Alumnus opens gallery showcasing local talent

University of Newcastle (UON) Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, