Event Participation Information & FAQ’s


Inspired by various events successfully operating in the United Kingdom, The Margaret River Region Open Studios event is a bold, new initiative designed to annually showcase the visual arts. The Margaret River Region Open Studios is a 16-day event offering a trail of discovery for all art lovers.

100 + visual artists and artisans are expected to open the doors to their art studios and workshops, delivering a unique experience for art lovers to meet the creator of the artwork, peruse original artworks and of course purchase artwork. Work may include paintings, drawings, sculpture, hand blown glass, print making, handmade furniture, as well as jewellery, ceramics, textiles and many other media.

Geographically grouped venues across Busselton, Margaret River, Augusta, Vasse, Yallingup, Quindalup, Dunsborough, Cowaramup will be shown on maps so visitors can design their own art trails.



Am I Eligible to take Part in the Event?

The MRROS ethos is one of inclusiveness. Professional, established, emerging and hobbyist artists or affiliated groups working in any medium are invited to open their art studios, workshops and homes to the public over the event period each autumn. Venues can also extend to wineries, cafes and community premises as long as you can set up a mobile workshop and offer an interpretive experience based on your art practice.


  • A practicing visual artist or artisan residing or working within the MRROS Event region.
  • An affiliated art group, a student group, school or club residing or working within the MRROS Event Region.
  • All participants must be a current member of Margaret River Region Open Studios

Your registration for the event will be confirmed upon payment of the ARTIST PARTICIPATION FEE AND INSURANCE


Participating artists will open their art studios and workshops across the whole of the Margaret River Wine Region.
Each open studio will be clearly identified on a detailed map in the Event Catalogue which will be available online and widely distributed in the run up to the event. Have fun planning your favourite art trail.


ARTIST MRROS MEMBERSHIP $120 per person annually (For Artists & Affiliated Art Group)

ARTIST EVENT & *INSURANCE $275 per person (For MRROS Members & Affiliated Art Groups)


Are required to apply in writing. Email: mechelle@mrros.com.au
Groups are defined as affiliated art groups, student groups, schools and clubs only

An Insurance rebate is available if you send a copy of your own pre-existing Public Liability insurance cover.
Email: Julien Sanderson: juliens@bigpond.com


Payment is required to confirm registration for Membership or Event Registration



Credit/Debit Card – pay online when registering on website

Direct Deposit – pay via online banking after registering on website
BSB: 066 532
Account: 1005 1971
Account Name: Margaret River Region Open Studios Inc.
Reference: Artists Name

Cheque – send a Cheque after registering on website to
MRROS Membership Services,
PO Box 504,
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Reference: Artists Name


The MRROS will be held from Saturday, 22nd April – May 7th 2017

Participants can elect to open for all 16 days or choose to close, if necessary, on some of the days. Included with each registration will be a calendar indicating the days you have chosen to open. Obviously it is in your interests to open on as many days as you possibly can.

The official opening times are from 10.00am to 4.00pm daily and all venues will be required to remain open during these times and artists are required to be available at all times during their nominated opening days.


If you need any assistance completing the membership forms or have any questions, please email us at: art@mrros.com.au
We are always happy to help



What sort of Insurance do I need?

It is part of the conditions of taking part in the MRROS Event that you have Public Liability Insurance covering your venue. If someone has a serious accident in your studio, home or garden, you could be sued for a great deal of money.

Public Liability Insurance will cover injury to people visiting your premises and not the value of the work displayed.

If you wish to research other options for insurance we recommend Artsource as they offer Insurance as part of full membership, which includes cover for possible loss or damage to artists work. Contact Artsource for more information at www.artsource.net.au

Whatever you do, don’t try to add Public Liability Insurance to your own regular house insurance as it can raise your insurance premium astronomically!

Many of you working from studios already open to the public will have Public Liability Insurance in place.

If your own premises are not suitable and you are planning to use another premises such as a winery, you will probably find you are covered by their Public Liability Policy. Check in advance with the owners of the venue.

As part of the Event Registration process Public Liability Insurance will included in the cost of Event Registration when you sign up. An Insurance rebate will be available on presentation of insurance paperwork. We will require a copy of your Cover Summary for our records.


Are there any other costs?

