LIVE: The pop evolution of art

GAME ON: Illustrator and graphic designer Ben Mitchell.
GAME ON: Illustrator and graphic designer Ben Mitchell.

MARIO, Halo, Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokemon.

These are just a few of the video game series that have inspired the arty folk at ARThive.

POWER UP! is a celebration of all things related to gaming- the culture, games, characters, consoles.

The group exhibition features paintings, drawings, tiles, digital illustrations and more.

There is even an interactive multimedia installation piece - a computer on which visitors can play an original game.

Among the local gaming enthusiasts who have contributed to POWER UP! is Newcastle illustrator and graphic designer Ben Mitchell of The Roost.

While many artists chose to focus on modern games, Mitchell took an old-school approach with his digital prints.

Both Collison Chaos 93 and Big Ring Hippo are influenced by games from the '80s the artist enjoyed playing as a kid.

Mitchell's playful prints embody the spirit of the gallery.

As one of the original Renew Newcastle projects, ARThive is focused on standing out in the crowd of Newcastle galleries.

In doing so, ARThive's Grant Hunter said the gallery explored lighter themes based on popular culture such as The Simpsons and cats.

"I mean, as far as I know, this is the first video game show that Newcastle has seen," Hunter said.

¦ POWER UP! is on display at ARThive, level 1/111 Hunter Street, Newcastle (above One Penny Black), until August 25. Opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 4pm.