Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NAS Gallery Studios' End - Art from the tenants of the Newcastle Community Arts Centre

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight

But go we must.    But not quite yet.....

The words from the Sound of Music are not resonating around the walls at Newcastle Art Space gallery.  Rather the walls sing with the memory sounds of past events, exhibition openings, educational exchanges, artists meeting and greeting, artists engaging with each other, friendships being made and opportunities being exchanged with laughter and chatter in an atmosphere of fun, music, conversation and life.

Gallery 1 and 2

Studios’ End
Annual Tenant’s Spring Salon Exhibition

Gallery 1 and 2 display the works from artists who are tenants of the Newcastle Community Arts Centre.  For some it has been a long association while for others a relatively short one at Parry Street.  Dr John Barnes, a former director of the gallery, opened the event and spoke about the history of the gallery which was formed by the artist tenants themselves.   Natalie Engdahl updated the group briefly on future plans and directions regarding relocation of the Centre.  Andrew Finnie introduced the book he designed, “Artists and Artisans” with photography by Joerg Lehmann, which is an historical reference of the artist tenants.  This book will be available shortly and can be purchased by pre-order from the gallery or the Newcastle Community Arts Centre office. A must if you are interested in the history of Newcastle arts and culture. I can only mention a few amongst such a vast sea of art work and my selection in no way diminishes the professional standard and technical achievements across all works. Some detail images below but come in and see the complete work in full.
Works from L to R Toni Amidy, Nadia Aurisch (directly below), John Morris, Melissa Bull, Susana Enriquez, Ellie Hannon

 In Gallery 1 an iconic work by John Morris captures and fills the wall space perfectly. It is matched at the other end by the colour and finely executed relief works of the Strutt Sisters, Catherine and Jennifer.  In Gallery 2 I was captured by Ken O’Regan’s re-workings on found ‘opshop style’ paintings, by the ever delightful textile constructions of Olivia Parsonage and by the intensively beautiful marks of Dan Nelson. In the foyer is a photographic print of the external building and the studio artists by Joerg Lehmann.  This would make a great souvenir of this period in Newcastle’s art history.
L to R top to bottom Section: column 1 Joerg Lehmann, John Harrison, Grant Keene, Peter Lankas, Column 2 Leslie Duffin, Column 3 Olivia Parsonage, Meredith Woolnough, Natalie Engdahl, Laraine Palmer

Most works are for sale and prices reflect the experience and achievements of the individual artists.  There is of course, always an entry point for anyone wanting to invest in art and history has shown that wise investment in art can turn into financial gain over time.
L to R Details from Ahn Wells, Ken O'Regan, Jennifer Finnie, Annemarie Murland, Dan Nelson (below) and Catherine and Jennifer Strutt bottom right.
Work by Jennifer O'Brien and Bill Wallin
Details L to R from Andrew Finnie, John Barnes, Jordan Fardell, Michael Bateman, Christina Frogley, Malcolm Sands, Aaron McGarry, Liss Finney, Pablo Tapia
What is Next?
The next exhibition is the Newcastle Club Foundation Painting Prize with works due at Newcastle Art Space Monday 31st October.   Details can be found at: www.ncac.org.au. Email ncac@ncac.org.au for an entry form.

The timing is right for a new Community Arts Centre/Arts Hub/ for Newcastle to be created within the plans for Newcastle’s overall revitalisation.  It is really a new beginning and direction for our large art community and it is just ahead if those with insight, creativity, political and financial power can work collaboratively on common ground with one far sighted clear vision. How hard can this be?  We already have the artistic talent, business ideas, educators, passion and commitment  to take it forward.

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