Apart from the insurance, all other costs are optional, but could include:

A private view, i.e. wine, soft drinks and nibbles (invitations can be mailed out electronically)
Any publicity material you might like to produce for yourself. This may also involve some mailing costs
Creation of your own website
Wrapping and sales materials
Cash box


MRROS Publicity Material and Artist’s Pack Distribution

Our publicity material will include posters, leaflets and catalogues. Your assistance in displaying and circulating these will be greatly appreciated. As we are a not-for-profit organisation run primarily by volunteers for our joint benefit, anything you can do to advertise and promote the event will help us all. We all need to build this event into a great festival and anything you can do to broadcast the information about the event by prominently displaying posters and leaflets in shops, libraries, tourist centres, art galleries, Tourist resorts, clubs or on public notice boards or via your websites, email and social media or mail outs or leaflet drops will be fantastic. The more we can do to jointly spread the word and get people talking about the event the better. You will be advised when the printed publicity material is available. We will also email you an Email Friendly copy for electronic distribution.

Your information packs will be made available several weeks ahead of the opening of the Open Studios and will contain your official signs which will need to be displayed outside your premises for the duration of the event and various other forms for display or completion during the event and any last minute instructions.

If at any time you have any queries or require extra publicity material we can assist with these.


Do I need any extra publicity?

The publicity material MRROS will make available will be comprehensive but if you would like to produce anything specific to your own work feel free to do so.

You are at liberty to incorporate our logo into any publicity material you might produce for use in the lead up and during the Open Studios event.

It is always worthwhile if you have an interesting story or some special work that you submit press releases to the local papers and national magazines together with accompanying images if available. Editors will often pick up on these and any free publicity is always a bonus.

It will also be worthwhile sending any information to MRROS at art@mrros.com.au as we will be constantly updating our website and social media with feature articles.


What else do I need to know?

Preparing the premises

It is advisable to remove any valuable objects or easily removed items from the area of your studio or home which you are opening to the public. Store them away in a room or sectioned off area marked “Private”. De-cluttering, touching up paintwork and generally cleaning up the areas you will open to the public makes them more inviting.

It is also strongly recommended that you do a risk assessment to ensure that both you and the public are safe. Check the access ways, floor boards, rugs and any steps to ensure they are clear and secure. Make sure electricity cables and equipment do not present a risk. Check for sharp objects and make sure any dangerous substances are properly stored. Ensure that your displays and any furniture and lighting do not present a hazard. Look around and identify any other possible hazards and make them safe.


Displaying your Work

Curating your display can be a lot of fun. Give time to considering how you will display your work and allow ample time to set it up. Attractive presentation enhances your work and will generally assist with sales.

If you are setting up a group display or combining with other artists in one venue you will need to think about space allocation and style. You may find it useful to display small information panels about each artist or artisan. Think about who is going to set up the display and make sure that all work is dropped off in plenty of time. Try and co-ordinate all your signs and price labelling and make sure you have price lists.

Remember that part of the charm of your studio or home is its informality and the fact that the artwork may be well displayed but part of its appeal is that it does not resemble a gallery.


Pricing and Framing

There are a number of things to think about when pricing your work. You should consider how long it has taken you to create the work and what your material, framing and any other costs might amount to. A frequently used rule of thumb is asking yourself whether you would feel cheated if you sold a piece of work below a certain price – and then ask yourself how much you want for the work. Try and get some advice in terms of presentation and pricing from other artists.



As one of the prime objectives of MRROS is to enable the public to come into your studios and homes and meet with you when they view your work, it is essential that individual artists be in attendance at all times on the days you have agreed to open. This is part of the Terms and Conditions of participating. This interaction between you and potential customers is very important and can be very advantageous to you. The same rules apply to artists who arrange to display their work at an outside venue. Provided it is safe, part of the experience for the public is to see you working and demonstrating whenever possible. Any activity adds so much interest and generates an opportunity for you to engage with your visitors at so many levels and promote any classes and workshops and other activities you may have programmed.

Should your display extend beyond one room or area you may wish to have an invigilator in each place. A friend or family member on hand for this purpose can also help free you up to talk to your visitors. Certainly, if you are exhibiting small, expensive and easily
re-moveable items, it is a very good idea to make sure someone is nearby at all times.


Should I Provide Refreshments?

Of course it is an entirely personal decision whether or not you choose to provide refreshments to your visitors. It will very much depend on your facilities. Providing homemade tea and cake does give a welcoming feel and will encourage your visitors to stay longer and peruse and chat about your work. It is entirely up to you whether you want to do this or keep the focus entirely on your work.

Anything beyond tea and cakes is not advisable and will involve you in health and safety issues. Charging for alcohol is illegal.


Private View

This is a personal preference and is strongly encouraged. The advantages of holding a private view or opening party for friends, colleagues and previous customers can be great. It opens the festival on a high note and a well run private view really does promote sales. Even those invitees who cannot come or do not buy anything at the private view are likely to come back at another time. It can also be a reward for your own hard work and provide a thank you for anyone who has assisted you in any way.

