HORSHAM’S The Makers Gallery and Studio has carved out a niche for Wimmera people to create and display their unique work.
Artists established the gallery and studio at Horsham’s Mibus Centre in the late 1990s.
Various craft groups use the studio to meet weekly to create and share skills, and the gallery showcases their craft for sale, as well as items from other community members.
Co-ordinator Tricia Arber said the gallery and studio had built a strong following in the nearly two decades since it opened, and now had 170 members.
“We have members from the Wimmera, as well as Melbourne, Ouyen and Mount Gambier,” she said.
“We’re getting younger members as well, which is great.
“The studio is open to everyone. You do have to be a member, but you don’t have to display anything if you don’t want to.”
The gallery has steadily increased its earnings over the years, with takings for July this year doubling the July 2016 amount.
Mrs Arber said the gallery had regularly-changing feature exhibitions.
“Our gallery work is really impressive, and we are the only place in Horsham that sells handmade goods,” she said.
“At the moment we have Bindi Rollinson’s Farmgirl Produce. We are an exclusive stockist for her products, which is fabulous.
“I feel really privileged she’s chosen us – the products are going off.
“We also have Jo Adams and her collection of candles, which are to die for.
“Our third exhibition is from Liz Minne, Denise Williams and Denise’s daughter Tahlia Avery, and they do beautiful work including knitted accessories.
“Every month or two months I change the displays around. Everything that has been featured will stay in the gallery, but in a condensed format.
“We’ll start displaying all things Christmassy in November.”
The Makers Christmas Market is an annual tradition showcasing work from the gallery, and also includes buskers and children’s activities.
It will run on December 2.
Mrs Arber took on the co-ordinator role from Bev Hall about a year ago.
She said she had changed many things in that time, and moved items around weekly to give the gallery a fresh feel.
“I have 30-odd years in retail so I have a good sense of what people like and want,” she said.
“I’m big on variety, and I like to change things up – it gets people in the door, and that’s what it’s all about.”