Margaret River Region Open Studios set for blockbuster featuring 144 artists and new State Government support

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Artist Georgia Zoric with one of her creations.
Camera IconArtist Georgia Zoric with one of her creations. Credit: Supplied

The region’s most beloved art festival will boast 144 artists in September as it also welcomes renewed State Government support.

Margaret River Region Open Studios this week scored $66,000 in funding from Minister for Culture and the Arts David Templeman for this year’s event.

The money will go towards an “uplift” in its marketing, including a 60-page events guide, social and print media advertising, and more photographers and videographers to cover the event.

The festival, in which artists from Augusta to Busselton throw open their studio doors, will run from September 7-22.

Festival chair Jim Davies said this year’s event would see artists in every medium well represented, with Indigenous artists India Armstrong, Melanie Hume, Jo Bear and Kim Kiosses signing on to “bring inspiration from Aboriginal history, traditional stories and culture”.

“Margaret River Region Open Studios presents a rare experience to get inside an artist’s mind through their art and creative spaces, to talk to them in person about their inspiration, process and style, and see where the artistic magic happens,” Davies said.

Open Studios 2024 is also a family affair, with more artistic families collaborating.

Among those are third-time exhibitor Georgia Zoric, whose 23-year-old son Zac will be showcasing his handcrafted jewellery as well as his production process at The Old Courthouse Complex in Busselton.

Georgia Zoric’s exhibition will be in Busselton this year, displaying her work at Shelter Brewing.

“My theme this year will be centred around researching my ancestry, with an emphasis on the female line and the lost stories of family and sacrifice that that implies,” she told the Times.

“I’m hoping to explore these lost stories by creating a range of ceramic puppets and busts.”

Her art often takes the form of ceramic busts, with one of her bigger works featuring in Busselton Jetty’s dive trail.

“This will be my first time attempting puppet-style figures, though they are still really just sculptural art,” she said.

Zac Zoric’s art pieces from his Oubliette Treasures jewellery line will be displayed for the first time this September.

He uses the lost wax casting method to create a gothic style of solid silver jewellery, with unique pieces carved by hand.

Mr Templeman said the State support bolstered more than 70 creative organisations and people across WA.

“I urge the public to support these worthy recipients at a community level when these incredible projects are completed and the events take place,” he said.

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