In-line with the latest advice from the Australian and Victorian Government on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, all venues at Frankston Arts Centre will be closed to the public until further notice.
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Ventana Cultural craft display

Ventana Arte 2015 Qewar Dolls

Ventana Arte - Latin American Craft Display

FAC Art + Gift Boxes

27 February - 9 May

Monday - Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 9am-2pm

As part of the expansive Ventana Arte exhibition program, the Art + Gift boxes in the FAC foyer will display Q'ewar dolls from Peru, UNESCO heritage listed Panama hats from Ecuador, Paper mache figurines by Ecuadorian artist Jesus Moreta and Colombian social enterprise Mosaik craft. Further detail on each display

Make sure you stop by to take a look at these unique cultural crafts as part of Ventana Arte.


Panama Hats from Montecristi

Despite its name, the hat known today as the Panama hat has been produced in Ecuador as early as the seventeenth century. The name originates from the days of the Panama Canal construction in the late 1800s when construction crews imported the hats from Ecuador. American President, Teddy Roosevelt was photographed during a visit to the canal wearing a Panama hat which further increased the hats' popularity and they were also later worn by many early-twentieth century film stars.

Each Panama hat is made from ‘toquilla’ straw that is hand woven by a single artisan, hand blocked and will often take months to complete. Hats are commercially graded with numeric degrees to indicate quality, but these vary by seller. The rarest and most expensive hats can have as many as 1600–2500 weaves per square inch. These hats are known as Montecristis, after the town of Montecristi where they are produced by a small group of master weavers. The Montecristi Foundation has established a grading system based on a figure called the Montecristi Cuenta, calculated by measuring the horizontal and vertical rows of weave per inch. A "superfino" Panama hat, according to popular rumour can hold water and when rolled for storage, pass through a wedding ring.

The art of weaving the traditional Ecuadorian toquilla hat was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists on 6 December 2012. A compendium of the different oral and intangible treasures of humankind worldwide, established by UNESCO to safeguard intangible cultural heritages and create awareness of their significance.

Generously on loan from the Ecuadorian Ambassador to Australia and are not for sale


The Q’ewar Doll Project Peru, South America

The Q’ewar Project began in early 2002, and is situated in the rural highlands of the Andes Mountains in Peru South America. When you buy one of the dolls you are giving your support to the Q’ewar project, a social and economic initiative working with the indigenous women of this area. The women of the Q’ewar project live in extreme poverty and for the most this is the first chance they will have to learn skills and earn money in a humane and respectful working environment. Q’ewar has created an atmosphere which fosters self-esteem, personal growth and an opportunity to gain economic independence through learning life skills in a community setting. All the dolls are made using natural fibres, from the interior stuffed with pure sheep wool, to the dolls hair made from alpaca yarn. The women of the Q’ewar wash, card and spin the wool used for the hair and sewing and knitting all the dolls clothes. Hand dyed fibres colour the wool clothing. Much of the dye used is made from indigenous plants.

Little Chips Handcrafts is proud to be the Australian distributor for the Q’ewar Project. and


Sculptures by Jesús Moreta 

Born into a culture immersed in art and music in Ecuador, but never given the opportunity or privilege of formal art classes. Jesús was still able to discovered and realise his passion and natural ability to create sculptures, through the medium of paper mache. He later also began experimenting and working with a mixed medium of metal and recycled materials. Jesús uses paper and recycled materials to create original and intricate forms. Much of his creativity comes from his ancestral culture and heritage, mixed with inspiration from modern day life.


Mosaik | Social Enterprise

Mosaik is a social enterprise which provides participative and immersive, culturally inspired experiences. We entertain, educate and raise awareness of the benefits of cross-cultural integration and social cohesion through celebrations, cultural programs, art and crafts.

Mosiak showcases Latin American handicrafts, specifically from Colombia. Currently Mosaik is acting as an ambassador of valuable products made by hand from diverse Colombian coastal regions such as Tuchin (Hats), Guayu Tribe (Woven bags), Usiacuri (Woven bags, coin bags, bracelets, earrings),  Barranquilla-artisan people (paintings, crochet, jewellery).