Plan your Art Trail Adventure, starting at Stay Margaret River
Rebecca Cool, Leon Pericles and over 130 artists invite you to explore their creative world at the Margaret River Region Open Studios. The free event runs 28 April to 13 May, and it’s the biggest yet.
The idea began when local Bill Castleden returned from visiting an open studio event in England. Knowing that the region is brimming with clever, creative painters, sculptors, printmakers, jewellers, furniture makers and more, Bill launched the first Margaret River Region Open Studios in 2013.
There’s too many artists to visit in one day, let alone a week – you’d be hard pressed to visit all 131 studios in the 16 days of the event.
We recommend setting aside a few days to explore some studios at a leisurely pace. Jo Broadhurst, sculptor from The Clayhouse suggests picking 3-5 studios that are relatively close, geographically, and taking time for coffee and lunch breaks.
We’ve curated a ‘Stay Margaret River Art Trail’ with a few of our favourite studios and suggested sustenance breaks. We look forward to seeing you for the event!
The Stay Margaret River Art Trail
Start the day with a hearty breakfast at Willow Grill, our inhouse restaurant. You’ll need to be fuelled up for a big day of art adventures!
9.30am Coffee at Yahava KoffeeWorks
Fi Wilkie’s studio is moments away from Yahava, a couple of minutes south of Stay Margaret River, so why not start the day with a cuppa. They travel the world sourcing the very best coffee beans, and roast in-house, so choose a blend and enjoy a beautiful beverage.
10am Fi Wilkie
Fi’s enthusiasm is catching; she creates paintings and collages, but also teaches and inspires many local art students. Her studio is a converted shed with beautiful old timber beams, a sneaky plant growing through the wall in one corner and a wood fire to keep her warm through winter.
This is a real feel-good visit; she’s gorgeous, talented and really looking forward to meeting you.
Drive back to Margaret River town, and at the northern end of the main street, you’ll find The Clayhouse, next to Margaret River Bakery and Jahroc Galleries.
The Clayhouse exhibits over 20 clay artists; mainly from the south west region and Perth, all Australian.
Jo Broadhurst works with paper clay to create large ceramic sculptures. Ned Kelly, legs with a birdbath top and the like. He’s an affable guy and loves having a chat with gallery visitors about art, life and the beautiful region.
“My large figurative ceramic sculptures are based on our Australian culture. Exploring and constructing perceived Australian icons has been an element of my on-going practice for some time now. It is these Icons with their wry reflections of us that I enjoy representing back to viewers.”
The Clayhouse, 91 Bussell Highway Margaret River
Open 10am-4pm Friday to Wednesday (closed Thursdays)
12pm Margaret River Bakery for Lunch
Time for a croissant! Fortunately, you’re right next to the famous Margaret River Bakery, a quirky den of delectable baked goods. Hot pies, organic sunflower bread, rolls, salads, frittatas, and (my weakness) almond croissants and raspberry-apricot Danishes. They make an excellent flat white too.
1pm Rebecca Cool and Ross Miller
Travel north along Bussell Highway and turn right onto Osmington Road (16km). Turn right onto Jindong Treeton Rd then left onto Bramley River Rd.
Rebecca Cool and Ross Miller’s studio is one of the most visited studios in the event, and it’s not hard to see why. The garden is a delight; chooks roam free, ducks stride across a courtyard painted with one of Rebecca Cool’s murals. There’s painted objects, cheery ceramics and Ross Miller’s sculptures.
Head indoors into Rebecca Cool’s studio and it’s a hyper colour experience like you’ve never imagined – floor to ceiling it’s packed with Rebecca’s paintings, dolls, trinkets she’s collected – all inspiration to her work.
Heading back just north of Margaret River, you’ll find Leon Pericles’ studio hidden down a gravel road in Burnside, a rural farming hamlet on the banks of the river.
Famous for his print making and fascinating paintings, Leon has created a warm and welcoming treasure trove of artistic inspiration in his garden and studio. Dotted around the garden are Leon’s sculptures, made from scrap metal and interesting tid bits he’s found and collected.
His paintings have a similar theme; Leon brings things together like a bowerbird, presenting them to tell a wonderful story. Each painting might have pieces of maps, tea bag tags or pretty fishing lures.
Visiting the studio is a rare chance to have a chat with Leon (who is a lovely man), peruse his garden, and observe how his work has evolved over the decades.
Leon’s Open Studios page
The Falls Studio and Garden, 18 Widji Lane, Burnside.
Open Friday to Monday during Open Studios, 10am-4pm.
3.30pm Afternoon tea at Sidekick Café
We love the enthusiastic welcome from the barista as much as their excellent coffees and snacks. They have a great selection of hot and cold drinks, plus lunches, sweet treats and snacks. If you happen to have a food allergy or intolerance, this is the place to come – they list every ingredient for each recipe in a booklet by the counter. Thoughtful stuff, right down to their sustainable/ecofriendly principles.
4pm Mr Barval Fine Wine – Anna Rose Designs, Gabe Heussenstamm and Ashleigh Spencer Heussenstamm
Mr Barval is so named for the three regions its winemaker practises his craft; MR is Margaret River, Bar is Barolo in Italy and Val is Valtellina in Italy.
Mr Barval plays host to three artists during open studios. Anna Rose Designs makes lovely interior and upholstery design projects, Gabe Heussenstamm paints large scale murals and focuses on the flora and fauna of the region. Ashleigh Spencer Heussenstamm has a background in textiles and fashion, skills she incorporates into her paintings.
While checking out the art you can also taste some of the beautiful wines; Chardonnay and Cabernet are well known in Margaret River, but Mistral and Nebbiolo are Italian varieties a little different to what you might be used to, and well worth experiencing.
Mr Barval Fine Wine, 7087 Caves Road, Redgate.
Open 10am-5pm throughout Open Studios.
Accommodation Deals at Quality Inn Margaret River
We’d love to have you stay while you’re on the Margaret River Region Open Studios art trail!
These accommodation deals will save you some money during your stay;
Stay a little longer – Stay 3 nights in one of our terrific room types for as little as $72.50 per person per night.
Stay for 1 more night – Enjoy a relaxing 2 night stay in one of our Hotel; Deluxe or Family Rooms with your Margaret River region experience all planned out including a $75 food and beverage voucher for Willow Grill and a complimentary mini bar in your room upon arrival!