Newcastle independent art galleries unite

June 3, 2016, 1 p.m.
Newcastle Herald

DRIVEN by the enthusiasm of gallery owner Ahn Wells, eight independent art galleries in Newcastle have banded together to market their shows and spaces under a single media umbrella.

The eight galleries are:

Art Systems Wickham, 40 Annie Street, Wickham, owned by Colin Lawson.

Back to Back Studios, 57 Bull Street, a cooperative. Nadia Aurisch is the gallery officer.

cstudios Art Gallery, 738 Hunter Street, Newcastle West, owned by Jo Chisholm-Ray.

Gallery 139, 139A Beaumont Street, Hamilton, owned by Ahn Wells.

Gallery Sixty One Revisited, 301 Hunter Street, Newcastle, owned by Caroline Christie.

Nanshe studio gallery, 148b Beaumont Street, Hamilton, owned by Barbara Nanshe.

  Independent: Gallery 139 owner Ahn Wells with Coco. Picture: Marina Neil

Independent: Gallery 139 owner Ahn Wells with Coco. Picture: Marina Neil

Newcastle Art Space, 246 Parry Street, Hamilton East, co-directors Melissa Bull and Jordan Farrell.

Timeless Textiles, 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle East, owned by Anne Kempton.

“Initially the major inspiration was to create an easy to find online and social media presence that people interested in visiting small Newcastle galleries could go to,” Wells says. 

“I have set up Facebook, Instagram and a website. The idea is you can go to any of these online media on the day you want to visit a gallery and you can find out what is exhibiting plus you can find out gallery hours and addresses.”

The gallery group has gained support from some like-minded businesses, including Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Aaron Framed It!, Newcastle Mirage and Christine Frogley Creative.

Wells hopes to lift the profile of the galleries and artists who show their work in them. The website includes a handful of profiles of artists who have had recent shows.

“For me personally, the most important group is the artists.” Wells says. “I started my gallery with the idea that I wanted to provide a professional white gallery space for emerging and mid-career Newcastle artists to gain exhibition experience, sell their work to the public and move their art careers forward to Sydney and other major cities.”