Melbourne Art Book Fair release regional program for 2024, expanding into Geelong, the Surf Coast and the Bellarine

Words by Staff Writer

Presented by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Melbourne Art Book Fair (MABF) rolls into regional satellite venues for the Regional Victoria Program.

Celebrating Regional Victorian arts and publishing, the annual Melbourne Art Book Fair has launched its fresh regional program with some mainstay locations and new literary sites.

Returning for its fourth year, the Regional Victorian program unfolds across Monday 27 May to Sunday 2 June 2024, spotlighting art book publishing throughout the state, featuring over 22 events across 11 venues. This year, the festival returns to Castlemaine and Ballarat, and expands to Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine with events ranging from workshops, talks, performances and even an arts market, covering zines, poetry, visual arts, theatre and more.

Targeting audiences spanning children to adults, emerging artists to established professionals, the Melbourne Art Book Fair event aims to showcase the highest quality of publishing in the state.

Stay up to date with what’s happening within the region’s art scene here.

Here are the events happening in each town:


Returning to the festival, the town of Ballarat will be hosting multiple MABF events including Cover Stories with Alison Goodman as presented by Ballarat-based collective of writers and spoken word performers, Words Out Loud, in partnership with second-hand bookshop Everybody Knows Books. Published author Alison Goodman uncovers the art of book covers during this talk on Thursday 30 May. Join Fontella the zine machine co-founder Tegan Crosbie for a workshop on collage zine making at The Workshoppery at Barkly Square, or hang out with her co-founder Siobhan Finn during the Whimsy, Visuals & Verse: Collaborative Workshop.


Castlemaine Art Museum (CAM) are putting on a buffet of events for MABF. Hosting their own Art Book Fair on 1 – 2 June, they will also be presenting installation piece and artist talk with Digital Mould Design, launching book ‘Sphere 5-8’ with an in-conversation session, hosting a panel discussion to discuss how self-publishing artists can broaden their regional reach, and holding a paper marbling workshop courtesy of The Harebrained Press. All of that across one weekend!


Geelong has levelled up this year for MABF with the entire arts precinct getting involved. Over on Gordon Avenue, Oxygen College will be hosting are artist exhibition, Artist’s Books: A Local Perspective, in Geelong Arts Centre performance work How To Catch A Star will be on show, The G: Zine Collective will host multiple zine making workshops, as well as launch a zine vending machine and Geelong Gallery will host childrens workshop Geelong Tots – Art Books.

The city will be transformed for Feasibility Study presented by artists collective Ilana Russell, Sarah Jones, and Sarah Walker better known as The Contemporary. The project is birthed from catalyst work Expanded Field by artists, academics and architects Steven Rhall, Phip Murray, Vicki Hallet and Jose Rodriguez, with text-works displayed through the CBD.  Creative Geelong will also be present May’d Arts Festival, a two-day festival at CentrePoint Arcade celebrating art, music, food, books, clothing and the community across Friday 31 May and Saturday 1 June.


Heading into Barwon Heads, you will find two events under the Regional Victorian program. The first is An Evening with Annabelle Hickson and Sophie Hansen; a book launch and artist talk presented by Heads and Tales Bookstore. The second is a collaborative workshop hosted by Barwon Heads Arts Council and Patsy Bush, Cubes: Exploring Different Forms of Artist Books.

Surf Coast

Regional Arts Victoria sector-and-community collaborating initiative, Making Change will head to Patagonia in Torquay to host Next Wave: The Future of Independent Publishing. This panel discussion will include input from speakers Gill Hutchison, Mick Sowry, Oliver Georgiou, Sean Doherty, and Tasmin O’Neill as moderated by writer and photographer Ula Majewski. Over in Port Fairy, head into Blarney Books & Art on Sunday 26 May for an artist talk with Lorena Carrington for event Long Lost Fairy Tales and New Found.

What a way to celebrate the rich binding of the art and book worlds. Further details on the program can be found here.


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