In its 120-year history, the Schoolhouse Studios site has been a tannery, a monastery, a schoolhouse and finally the bustling indie arts precinct it is now. Over the last two years, Schoolhouse Studios has provided affordable workspaces for artists, designers, filmmakers, architects and more, on top of running regular exhibitions and a regular rotation dance classes, gigs and other events.
Unfortunately, the Schoolhouse’s reign in Abbotsford is about to come to an end, with the iconic building due for demolition at the end of 2012 to make way for 80 new townhouses.
In conjunction with Melbourne Festival, Schoolhouse Studios are saying a final goodbye with Place of Assembly, a two-week exhibition curated by the hub’s founders Elizabeth Barnett and Alice Glenn that bids a fond and final farewell to a site that has played a vital role in facilitating Melbourne’s artistic community.
Eugenia Lim, James Carey, Campbell Drake and Dominic Redfern are just some of the 75 past and current Schoolhouse Studios artists who will be showing works they’ve developed while in residence – a deft summation of the creative output the Schoolhouse has incubated over the past two years. Eleven guests artists have also chipped in to create site-specific installations to reflect the building’s colourful history and identity.
Place of Assembly will no doubt be a fitting last hurrah and a reminder that though this is end of one chapter in the story of Melbourne’s eclectic arts culture, the Schoolhouse has inspired an entire community who will surely keep the memory of this beloved space alive.
Place of Assembly launches on October 10 from 6pm with a party including music curated by Schoolhouse alumni Two Bright Lakes. The exhibition will run from October 10 to 27.