Arts & culture

Hepburn Shire is a community rich in arts, culture and creativity. Arts and culture play a valuable role in enhancing social connectedness and community wellbeing and contribute in many ways to the Shire’s identity, liveability and sustainability. 

Our first Arts and Culture Strategy

Council is committed to working with the community to support and promote the continued development of this vital aspect of community identity. We are excited to invite the community to be a part of developing our first Arts and Culture Strategy. The strategy will define key priority areas where Council can play a dynamic and supportive role in strengthening the provision of existing services, programs and facilities so that the creative community can thrive.

Over the past months the community has been telling us what is important to them. A strategy and implementation plan, including partnerships, activities and resources, will be created to act as a roadmap for achieving our shared vision. For more visit Participate Hepburn.

Arts and Cultural Events

Hepburn Shire has an impressive number of arts and cultural events driven by the community and supported by Council including CresFest, ChillOut and Clunes Booktown Festival.

If you are interested in running an event or seeing what's on, visit our events section. If you are organising an upcoming exhibition, performance, project or cultural event contact

Public art

Hepburn Shire has a great range of art in public places. These commissioned artworks by highly respected artists respond creatively to the spaces and places, people and culture of the region and enhance the Shire.

In Commissioning works, Council is guided by the following:

Current public artworks

Works from Council’s annual commissioning program are at Daylesford, Creswick, Clunes, Trentham and Glenlyon:

The Drop artwork sitting in the landscape at Glenlyon dam with trees in the background  

“Drop” by Yu Fang Chi. Installed at Glenlyon in March 2023. Commissioned by Hepburn Shire Council, 2021.

Crafted from stainless steel, brass and concrete, Drop responds to the precious water resource of the Glenlyon Dam, mineral springs and the river. It is installed at the edge of the dam, and pays homage to the natural beauty of the area and its contextual relationship with water. It sits beautifully in the surrounding bush environment. 

The plinth at the base of the work features inlaid brass circles and the Dja Dja Wurrung word ‘wanyarram’ (which means water), acknowledging and paying respect to the Dja Dja Wurrung as the Traditional Owners of the land and waters. 

It’s a short walk from the entry road, in a location that also allows the work to be viewed across the water. The work reflects the artist’s focus on the natural environment.

Artist, Yu Fang Chi, talks about The Drop



“Cottage” by Jason Waterhouse. Lake Daylesford, Daylesford.  Commissioned by Hepburn Shire Council, 2015.

Located at Lake Daylesford, “Cottage” is made of decorative, hand-wrought iron inspired by patterns seen around Daylesford. It draws on the architecture of miners' cottages during the gold rush era and seeks to remind us of modern Daylesford’s historical foundations. “Cottage” was completed in 2015 by Glenlyon artist, Jason Waterhouse.


“My Dearest” by Mark Cuthbertson. Calambeen Park, Creswick. Commissioned by Hepburn Shire Council, 2016.

Mark Cuthbertson’s “My Dearest” is made from concrete and polyurethane and resembles a nostalgic cup-and-ball child’s toy. The work references the hardship and loss experienced by families during the gold rush era. “My Dearest” presents a symbolic gesture, evoking memories of the past by referencing a sentimental item or cherished keep sake to provoke reflections on connection and loss. 


“Inter-stelae” by Michael Needham. Stony Creek Reserve, Trentham. Commissioned by Hepburn Shire Council, 2017.  

Inter-stelae is a monument to cultural presence within an ancient landscape. It acknowledges that the site on which it sits is imbued with layers of cultural history and memory. As a memorial, it allows for a re-imagining of the natural environment and invites an appreciation of a land that is always bigger and older than its occupants. Photo: Richard Ryan 


“Lunaris” by Joanne Mott. Bailey Street Skate Park, Clunes. Commissioned by Hepburn Shire Council, 2018.

“Lunaris” considers the site’s relationship with the moon.  To experience the artwork, audiences are invited to explore both the sculptural installation, and augmented reality imagery of the moon using a smart phone or other device.  Drawing on cues from the local environment, such as its geological uniqueness and social history, Lunaris combines art forms, both old and new, from the sculpting of earthworks, which dates back to Neolithic times, to Augmented Reality (AR), a new media technology.  By accessing the Augmented Reality application, viewers can explore the moon with their smart device, translating the circular paved arena into a moonscape alive with lunar layers.

Please note we are having some issues with the app. However, once it is again available please follow the steps below to load and operate the Augmented Reality app:


Augmented Reality engagement relies on your device “reading” the unique tiling pattern on the arena. It must be clear of objects (including people!)

  1. Start by standing centrally on the grass mound.
  2. Point your device at the centre of the paved arena.
  3. Hold still to engage Lunaris AR. It may help to raise and tilt device to gain a more aerial view of the arena.
  4. Keep your device locked into the arena by always pointing your camera toward the pavement.
  5. Walk around the arena while viewing the Lunaris AR.

Extra tips:

  • Shadows, glare, rain, objects and light conditions impede engagement and effectiveness of AR tracking.
  • Do not face into the sun.
  • Re-engage by taking in a larger pavement area with your camera.

Arts and Culture Collection Online

Items in the Hepburn Shire arts and culture collection are currently being catalogued online.  The collection includes memorabilia, artworks and public artworks of significance to the Hepburn Shire. Visit the online catalogue.

Opportunities and support for our creative community


Grants for arts and culture events, programs and projects are offered as part of the Hepburn Shire Community Grants Program. Visit our Grants page. A list of current opportunities including funding, competitions, employment and professional development for artists in our Shire is listed on the Central Highlands Arts Atlas website. Funding opportunities are also available through Regional Arts Victoria and Creative Vic.

Exhibit your work at The Esmond Gallery in Clunes

Council will re-launch The Esmond Gallery in Clunes in 2022. If you have queries about exhibiting, call (03) 5348 2306 or email

Find artists in Hepburn Shire

Arts Atlas is a comprehensive guide to arts in the Ballarat and Central Highlands region and lists many of our artists. Developed with artists, organisations and cultural groups in mind, it aims to bring people together to share what’s going on and to celebrate what makes this part of the world just that little bit special. Local artists are encouraged to list details of their practice here.

Pop Up Art supports professional and emerging artists to encourage creativity and innovation. It facilitates capacity building and provides education, training and advocacy.