Art, Community

Schoolhouse Studios: Collingwood’s Creative Hub

April 4, 2017
Inner Circle Magazine

Cultivating creativity and community in Collingwood, Schoolhouse Studios is a hub for emerging artists and the public.

The non-for-profit organisation has been supporting local artists since 2010, when Alice Glenn and Elizabeth Barnett established the venture at the old Sophia Mundi High School in Abbotsford.

Since then, the location has changed, but the drive and vision behind the venture has remained the same.
Now situated on Rupert Street, Collingwood, the venue provides affordable studios and exhibition spaces for Melbourne’s up and coming artists, offering the opportunity for professional and artistic development. Each week, there’s also a range of exhibitions, markets and workshops for the community to enjoy.

It’s a creative’s dream, and fostering that dream is exactly what Schoolhouse Studios is all about.

“What we like to see here is people starting out in smaller spaces and then evolving, and needing to grow. We love being able to support them through that,” says Schoolhouse’s Operations Manager Tali Polichtuk.

“There are so many talented Melbourne based artists out there who need a little bit of help, especially when they’re starting out. We’re really here to support [them] and to give them a platform so that they can move on to amazing opportunities and bigger and better things.”

Currently, the Collingwood venue is home to about 80 artistic tenants. There’s an on-site café (Twiggy’s), gallery space, and an ample courtyard that can be hired for functions and events. A smaller studio site in East Brunswick also houses a collection of visual artists.

The range of spaces Schoolhouse Studios provides is something Tali says is invaluable for the artists and their evolution.

“It’s really important to support emerging artists and emerging creatives through giving them a place to grow, and I think this is a really great space for that. It’s really useful tool for artists to connect with wider community and the community of artists here,” she says.

And the community as a whole is appreciative of the venture too.

When the studios were forced to move from the Abbotsford location, it was a Kickstarter campaign, funded by their supporters that helped Schoolhouse move to their new Collingwood home.

“That’s the really heartening thing,” says Tali, “that there’s so much support from wider community. People just love engaging with this space.”

“There’s a lot of support and a lot of love for this place.”

What’s coming up at Schoolhouse Studios:

Wednesday 5th April: Sissy Screens: Hustler White

Melbourne queer cinema club’s sophomore screening of the Bruce LaBruce classic Hustler White.

Bar opens at 7pm. Night ends at 11pm.

Thursday 6th April: Michael Ciavarella, Ryoko Kaneta and Abigail Varney Exhibition Openings

The opening of three exhibitions from Melbourne based artists.

Opening night: 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: April 6th – 27th. Gallery open 9am – 3pm Monday to Friday or by appointment.

Monday April 24th: Magic Hands! Beginners Auslan

A 6 week Auslan course for beginners, run by “deaf natives” Geoff Riding and Luke King.

Dates: 24 April – 29 May 2017.
Monday evenings from 6:00pm until 7:30pm.

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