Surf Coast Arts Trail Inspires the Children of the Surf Coast

art supplies, creative kids, family friendly activity, Surf Coast Arts Trail -

Surf Coast Arts Trail Inspires the Children of the Surf Coast

The 2019 Surf Coast Arts Trail will be held on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August.

Now in its 8th year, this is your opportunity to discover the work of the Surf Coast’s thriving arts community. With 52 venues and 130+ artists, you can meet the artists in their studios and creative venues from the coast to the hinterland. With so many artists who choose to live and work on the Surf Coast, we decided to profile a few artists who inspire the children of the Surf Coast to pursue their passions in regional Australia.

Rowena Martinich artist, Surf Coast Arts Trail, Colour Boss

Pic: Rowena Martinich - visit her studio at Ashmore Arts. 

Do you have a budding photographer in the house who seems naturally attuned to multimedia? A junior potter who loves sculpting things in ceramics class at school, or someone who spends hours painting, illustrating and colouring on reams of paper? Perhaps your garage is the site for handiwork that could be nurtured into vocations like metal craft, carpentry, or even concrete form work? Weavers, painters, jewellery makers... prepare to be wowed by the breadth of talent that calls this place home, as you wander the many galleries and workshops over a two-day extravaganza!

Let’s start with the clever students of Aireys Inlet Primary School!

Surf Coast Arts Trail, Aireys Inlet Primary School art installation, fireflies in the forest


Fireflies in the Enchanted Forest. AIPS students will transform the bush land into an enchanted forest filled with creative fireflies that come alight at night. Opening times are 10am to 9pm, although this will be best viewed at night. So rug up and head out with your family for an experience that will captivate imaginations and spark ideas for art installations at home!

Who Knew Sculptures Could Be Woven?

Caroline Hawkins artist leadbeater's possum, Surf Coast Arts Trail, family activity

Caroline Hawkins works with plant fibres and textiles utilising her knowledge of basketry techniques to create contemporary wrapped and woven sculptures. She will be holding basketweaving demonstrations over the weekend from her studio in Anglesea.

Caroline Hawkins artist Swamp Wallaby Bush Toy, Surf Coast Arts Trail

Children will be enamoured by her Bush Toys, which bring to life these gorgeous native creatures like the Swamp Wallaby above (pics from her website), and also uses her art to promote awareness of endangered species and sustainable practice. The Leadbeater's possum is a critically endangered possum largely restricted to small pockets of alpine ash, mountain ash, and snow gum forests in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia. Caroline’s version of the Leadbeater's possum is getting ready to charm visitors to the Arts Trail and advocate for it's mates in Australia.

Illustrate Your Story 

Jenny Laidlaw creates diverse artworks, including intricately detailed pen and ink illustrations and colourful whimsical paintings, delighting children and adults alike for years. Her range includes original artworks, prints, jigsaw puzzles and greeting cards (click here to buy the 'Menagerie Flight' 99 piece puzzle) 

Jenny Laidlaw artist, Torquay Victoria, Surf Coast Arts Trail, photo by Ferne Millen Photography

Pic: @jennylaidlawartist as photographed by another #surfcoastartstrail2019 artist, @fernemillenphotography. 

Jenny Laidlaw artist, illustration for Torquay Toys, Surf Coast Arts Trail

Thanks Jenny! She created this illustration for us to share with children who visit Torquay Toys - pop in to pick up a black & white colouring sheet to celebrate the Arts Trail festivities!

owl illustration by Renee Treml, Surf Coast Arts Trail, illustrator artist

Renee Treml creates illustrations of wildlife with personality and grace, like these pics from her website. She also writes and illustrates books for children; the complete collection can be found here. Her Torquay studio will be open to welcome everyone to explore her craft and enjoy her stories and illustrations.

Renee Treml artist, illustrations, Surf Coast Arts Trail, children's story books

You can even follow this link on Renee's website to discover how to create a ‘Scratchboard’ artwork like she does, which is etching a picture onto a black painted Masonite surface (or use scratch paper and bamboo implements).

