Local attractions abound
Whitehorse has many attractions for its residents and visitors to discover and experience including:
- Box Hill Town Hall which is a vibrant hub for community groups. It incorporates an accredited art space to display Council’s comprehensive art collection and a convenient meeting place for local businesses.
- The Whitehorse Centre, the city’s premier arts and cultural centre, attracts thousands of theatre lovers each year.
- The Whitehorse Professional Theatre and Music Season showcases some of the best professional theatre from around the country.
- Schwerkolt Cottage and Museum Complex in Mitcham is a heritage listed pioneer’s stone cottage in a garden setting surrounded by over two hectares of bushland.
- The Box Hill Community Arts Centre is an artistic and cultural hub and home to a wide variety of local arts and community groups. The centre offers art and craft classes, an exhibition space, art shop and community meeting space.
- Blackburn Lake Sanctuary is one of the area’s most important environmental assets and is regarded as one of the most important bird refuges in metropolitan Melbourne.
- Sportlink Vermont South, Aqualink Nunawading and Aqualink Box Hill are facilities that attract thousands of people each week.
A strong arts history
The City of Whitehorse is closely linked with the beginnings of Australia’s impressionist arts movement.
Tom Roberts, one of Australia’s greatest landscape painters, came to Box Hill shortly after returning from a trip to France and Spain, where he had fallen under the spell of the impressionist movement.
He was determined to capture the play of light and shade in the Australian countryside and was attracted by the open country that then surrounded Box Hill.
He was joined by several of Australia’s most famous artists from 1885 to 1888.
Roberts and his friend and fellow painter, Frederick McCubbin, dissatisfied with the conservative approach to landscape painting which existed in most of Australia’s art schools, chose Houston’s Farm at Box Hill as their base.
It was an ideal location because it allowed them to pursue their experiments on weekends while retaining their jobs in Melbourne.
They were soon joined by a number of other artists including Arthur Streeton, Louis Abrahams, Charles Colder, Jane Sutherland, Tom Humphrey and John Mather.
Council has an impressive art collection containing nine works by members of the Box Hill Artists’ Camp, including McCubbin, Roberts and Streeton.