Art & Design
Posted by Taryn Hunter
07. Nov, 2012
Melbourne’s most iconic convent may have closed its doors over 30 years ago, but that hasn’t stopped Melburnians coming to this much-loved Abbotsford landmark. From playing host to La Trobe University to battles with local council and building magnates, the Abbotsford Convent has emerged as a significant arts, culture and learning precinct.
Today, the convent’s 11 heritage-listed buildings play host to Melbourne’s art and design community, as well as regular food and craft markets. And once a year they all throw open their doors for the public to have a peek inside for the Abbotsford Convent Open Day.
Abbotsford Convent CEO Maggie Maguire says that while the public are always free to wander the magnificent grounds, the open day provides a chance for the residents to show off their work and share the unique space with those in the greater community.
“The open day has the beauty of pushing people into different corners of the grounds which they wouldn’t normally have a chance to, or think to explore,” says Maguire.
“So we ask the artists, ‘What can you do that’s interesting and engaging for the public?’ As the Abbotsford Convent welcomes everyone, from brand new babies to grannies, the open day will offer something of interest for every age group.”
Making your way down to the grounds this Sunday, you will be able to enjoy everything from Shadow Electric’s ping-pong challenge to writer’s talks and sets by local DJs.
Foodies will need to come with an empty belly and open eyes with an array of local delicacies provided by on-site restaurants such as Lentil as Anything and Bursaria, as well as food vans and stalls by market regulars such as the MoVida Bakery.
Maguire says children are encouraged to come along and collect their very own Kids Passport to explore the grounds while grab stamps along the way, with a prize to collect for every completed passport.
There’s even bike valet parking if you decide to cycle in and a shuttle from Collinwood Station and entry is free, though a gold coin donation appreciated.
Abbotsford Convent Open Day 2012 is on Sunday 11 Nov from 11am–‐5pm
1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford
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Head down to the Spanish Paella Festival this weekend.
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