IT IS HARD to believe that NaNY Gallery has only been a part of the Warrandyte community for two years.
It came into being during the end of the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2021.
In the true community spirit he is well known for, Now and Not Yet Café’s Derek Bradshaw offered to provide the space when I was looking for somewhere to host my exhibition.
Then came the idea to start exhibiting local artists’ work every two months.
A grant from the Bendigo Bank allowed for a gallery hanging system to be installed, and NaNY Gallery was officially founded.
I then invited local artist Jacinta Payne to have the first show.
Jacinta’s Bushscapes and Moonlight exhibition featured her atmospheric abstract landscapes and included some pieces made on reclaimed denim, with many works snapped up by local art lovers on opening night.
We hit it off, and Jacinta joined the team.
My award-winning show Can You See The Beauty In It? was exhibited next, and I also found many new collectors during my show, proving the idea of a gallery wall in a café in the heart of town was one that the community would embrace.
Relaxed and accessible, the opening nights have become highly anticipated by regulars.
With no shortage of local talent, the calendar quickly filled up into the following year.
NaNY Gallery has supported many first-time exhibiting artists, such as Kim Charbonneau, who discovered her photographic talents during lockdown and has gone on to contribute to many group shows.
Wildlife illustrator Sarai Meyerink has a YouTube channel and offers online drawing courses.
As well as an exhibition of his natural ochre paintings, established artist Gary Upfield also offered up two very interesting ochre workshops in the space.
Bron Elmore’s bird & bloom exhibition was incredibly successful, selling many pieces and cultivating her growing following.
This year started with the nearly sold-out show of Warrandyte-born Michaela Bumpstead with her beautiful bush and riverscapes.
David Hewitt also had great success with his first show.
We did a Salon hang for oil and watercolour painter Leanne Savory with over 50 pieces on the wall.
She has joined the stable at Tacit Gallery in Collingwood.
Local living legend Bill McAuley filled our walls with portraits from his fantastic career as a photojournalist.
NaNY also held its first book launch with Bill McAuley’s Portraits of the Soul, which was a huge evening.
The October/November show features established ceramic artists Chris and Mary-Lou Pittard, Jane Annois, and prints from Angela Nagel, gracing the wall in their combined show What Feeds Me.
Finally, our last show for 2023 is an open-call group show — from December 3 to February 3.
We have put together an exhibition of 30 artists, which we feel will captivate the NaNY crowd — we received over 79 submissions by artists from all around Melbourne.
Once again, the Bendigo Bank has generously donated money to help us with some proper gallery lighting, which will be installed soon.
Jacinta and I are very proud of what NaNY Gallery has become and the calibre of artists we have attracted. It is so sought after that we have decided to go monthly with our exhibitions next year to give more artists a chance to show their work.
Our exhibition opening nights will be held on the first Sunday of every month in 2024.
Come along, have a glass of wine and some nibbles, and meet our exhibiting artists.
We cannot wait to see how NaNY Gallery will flourish into the future with exciting artists such as Tim Read, Ant Owen, Deb Mawdsley, and touring motorbiking artist Christine Keeble, to name a few for 2024.
Watch this space!
NaNY Gallery is volunteer-run, and Now and Not Yet Café is a not-for-profit community organisation.
If you would like to donate to the Now and Not Yet organisation, contact them via their website www.nowandnotyet.com.au. For artwork enquiries, contact email@example.com.