This privately funded facility is a unique cultural asset that contributes to and enhances the life of Gippsland.
The Cowwarr Art Space came into being when Carolyn Crossley purchased the old Cowwarr Butter Factory in November 1992. It took six months of extensive renovations before it opened as the Cowwarr Art Space in June 1993. The following year the Cowwarr Arts Network (CAN Inc.) the not-for-profit Incorporated Association was formed and develped many projects both in the space and in the broader Gippsland region. It is through nurturing and expanding relationships that Carolyn's vision has been realised.
The distinctive Federation Arts & Crafts styling and concrete construction define the building as an exemplary example of post WW1 design. The former Cowwarr Butter Factory is architecturally significant and his listed with the National Trust and Heritage Victoria.
The discovery of Gold at Walhalla in 1862 created great expansion in the district. The Fresh Food and Storage Company opened a creamery around 1880 and in 1897 The Cowwarr Cheese and Butter Factory Co. Ltd. was formed. Construction of the current building commenced in 1918 and completed a year later to take advantage of the new railway line.
Of course the history goes far beyond that of white settlement. The Gunaikurnai people are the Traditional Owners of Gippsland. Gunaikurnai people have occupied the land for over 40,000 + years. The Gunaikurnai Nation is made up of five major language groups. Cowwarr Art Space is on the land of the Brayakaulung people. Learn More