About

Strathnairn Arts is a not-for-profit arts association supported by the ACT Government that provides working spaces and facilities for a range of artists and crafts people and community groups.

Strathnairn Arts is on the north-western rural outskirts of Canberra. Located 900 metres past the Magpies Belconnen Golf Club turnoff, it is a facility which has been used by artists for decades but remains one of Canberra’s best-kept secrets.

The property was originally part of a land grant awarded to 19th century explorer Charles Sturt. In the early twentieth century it became a mixed working farm until the lease was resumed in 1974. In the 1979 it was allocated to the arts group Blue Folk with Dominic Mico as Director, who produced community arts programs for children and adults.

The organisation became the Brindabella Arts Community in 1984 and struggled. Alan Watt, then the head of the Ceramics workshop and ANU School of Art was approached to set up studios on the property with the idea of providing opportunities for the best young artists to remain in Canberra. Almost 20 years ago Michael Sainsbury (resident Manager/Caretaker) set about cleaning up and restoring the buildings and developing the kilns, ultimately offering a diverse range of firing options to potters.

Strathnairn Arts has grown into a strong community of artists working in diverse mediums. Painters, sculptors, potters, textile artists, printmakers, wood workers and installation artists have been very fortunate to have this unique rural setting as their base.MapStrathnairn300dpi

The Strathnairn Homestead Gallery features regular exhibitions of woodwork, photography, sculpture, glass, textiles, ceramics and mixed media. Adjacent to the gallery is a small shop which displays and sells a range of works each weekend.

Strathnairn Homestead Café serves a selection of light lunches and delicious homemade cakes. Wood fired pizza is also available every Sunday (weather permitting). Please call 0448 259 901 to make a booking.

In the last few years Strathnairn has developed an exciting Artist in Residence program, which continues to enhance the artistic working environment at Strathnairn and to encourage greater involvement of members and the public through workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations and other activities.

Each November, the Strathnairn Arts Association holds its Annual Members Exhibition in the gallery, showcasing the work of members. A full program of exhibitions runs throughout the year.

Objectives of the Association

  • To encourage and support artists and craftspeople in their continued practice.
  • To provide studio facilities and work environments which will enable Association members to continue working.
  • To promote the activities and reputation of the Association and its individual members through exhibitions, demonstrations, lectures, writings and seminar/conference participation.
  • To encourage general public interest and involvement in the arts through workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, and other activities.
  • To invite artists to participate in the activities of the Association in order to enhance the vitality of an artistic working environment and the reputation of the Association.