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Goldfields ART GALLERY OF BALLARAT Soon after Ballarat’s first prospector shouted “Gold!” in 1881, approximately 60,000 other miners showed up and the boom times began. Built in 1887, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is an opulent example of gold rush-era architecture, holding an impressive art collection dating back to colonial times. Of course, some prefer the contemporary exhibitions – and some head straight for the handmade chocolates in the cafe. Fortune is found in many forms. 40 Lydiard St North, Ballarat | artgalleryofballarat. com.au | 03 5320 5858 | Daily 9am-5pm | Selected exhibitions from adult $15

BENDIGO ART GALLERY Perched on the city’s steepest hill, Bendigo Art Gallery offers killer views outside and in. There’s a big collection of modern and contemporary works – by artists including Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd, Tracey Moffat and Patricia Picinnini – and some seriously road-trip worthy international touring shows on the program. Come for the exhibitions, stay on for the gallery shop browsing and some top-notch coffee. 42 View St, Bendigo | www.bendigoartgallery. com.au | 03 5434 6088 | Daily 10am-5pm

CASTLEMAINE ART GALLERY Reflecting the Mt Alexander region’s boom days, Castlemaine Art Gallery proudly displays 19th-century landscape art’s big guns – Streeton, Roberts, McCubbin and more. But the elegant 1930s art deco building also holds a big range of Australian modernist painting and photography, plus works by contemporary stars including Rick Amor and Jeffrey Smart. A bequest has resulted in an impressive collection of Australian ceramics, and the gallery also boasts regional Victoria’s only restoration and conservation studio. 14 Lyttleton St, Castlemaine | castlemainegallery. com | 03 5472 2292 | Mon-Fri 10am-5pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm

Grampians ARARAT REGIONAL GALLERY Ararat is famous for many things: its spectacular mountain ranges, its gold rush history and its J-Ward Gaol building (once home to the criminally insane). But it also boasts one of Victoria’s largest collections of textile art. Check out the quilts, soft sculpture and embroidery at Ararat Regional Art Gallery in the historic Town Hall building. The program of talks and workshops includes Needles and Pins – a series of children’s textile classes. Cnr Vincent St and Western Hwy, Ararat | artsevents-tourism.ararat.vic.gov.au/ararat-regionalart-gallery | 03 5352 2836 | Mon 10am-4.30pm | Wed-Fri 10am-4.30pm | Sat-Sun 12-4pm

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Cheap Arts Guide  

This little book is a guide to hundreds of free and affordable goings-on in Melbourne – and right around Victoria. Read on for music, comedy...

Cheap Arts Guide  

This little book is a guide to hundreds of free and affordable goings-on in Melbourne – and right around Victoria. Read on for music, comedy...

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