Montsalvat, Artists Colony

Montsalvat is a living thriving, and the oldest Australian artists colony. It is also an oasis of tranquillity. Its historic buildings include a great hall, exhibition space, studios, a conference and wedding venue and a great restaurant.

For a casual visitor it is a great space to visit, relax and spend an afternoon. Its historic buildings, Gothic hall and mud brick cottages are set in 12 acres of tranquil gardens.

It is a popular Melbourne function space and venue for exhibitions, concerts, photo shoots, conferences, weddings and funerals. It is definitely a memorable space for a wedding!

It also has a fantastic restaurant, the Meeting Pool, offering rustic French and Italian cuisine.

Its mud-brick cottages are home to a number of practising artists, sculptors and jewellers. It is a centre for creativity in all its forms. Many of the original buildings have been extended and some converted into studios and workshops. They are used by Artists In Residence and for art classes and workshops. You can take classes in various modes of painting as well as instrument making.

A Brief History

Justus Jörgensen, an Eltham artist, and his friends purchased the land and commenced building Montsalvat in 1935. From whatever material they could source, they first build two small French Provincial style cottages and by 1938 had started on the stone building of the Great Hall. This includes galleries, a studio and large dining hall.

A lively artist community flourished around Jörgensen at Montsalvat. It held regular dinners and gatherings that liberally explored the frontiers of life, society and art.

During World War II it developed a market garden, poultry farm and small dairy in a number of makeshift dwellings, to support the more immediate needs of the people.

Since its beginnings, Montsalvat has been an inspiration to various artists, such as the artist Helen Lempriere. Even the Rolling Stones went there, holding a press conference in 1971.

Today it is home to a number of artists, including painters, sculptors, instrument and jewellery makers. The Artists in Residence program offers artists accommodation and a studio space for some weeks. There is an opportunity to exhibit and there are regular classes and workshops in the various aspects of the arts. Montsalvat

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