History

One fine day in December in 1970, Cr. Manning declared The Art Bank, now St Kilda Esplanade Market, officially open. Noting the high expense of holding art exhibitions, Cr. Manning had asked several artists and sculptors if they would like to exhibit at a new Art Bank in the Upper Esplanade.

James Egan, now a national living treasure, and Ruth Epps were among the first twenty or so artists to display their work. Soon they were joined by potters, leatherworkers and other artists and craftspeople and the magic of the St Kilda Esplanade Market began.

The Market quickly began attracting stallholders who were not just locals, but artists and makers from all over. Over the years the market has fluctuated in size to more than 250 stalls. Adam Elliot, Academy Award winning animator and director of Harvey Krumpet, sold his hand painted t-shirts at the market for five years!

The Market has always been a starting platform for new artists to begin their careers and in some cases is so loved by stallholders that they have stayed on for as long as the full forty two years it has been running.

We hope you will find us for another forty years to come, selling quality handmade art and craft in the iconic beachside suburb of St Kilda.

   

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