#NotTheSurfCoastArtsTrail presents PORTAL


In response to the restrictions to events brought about by COVID-19, the Surf Coast Shire Council has launched #NotTheSurfCoastArtsTrail presents PORTAL, an online festival and gathering space featuring Surf Coast creatives of all disciplines.

The motivating spirit of PORTAL is to encourage connection, collaboration, community and creativity.

PORTAL’s schedule will feature a curated combination of online and ‘in the world’ events hosted by local creatives and supported by Surf Coast Shire. Expressions of interest are open to all creatives – visual artists, writers, performers, poets, designers – to participate in the program running from July to August. Send us your proposal and one of our Local Area Co-ordinators will be in touch.


PORTAL’s June workshop program ‘Elevate’ is now open for registrations. Starting in June, the program will feature workshops for creatives, by creatives. Designed to elevate existing artistic practice, this series of workshops meets the needs and demands of local artists in a socially distanced world.

Going digital: website or social media? Choose what's right for you. Host: Sabrina Lunn, Digital Communications Officer, Surf Coast Shire Council. When: Monday 1 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online.

Expanding your reach: workshops, online events and more. Host: Natalie Martin, artist and graphic designer. When: Thursday 4 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online

Creating high quality works using your smart phone. Host: Mollie Vaughan, photographer and emerging artist. When: Monday 8 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online.

Studio tour video basics using your mobile device. Host: Josh Conn, videographer. When: Thursday 11 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online.

Options and opportunities for creatives selling online. Host: Fi McPherson, creative director and founder, Okki Clothing. When: Monday 15 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online.

Writing about your work for promotion, funding and other opportunities. Host: Stacie Bobele, arts writer and editor. When: Thursday 18 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online.

Getting that grant: learn how to be competitive for grant funding. Host: Harriet Gaffney, arts development officer, Surf Coast Shire Council. When: Monday 22 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online.

How to budget for arts grants. Host: Gretchen Gibson, Surf Coast Shire Council. When: Thursday 26 June (7.30pm - 9.00pm). Register online.

Introducing your Local Area Co-ordinators

Coordinators will be getting in contact to discuss your zone’s representation on the Trail soon – watch your inbox. 

Miranda Jarvis - Hinterland Co-ordinator

"I am an emerging artist based in Deans Marsh. My practice uses found objects, textiles, photography and traditional artistic mediums to explore relationships, identity and our connections to place and each other.

After completing a BCA (Hons) at Deakin University in 2018, I became interested in how the arts could be a tool for social change in rural areas. I understand that living rurally can be a challenge for artists and as Local Area Coordinator for Deans Marsh, Winchelsea and Moriac, I want to encourage and showcase the hotbed of creativity that resides within these parts of the Surf Coast Shire."

Karen Steenbergen - Aireys/Fairhaven/Lorne Co-ordinator

Karen is a Torquay artist and has been working with translucent porcelain clay for over 15years, making bespoke pieces and commissions. Involved in multiple Surf Coast Arts organisations including Surf Coast Arts, Surf Coast Art Space and Anglesea Art House, Karen’s own work is inspired by the colours and textures of her local beach and bush environments.

Mollie Vaughan – Bellbrae/Anglesea Co-ordinator

Mollie Vaughan is a photographic artist based in Bells Beach, with a passion for the Arts and its ability to bring forth new perspectives on our world. Her aspirations of working in the Arts industry make her particularly dedicated to artistic collaboration and art/cultural events management, that aims to engage the community and develop strong networks for established and emerging artists. Her artistic practice is formed through an experimental hybridisation of analogue and digital photographic processes. Often her works confront humanity’s disassociation with the natural world and introduce photography as a process which lies within the boundary between art and science. 

Michelle Conn - Torquay/Jan Juc Co-ordinator

"I have lived in the Surf Coast Shire for the last nine years and have worked in education, videography and my own personal art practice as author/illustrator of my first children’s book.

I’m really looking forward to meeting local artist’s and working behind the scenes to connect the community with their practice.

The Arts Trail has the ability to bring community together, showcase and celebrate local talent and inspire people to follow their own creative passions."