Daylesford's Farmers Arms Hotel opens an art gallery

UNIQUE ART DISPLAY: Daniel Butterworth's painting of renowned chef and owner of Du Fermier in Trentham, Annie Smithers, was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize. It will be part of the Art Motel's first exhibition.
UNIQUE ART DISPLAY: Daniel Butterworth's painting of renowned chef and owner of Du Fermier in Trentham, Annie Smithers, was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize. It will be part of the Art Motel's first exhibition.

The Daylesford Farmers Arms Hotel is an iconic pub restaurant which has been expanded to offering accommodation in the form of a unique art motel. 

The Farmers Arms owner Mitch Duncan said the new complex, including Arts Motel and fully renovated 100-year-old heritage house, will offer a whole new market for artists looking to exhibit their work.

“It will be great in the sense it gives local artists the opportunity to sell their work, as well as providing an extra level in showcasing high profile artists in the Daylesford arts scene,” he said.

The first exhibition will feature the work of painter Daniel Butterworth, who is from Kyneton, along with the work of Daylesford potterist, Lauren Matthews. 

The display will include Butterworth’s painting of renowned Trentham chef Annie Smithers, for which he was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize.  

“It is a unique way to display artwork, but I believe it will be more accessible than a traditional, stuffy art gallery,” Mr Duncan said.

Everything presented in the complex is available for purchase, with works priced from $600 to upwards of $25,000.

The art exhibitions will not just be limited to paintings, but will also exhibit artisan leather makers and metal works. 

There are 10 rooms in the Art Motel, with around 38 pieces of art being displayed throughout, including in the bedrooms. 

Guests are, therefore, invited to sleep with the artists.

The main red room in the Farmers Arms Hotel will exhibit the major artworks.

“You don’t have to stay to look at the art. You can come down to the pub and have a look at the works in the red room while you’re there. 

“Or if that doesn’t appeal to you, you can organise to have dinner in the motel’s dining room and eat amongst the art work,” Mr Duncan said.

The Farmers Arms Hotel first opened in 1857.

For the last 10 years, the pub has been run as a premium restaurant headed by executive chef Gavan Anders and head chef Christopher Timmins. 

The restaurant specialises in local produce, sourcing all of its ingredients from the region. The menu features beers from local breweries, cideries and wineries. 

“We are providing a unique combination of artisan food, wine, art and a place to stay all in the one complex. It brings a new element to the Daylesford region,” Mr Duncan said. 

Major artists’ work will be displayed for a three month period, while artists from the region will have their work displayed on a month by month basis. 

The Art Motel opens Thursday.