2 July

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei double bill coming to NGV in December

Warhol Weiwei

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei are big names in their own right – putting them on the same bill makes this the summer blockbuster worth booking well in advance.

Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei – announced this morning – is a joint venture between the NGV and Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, with the participation of Wei (as he’s known to his fans), and will cover the scope of both artists’ careers over more than 300 works – including major new commissions. In other words: this will be a significant event in the international art world – and Melbourne gets it first, with the show opening there on December 11, and heading to Pittsburgh in June.

Although it might initially seem like an odd double-bill, Weiwei and his antecedent are a good match, in practice and philosophy – and the Chinese provocateur would be the first to admit he owes the American pop artist a huge debt.Read more

1 July

Today is your last chance to go into the draw to see the Flinders Street Ballroom at Open House Melbourne

Flinders Street Station

Open House Melbourne is the one weekend of the year when many of Melbourne’s most significant architectural gems – plus some well-kept secrets – invite you to come in and take a closer look.

The full list of buildings has just been announced. While you might be attracted to historical spaces like the Scots’ Church, Cairo Flats or Melbourne Town Hall, others are drawn to the dark secrets of Russell Place Substation or the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology. Buildings like the innovative Melbourne School of Design and the verdant Medibank Docklands offer a glimpse into the future of design.

Every year, however, there’s one building that never fails to capture the imagination of Melburnians: the hallowed Flinders Street Ballroom.

Flinders Street Ballroom

Falling into decay on the third floor of the station, the ballroom – which closed in the ’80s – waits behind padlocked metal gates for the time when it will finally undergo renovations (possibly this year).Read more

29 June

Shopping with a social conscience at Melbourne Central’s newest pop-up, HoMie

HoMie

It’s estimated that over 100,000 Australians are experiencing homelessness at any given point in time. That’s a saddening figure, but there are practical ways we can all help – including by shopping.

In August last year, two mates with a social conscience, Nick Pearce and Marcus Crook, started a Facebook page called Homeless of Melbourne, the aim of which was to give a face and a voice to an often ignored sector of our community. Inspired by the folks they met and the level of interest generated (Homeless of Melbourne now has over 23,000 likes), Crook and Pearce ran Australia’s first Street Store in December last year (an initiative that started in South Africa in 2014). Basically, they converted Fed Square into a giant outdoor wardrobe, where people could go and hang clothes and folks experiencing homelessness could pick up gear that grabbed them.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Pearce and Crook ran a Pozible campaign soon after to fund another social enterprise – a not-for-profit pop-up store called HoMie.… Read more

16 June

Footscray gallery runs exhibition of George Brandis-ruined artworks to fight arts cuts

Skywhale_Robert Hague

There are viral memes that burn through their fame on your newsfeed in a flash, only to be forgotten; and then are the few viral memes that live on in our hearts. And in our galleries, apparently.

From Friday June 19 to Sunday June 21, Footscray’s Ruffian Gallery will display a selection of images created by pissed-off individuals in response to Australia’s Arts Minister George Brandis’s decision to cut over $100 million from independent arts funding.

In case you missed it, the pictures all depict Brandis’s face photoshopped onto classic pieces of art, under the assumption that the minister has – in the artists’ words – “seized $100m+ independent arts funding to play with himself. So here we are”.

Sound of Music_Mary Elizabreast

Simple, hilarious, powerful: the arts community immediately rallied by the campaign, and now, Ruffian will be displaying a selection of these photoshopped delights to raise money to fight the arts cuts.

The exhibition is free, but donations are very welcome.… Read more

28 May

Gelato Messina is offering gelato-making classes and degustations

messina-03

We’ve been waiting a long time for this day. For too long now we’ve been watching our Sydney counterparts raving on about Gelato Messina’s sell-out gelato degustations, wondering when we’d get the chance to learn how these ice-wizards work their magic.

Finally, it’s official: Gelato Messina will be hosting monthly appreciation classes from their Fitzroy store. Get in quick, because tickets won’t last. Your group will meet at the store at 9am for a coffee, learn a little bit about the company itself, and then get stuck into the secrets of how Messina make their incredibly popular gelato. What’s more, you’ll be served a gelato degustation, made of (typically bonkers) specially created flavours.

Ignore that icecream headache and soldier on: you’ve still got a gelato cake to eat. Then, it’s a free-for-all tasting session. Think you can handle 40 flavours? Good luck, pilgrim.

You’ll be sent home with a tub of gelato to take home to share, or to save for later, when the withdrawals hit.… Read more