Art apartment opens above Curve Gallery

ART STAY: Lisa Who in the new Curve Gallery art apartment, located at 61 Hunter Street. Picture: Melinda McMillan
ART STAY: Lisa Who in the new Curve Gallery art apartment, located at 61 Hunter Street. Picture: Melinda McMillan

CURVE Gallery will re-open this month with a revamped exhibition space below and an art apartment above. 

Gallery director Lisa Who said there was a real buzz in the Newcastle art scene and the time was right to launch, what may be the city’s first, accommodation for art lovers and artists. 

Newcastle is an emerging cultural destination. 

“Newcastle is now definitely on the map,” Ms Who said. “For artists it’s a more manageable city, you are more connected to the community; you are more connected to other artists.

“We are at the cutting edge of contemporary art, and if we do it right, it will bring more artists to Newcastle.” 

Artists such as Braddon Snape, Michael Bell, Lottie Consalvo, Nigel Milsom and James Drinkwater had drawn attention to the city. 

“And the emerging artists are bringing the energy,” she said.

“There are artists coming out of the art school and the university and they are realising it is sustainable to have an art practice in Newcastle.” 

The art apartment was about “advocating for the culture that is happening in Newcastle”.

It will host artists in residence – artists exhibiting in Curve Gallery –  as well as those visiting the city for a cultural experience. 

“People don’t just want accommodation,” Ms Who said. “They want to have a cultural experience.”

Guests who stay in the artistically appointed and airy apartment will be invited to exhibition launches and provided with information about cultural things to do and see in the city. 

The gallery closed mid-2018 to undergo renovations. The gallery’s hanging space has increased by about 20 per cent with the addition of the window space. 

“It’s over 20sqm of extra space in the window,” Ms Who said. “We can show more artists … and hold multiple shows at once. 

“It can be an experimental space, it has a street presence, it can be open 24/7.”

 The first official show of 2019 is HUNTER River, Common Ground. 

The exhibition features the works of UK-based printmakers – Jason Hicklin, Greg Fuller and Tracy Hill –  who have responded to the Hunter River and investigated connections to the landscape and the coastal environment through art. 

All three will visit Newcastle for the exhibition, while Jason Hicklin will take up residency in the art apartment during the show, which opens on February 15. 

Ms Who is currently working on the gallery’s program for the year ahead, and said it will offer a blend of local and international artists who “push the boundaries”.    

To find out more, or book a stay in the art apartment, visit: curvegallery.com