What do you do when you’re perhaps a little too old to have your finger painting stuck with pride on the fridge at home? Well, you graduate to having your work displayed in a gallery for the entire world to admire.
The University Gallery, built in 1995, resides in the bushland surrounds of the Callaghan campus of the University of Newcastle and is an award winning, purpose-built facility. The Gallery building actually comprises two different areas: The University Gallery on the upper floor and the Senta Taft-Henry Museum underneath.
The Gallery had the original aim of providing graduating students with a high quality space in which they could exhibit their work for examination. Over the years, The Gallery has expanded its role to not only examination exhibitions, but also to providing a place where discussion and presentation of artistic and cultural developments as well as achievements in other areas of research at the University of Newcastle could find a home
The Gallery also offers public programs and mentoring sessions throughout the year that promote awareness of contemporary artists, communities and disciplines that may be of interest to the wider Hunter community.
The Senta Taft-Hendry Museum opened in 2011 in a dedicated space underneath the University Gallery.
The museum houses an extensive and diverse collection of artefacts: carved wooden masks used in ancestral pageants, weapons featuring carved bone, cassowary feathers and shells, cooking pots, ancient drums and body adornments.
The collection dates back to the 1950s when Senta Taft Hendry began her travels to Papua New Guinea, West Papua (Irian Jaya), Micronesia, Polynesia and remote Australian communities.