Experience a suburban-like Christmas with Blender Studios
City residents and visitors are invited to experience a suburban-like Christmas in an urban setting with Blender Studios, after it was selected to be part of the 2022 Christmas Collective program.
The initiative is run by the City of Melbourne and has seen a range of festive activations pop-up around the city throughout late November and December.
While Blender Studios is no stranger to hosting an end-of-year soiree for its West Melbourne locals and wider city residents, this year’s grant means it’s able to make it bigger and better.
“We have done an annual Christmas party since Blender Studios opened in 2001, and this year after running for 21 years, we got the Christmas grant which has allowed us to do more amazing stuff,” renowned local artist and Blender Studios director Adrian Doyle said.
“As part of our exhibition we are able to have proper DJs, and support local artists and bands, which is something great.”
After starting in late November, and to run up until Christmas Eve, Blender Studios’ Christmas Lights and Art Festival invites attendees to wander down the Dudley St laneway and experience the mixing together of a winter wonderland and street art.
Decked out with fairy lights and festive decorations, each night starts at from 6pm and goes ‘til just after 10pm and provides the perfect setting for “hipster Instagram husbands to photograph their wives”, according to Doyle.
In addition to being the perfect landscape for some end of year snaps, Doyle said the festival was also a chance for kids who struggle to get out to the suburbs to experience a magical display of lights normally seen on suburban homes.
“We thought we would bring that experience to them in the city, so they can just walk down the street and see something that is uniquely urban and uniquely Melbourne, but still kind of suburban,” he said.
As part of the Christmas Collective program grant, Blender Studios also held a multitude of workshops, including a Graffi-Tea workshop, Christmas Stencil workshop, and a Sustainable Wallet Making workshop.
Held in late November and earlier this month, the workshops provided a great chance for the community to learn from Blender Studios artists, with the Graffi-Tea workshop also allowing attendees to use pre-cut stencils so they could contribute to the work seen on the laneway.
While the workshops have wrapped up, and the main focus turns to Blender Studio’s festival, Doyle is looking ahead even further to the New Year, with a holiday program in the works for young people over the age of 10.
Detailed on the Blender Studios website will be a range of sessions, that people are advised to book for well in advance, where attendees will get to paint on their own board, then take the board home to continue to practice.
While the sessions are essentially about attendees using their own creativity, the lead artists will come around and help not only tighten up the work but offer any additional tips.
Educating locals about the technique and beauty of street art is something Blender Studios is very passionate about, and since moving to West Melbourne from Franklin St, Doyle said they were in a great location to not only still reach city locals but also those on the fringe of the city, too.
Blender Studios also offers tours for locals, interstate and international visitors wanting to view unique street artwork that they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to normally experience.
“We also run the famous Melbourne street art tours, so if kids can’t get into the workshop or people can’t get to the Christmas Lights and Art Festival they can take our famous Melbourne street art tours and become a stranger in their own city,” Doyle said.
“As street artists we will take you to all these hidden spots that you would never otherwise get to see and tell you all these stories that you would never otherwise get to hear.” •
For more information: theblenderstudios.com