Metalwork and Sculpture - inspiring kids to do what they love

Video: Flipswitch Media & Surf Coast Shire Council.

According to Cinnamon Stephens, who has been creating her distinctive metalwork sculpture and functional art for over 20 years (and Cinnamonsart Jewellery as a more recent addition), “The Arts Trail is a perfect way to meet new people. It’s a perfect set up, it breaks down the barriers... You get some great questions, especially from kids, and I hope that I can inspire just one of those kids to realise they can make a living doing something they love”.

Creative metalwork welding demonstrations will be held during the weekend - a future sculptor could be in the wings?

Cinnamon Stephens metal work artist Anglesea, art studio, Surf Coast Arts Trail

Pic: Cinnamon Stephens


Deirdre Boeyen Carmichael's work explores the problematic love affair we have with plastic. Deirdre’s art will resonate with youngsters who champion the sustainability message, and pieces like the one below will trigger many thoughtful conversations about this very timely topic of plastic debris. Buried in landfill, these soy sauce capsules are made in the billions, used for a few seconds, and will last at least 500 years – therefore becoming ‘technofossils’ (deposits of human technology and geological markers of our current era). A visit to her gallery will encourage families to consider how we still consciously consume and use plastic products more than any other, and how to limit their use in the future. 

Technofossils by Deirdre, Surf Coast Arts Trail, sustainability art

Pic: Deirdre Boeyen Carmichael, Technofossils, 2019, saggar fired clay.


With room for the kids to run around on the grassy and a stunning outlook over Spring Creek Valley, this is a must visit site to visit studios and workshops. At Ashmore Arts, artists produce sculpture, steel, ceramics, design jewellery, animation, paintings, weaving and timber and concrete furniture interiors.

Takeawei Ceramics at Ashmore Arts, Surf Coast Arts Trail, potting ceramics art workshop

Pic: Takeawei Ceramics founder, Chela, followed her dream to create ceramics and teach workshops from her picturesque Torquay studio. 


The artists at Ashmore are:

Rowena MartinichGeoffrey Carran, Kate Mayers, Natalie MartinDonna Nugent, Chalisa MorrisonGlen Hunwick, Kathryn Junor, Bronwyn Razem, Takeawei Ceramics -Chela Edmunds, Mark Trinham, Glenn Romanis, Form Artisan Concrete - Nick Lindsay, Simply Forged - David Graham, Metal Monkey Knives - Toby Bockholt, Bombora Custom Furniture, Tabitha Lowdon, Indira Muller, Brie Rutter, Jed Adams, Lorraine Archibald, Nicole Azzopardi, Kate Mayers and more... you'll be busy!  

There will also be food and coffee available to recharge before you head off to the next studio.


With so much to choose from, this year the Arts Trail map has gone digital to improve the visitor experience! Check out the digital map here, so you can plan your itinerary as it operates as a way finding app on your phone. There will also be some paper-based maps and postcards available in local art-loving venues, but the digital map offers new features like:

- eco-friendly, paperless option

- ability to link to more information about your favourite artists

- recommended itineraries – relax, the decision-making has been done! This will include other sights to see, a place to have coffee, play parks, or lunch...

Donna Nugent Indie Lane Photography, family photography, children's portrait photography, Surf Coast Arts Trail

Pic: Indie Lane Photography - discover Donna Nugent's passion for capturing the essence of families in her Ashmore Arts studio.

Whether you’re a local family or visitors to the coast, we highly recommend this experience for a family weekend that will open your eyes to the talented artisans of our region. Make it memorable and get the kids involved to plan your itinerary. Visit the Surf Coast Arts Trail Facebook or Instagram page for more info, or head to the Surf Coast Shire webpage for the QR code that takes you straight to the map.

Tikk Takk kids art easel, Torquay Toys

Choose your own adventure, the canvas is blank and awaiting your creativity! Looking for some art supplies? Pop in to our Torquay store and pick up some paints and brushes, Beeswax Crayons, sidewalk chalk, Rock Painting, Shapeeze Activity Packs, Avenir Sewing Kits or Spiral Studio to get your little artist in the zone!

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