THERE is a certain artistic buzz in Maldon lately as artists look to the town for creativity and inspiration.
Despite the repercussions of COVID-19 crushing many industries, it seems to be the opposite for Maldon's art scene with two new artists moving into the region.
EDGE Galleries director Simon Dow opened his new gallery space two weeks ago and has already been experiencing a demand.
He said moving into Maldon was an easy choice due to the town's unique nature.
"Maldon is a very unusual village in that a lot of people have moved here who have interesting and creative backgrounds," he said.
"People here are in a place in their lives where they don't want to be in the middle of an urban environment and that they want to use their creativity and craft.
"I have found this town to be incredibly warm and welcoming and very open-minded."
I think light attracts light and when you have some other premium art galleries, it works together to draw people together and I think that has happened in Castlemaine and now MaldonCascade Gallery director Karren Anchen
After opening, Mr Dow sent out invitations to show off the space to the community.
More than 120 residents attended the event.
"It was so beautiful to see the space vibrant and full of people loving the art," Mr Dow said.
"The vision for the future is to have poets, singers, opera singers, contemporary artists, dance performances and we are now speaking with the Maldon Folk Festival to see if we can hold intimate performances."
Cascade Art Gallery director Kareen Anchen has lived in Maldon for more than 22 years.
She said she had seen a significant growth in the past year.
Re-opening in November after COVID-19 restrictions and launching a new David Moore exhibition last month, Ms Anchen said the gallery had experienced interest from both residents and visitors.
"I think the art scene in Maldon is looking very positive and we have just one of the most successful selling exhibitions [David Moore]," she said.
"This is one of the most successful shows that we have ever had here."
Ms Anchen said it was great to see many new galleries opening in the town.
"There is a good buzz around currently in the town," she said.
"I think light attracts light and when you have some other premium art galleries, it works together to draw people together and I think that has happened in Castlemaine and now Maldon.
"People want to go to a place where it's a little different and unique and that's what is happening with Maldon now.
"I think the art scene has grown a lot over the years, I would say there is a shift and change and new found respect for the arts. They say where art flourishes, real estate follows."
Artist Catherine Abel was drawn to the town for its creativity and history, and discovered a thriving industry.
She moved to the area last year and opened the Catherine Abel Gallery in December.
"I paint Monday to Friday so I can't open during the week but I open on weekends because everyone is coming to town, small towns just have a different vibe," she said.
Ms Abel had planned to open a space in Maldon for more than three years.
She is grateful to now live and work in the town.
"There is this revitalisation and resurgence of people visiting small towns, especially Maldon - it is just so cute and pretty and preserved," she said.
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