Arts and Culture

The Shire of Plantagenet has an exciting and active art and culture community.

This is supported by both the Shire's Art Collection and a range of public art initiatives including murals, competitions and community art programs. Read more below about the incredible and significant art and cultural works in our community. 

For a quick reference of what you will find below: 

  • Regional Art and Culture Strategy
  • Shire Art Collection
  • Murals and Mural Walk
  • Public Art
  • Community Art Competitions
  • Community Groups and Facilities
  • Local Artists and Galleries 

Regional Arts and Culture Strategy

The Shire of Plantagenet is excited to be partnering with neighbouring councils in the Great Southern to develop the first Western Australian Regional Arts and Culture Strategy. Titled GS Creative Exchange, the strategy will provide a vision and direction for connecting people and places while boosting investment in the arts, culture and heritage programs and services.

For residents and visitors of the Shire this will be a document that gives greater direction and support for arts and culture to flourish in our Shire. 

Shire Art Collection

Did you know the Shire of Plantagenet has an art collection?

This collection contains many important works by renowned 20th century, Australian and Western Australian artists that make it one of the most significant local government art collections in Western Australia. 

The Art Collection was founded in 1956 through a significant bequest of over 40 artworks from Sir Claude Hotchin. Over the years Hotchin continued to donate artworks. The last gift being in 1972. The total number of works gifted to the Shire is 56. Other works were acquired by the Shire on an ad-hoc basis until the establishment of the annual Shire of Plantagenet Art Acquisition in 1991.

The total collection includes some 91 pieces, the majority of which are on display at the Shire Library and Community Resource Center. Next time you are at the Library look up and around the walls and you will see some incredible works of art. You can also read the history of each artwork by asking at the Library Customer Services desk for more information. 

To see our online catalog of art works click here: Art Collection 

Community Art

The Shire is fortunate to have a wide range of interesting, colourful and attractive community artworks that residents and visitors can appreciate.

Mountains and Murals

Public Art

In 2019 the Shire of Plantagenet was lucky to have international artists the Walldogs visit our town and create a series of locally significant murals that celebrate and acknowledge our history and attractions. In 2022 we will see new murals added to the collection! Watch out around Town and join us for the celebrations in November 2022.

You can read more mountains and murals to take you to the mural page and mural walk map. 

The Shire is slowly gathering some key pieces of public art, adding character and interest to the Town. These include the metal seat artwork on the corner of Lowood and Langton Road, by renowned local artist George Cork Corkscrew Gallery as well as the newest additions across the Porongurup Region the spider treasure hunt brought to you by Oyster Harbour Catchment Council. Keep you eyes peeled!

Community Art Competitions

WALGA Showcase in Pixels 

Each year the Shire invites our community to participate in the local government art competition, WALGA #Showcase in Pixels community art competition.

The largest community art competition in WA, the aim is to showcase local government areas through the creation of a digital 'banner' with the winning artworks screened on displayed in the centre of Perth on the 45m high Yagan Square. 

The 2022 competition has now closed and we look forward to inviting you to make a submission in mid 2023.

Inspiration from 2021 winners are shown below. 

     

Community Groups and Facilities

The Shire is proud to support a wide range of active and creative community groups that foster a wide range of artistic and cultural efforts.

The Shire of Plantagenet's Community Directory enables a broad range of groups and services to be found, including those for artistic and cultural groups.

If you would like to submit a new listing, click here.

Mitchell House Community Arts Centre

The pink building on Albany highway, opposite the Mount Barker Visitors Centre
Local exhibitions open Friday, Saturday & Sundays 10-4. Tues, Wed, Thurs 10 - 2
Located on Albany Hwy in Mt Barker WA (across from old Railway Station)
This group offers a wide variety of activities including painting, art, craft, quilting, potting groups throughout the week

Visit the mitchell house facebook page here to see the latest activities 

Old Police Station and Museum

Located at 31748 Albany Highway, Mount Barker, at the entry to Town opposite the first traffic pull in bay
Phone: 08 9851 2505 or email museummtbarker@westnet.com.au
Visit the Old Police Station and Museum Old Police Station facebook page to see latest activities / events. 
Mount Barker has an incredibly rich historical heritage consolidated in our amazing old police station museum complex, making this a must see tourist attraction.
Arriving at the museum complex, visitors will be greeted with a range of main and out buildings all nested in beautiful landscaped gardens, with structures festooned in gorgeous and colourful creepers with delicate and aromatic flowers in season, giving very much a yesteryear village like experience. Anyone visiting the museum complex, especially those with an interest in historical heritage should set aside a few hours. There is an incredible range of historical artefacts, information and images spread through numerous buildings.

Community Events

Art In the Park

Mount Barker Wildflower and Nature Photographic Competition 

‘Steel Feather’ by Kevin Draper. Photo Frank Rijavec

The first Art in the Park sculpture exhibition held in 2002 was initiated by the late Ann Burchell to raised funds to assist the Friends of the Porongurup Range with the purchase of a 511ha farming property now known as Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve.

Sculptures were displayed in the Porongurup National Park annually through to Easter 2018. The exhibition continued as Art in the Porongurup at Karribank in 2019 and 2021. The exhibition was cancelled in 2020 due to the constraints of the Covid epidemic.

This year in 2022 its back on from September to October!

Visit the Friends of Porongurup to find

Friends of Porongurup Art in Park

This annual competition is on again in October 2022 - with entries displayed at Frost Oval Pavilion, Mc Donald Avenue, Mount Barker.

For more information contact Mount Barker Wildflower and Nature Competition David Aldred : 0478 162 997

Bloom Festival 

This year's Bloom festival is nearly hear from September to October 2022

Check out the great range of events and activities happening right across the region, including events right here in Plantagenet.

Staged across 9 shires and 26 communities, the festival celebrates the renewal of Spring focusing on the region’s wildflower tapestries, incredible landscapes & natural beauty providing unique experiences for an estimated 8,000 visitors from around the country.

Events will include, but aren’t limited to, arts, crafts, displays, exhibitions, fauna & flora-themed activities, creative workshops, food events, markets, Noongar culture events, open gardens, wine & dine events, heritage trails, guided tours & hikes through the Stirling’s.

Find out more by visiting the event calendar to book your tickets now!

Bloom Festival Website