Prior to purchasing the property in 2002 the shearing shed and land was unused for many years. The original owner Mr Ian Warner farmed cattle, sheep and bred horses on the property. He was a builder and farmer. His home for the the property is now the Vivonne Bay store which he built. Ian decided in the mid 1970s that he would love to develop the property into a tourist spot to view zebra, giraffe and lions - he was laughed at by the locals (he was a man well ahead of his time). Unfortunately the development did not proceed. He eventually sold the land and moved to Roses Gap, Grampians, Victoria and developed The Roses Gap Deer Park. After many years he sold the Deer Park and moved to The Glass House Mountains living next to Steve and Terri Irwin. Ian built Bob Irwin's home and was very involved with Steve and Terri, not just a man interested in animals but as a close friend. When I spoke with Ian two years prior to opening our Gallery he was very excited to know that this property would finally be used as a tourism venture.

The shearing shed, which was built by Ian, was the perfect gallery in Smiley's eyes. We commenced with the renovation. All of the original floor boards and the original roofing iron were saved, with some used inside to keep a rustic appeal. A yard area has been transformed into a garden paradise - many people who visit say "wow" - this is a hidden oasis. The original sheep yards have also been kept and transformed into gardens. The inside of the gallery is a very modern, yet rustic space. It had been our dream for many years to have a space to stable our work along with many other artists from all over Australia. We opened Rustic Blue in June 2007.

Before the Renovation
Gallery before the renovation
After the Renovation
Gallery after the renovation

Rustic Blue was impacted by the KI Bushfires in 2020 and the property was sold in August 2020. Rustic Blue currently continues as a business.