10th at 3pm.

This exhibition is largely of bird life in Newstead and the surrounding districts, from Alan’s vast array of black and white photographs and colour slides. This selection of 20 works of black and white and prints from colour slides, span over 60 years of Alan’s impressive output. Beginning with his beloved 35m Voigtlander camera, he progressed to the brilliant level of work he achieved with his Mamiya and Rollieflex 2¼ square cameras and his great ability with dark room techniques.

Alan has been represented widely in amateur circles and has been a central figure in promoting, selecting and judging photography in Victoria and interstate. In preparing for this exhibition we have been reminded what a wonderful legacy Alan has left with images of the beauty and richness of our surroundings. He was a man at one with the natural world and one who took a vital interest in our environment and how to care for it. The exhibition was prompted by local field naturalists Geoff Park and Mrs. Joan Butler.

We, members of Alan and Rita’s family, appreciate the opportunity to show his work.