Supporting Woodend artists for more than 40 years

15 April 2024

For more than 40 years Woodend Station has been home to a community art group, which has created a vibrant local art scene based on community spirit and friendship. 

The Woodend Art Group hosts annual exhibitions, where artists can display and sell their art in rooms at the station that are leased from VicTrack under our Community leases program. 

The group also runs classes and workshops in life drawing, painting and print making, including the popular Folio Club that gives school students a chance to try different art formats in a fun environment. 

“I really like it. It's very fun and I’ve learned a lot from my art teacher,” Folio Club participant Eliza said. 

“We learn something new every week. I really enjoy it and I hope I can pursue it in the future.”

Exhibitions at Easter and the King’s Birthday weekend are regular features on the calendar. A highlight each year is a judged art exhibition held over the Melbourne Cup weekend.

We love the VicTrack rooms because there's a lot of space in here to do our activities.

“I really enjoy looking around the room and seeing how talented all the local artists are,” Woodend Art Group President Colin Robinson said. 

“And the rooms are a great size for what we need them for – to display our works and to run our workshops. So, it's a great benefit to the community all round.”

The art group moved into its current VicTrack-owned home at Woodend Station in 1982. 

The group, formed in the 1970s, was originally based in the Woodend Courthouse. When that accommodation arrangement ended, a community campaign was waged to keep the group going and find it a new home. 

“We love the VicTrack rooms because there's a lot of space in here to do our activities,” Colin said. 

“And we find VicTrack very good to deal with as our landlord. They're very attentive and we’re always talking about things that may get the most out of the rooms for our community.” 

Woodend Art Group is one of more than 400 community leases that repurpose underused buildings or land for cultural, social or recreational activities. Community leases enable not-for-profit groups to lease VicTrack assets at a significantly reduced rent, to create spaces that benefit local communities.