Media Release

$1 Million Target To Protect Art Society Heritage Building


Victorian Artists Society

The Victorian Artists' Society today announced it would need to find $1 million to ensure the heritage integrity of its National Trust registered building in Albert Street, East Melbourne.

The building, built between 1891 and 1902, and seen as the cradle of Australian art, with Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin and Walter Withers among its founding members, has provided thousands of Melbourne artists with a place to learn their art and importantly display and sell their work.

Eileen Mackley, President of the Victorian Artists' Society said, "The Victorian Artists' Society has continued to run under its original charter from its inception, is a not-for-profit organisation steeped in the history of Australia's art and Melbourne community, whose members age range from nineteen to ninety.

"With the hard work of many Society members and volunteers over the past one hundred years, the Society has maintained and run its affairs successfully. We are now at a stage where we must turn our attention to the restoration of the building to secure its long term heritage integrity.

"Currently a list of major and minor works is being drawn up and we are looking to engage a heritage architect to look at the issues related to upgrading services, access lighting and maintenance."

Ms Mackley said that one of a number of ongoing activities at the Victorian Artists' Society is an innovative program called People Painting People,' where ten of Melbourne's leading citizens have agreed to have their portraits painted at a special session which can be viewed by the public.

People Painting People

Noel Waite AO, Victorian Artists' Society former president and painter who created the event, said each sitter has been allocated four experienced Victorian Artists' Society artists who are donating their time, talent and expertise in support of the Victorian Artists' Society.

"This is a special occasion for anyone who loves art and wants to have a first-hand rare experience of being able to watch the creative talent of the artists capture the character and spirit of the sitters."

Afternoon tea at the event will be served, courtesy of Rowland's Commercial Catering, whilst the artists create the emerging faces on paper and canvas in a three hour window between 2.00pm and 5.00pm on Saturday 16 May 2015 and Sunday 17 May 2015.

Bookings are required to attend as spaces are limited. The cost is $30 for VAS Members, $40 for non members and $20 for students.

Bookings can be made by calling the Victorian Artists' Society on 9662 1484 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Director Communications, Victorian Artists' Society - Mobile: 0417 329 201