It is important to note that you should free yourself up to play host on the evening. Delegate tasks such as serving drinks, clearing glasses, red-dotting any sold work and taking payments to an assistant.


Meeting and Greeting Visitors

Walking into a stranger’s home or studio can be quite intimidating even if you are clutching a MRROS catalogue. After your initial greeting, judge for yourself how to play things. Some people like space and peace to look at the work uninterrupted, others really enjoy a chat with the artist.

Visitors are far more likely to engage with the work and artists, resulting in possible sales, if they feel welcome.


Paying for Work

If you are selling small items, it may be necessary for you to set up a cash box with some small change, Obviously you can improvise with a plastic container but a proper metal cash box with a lock and key may be a good investment.

You may already have a card machine facility, but it is generally not cost effective to rent a card payment machine for the event. You should consider how you are going to accept payment – cash, cheque or electronic transfer – especially for large items. It is normal to ask for a small deposit to secure the work with the balance payable on collection or despatch. Most importantly you must ensure cheques are cleared and bank transfers received before you release your work. Generally you will not want to let your work be removed until the end of the event, especially if it is a large piece, as it may leave a large gap in your display, plus it is always good to have a sprinkling of red dots around your exhibition. It will be important to have some idea of the costs involved with delivery and to decide whether to absorb these within your price or make an extra charge.

You will definitely need a sales book with your name and address and ABN number (if you have one) and bank details (when necessary) recorded on the pages . When you make a sale make sure you enter the name and address of each customer. If you are not releasing your work until the end of the event, you will also need their contact details in case you have to get in touch. It is always good to have their contact details to add to your database for when you want to follow up with any future promotion.

We will be providing forms for you to record visitor numbers and contact details as part of our evaluation.


Terms & Conditions

All Open Studio Artists are required to agree to the MRROS Terms and Conditions when registering as a member of MRROS or as a Participant in the Open Studios Event by ticking the ‘acceptance’ box on the Registration Form.

The Open Studios Event is open to any artist living in the designated area of the South-west of Western Australia. (The Cape-to-Cape Region of the Margaret River Wine Appellation including Busselton in the North and Augusta in the South, with Sues Road as its Eastern boundary.
MRROS ‘s purpose is to coordinate and promote art and the artists taking part in the Open Studios Event.

All open studio participants will be required to complete and submit a valuation of all visitors on the form provided by MRROS within a month of completion of the event.

All participating artists are to ensure their Open Studios venue is covered by appropriate third party liability insurance. Proof of insurance cover is to be provided to MRROS prior to any Event. See note above

MRROS reserves the right to review submitted listings and to change details that are deemed to be untrue, offensive or contrary to MRROS studio style.
The images and words used when participating in the MRROS Event are for the benefit of the individual artist and must be relevant solely to the work being exhibited. They may not be used to promote or advertise a third party business.

MRROS’ purpose is to promote practising artists displaying/selling their own work. A third party intermediary profiting from the sale of artists’ work will not be accepted as a Participant in the Open Studios Event but may take out an advertisement in the Event Brochure (see “Advertising”).
All Open Studios Participants must proof read and correct any errors in their listings and return the corrected proof by the date specified. MRROS will not accept responsibility for any un-proof-read errors.

MRROS reserves the right to refund payment and withdraw any entry that does not comply with these Terms and Conditions or which MRROS, in its absolute discretion, deems to be racist, homophobic, sexist, ageist, offensive or otherwise inappropriate.
In coordinating and promoting the Open Studios Event, MRROS will regularly consult with and seek the views of the participating artists, however the MRROS Board reserves the right to make changes in future events contingent upon the needs and interests of the Open Studios Event as a whole, rather than the interests of a particular group or Member.

MRROS will provide artist Members and Participants with regular feedback and information regarding the provision of services, fees and other decisions taken by the Board of MRROS in response to advice received from any group participating in the Event.

To meet its objectives MRROS will endeavour to, but is not limited to, provide the following services: (MRROS reserves the right to change these services from year to year).

  • An experienced team with an organisational structure and extensive links to similar organisations
  • An online registration process for artist members and participants to upload their listings
  • A professional distribution package of 30,000 Event Catalogues
  • A regularly updated website, including Facebook
  • Web support
  • A dedicated marketing campaign including joint campaigns with the appropriate Tourism Associations
  • PR including extensive local and more widespread media exposure
  • Marketing via Shire and other Sponsors’ websites
  • Regular e-newsletters for Artists and Friends of MRROS
  • Reciprocal ads in suitable arts publications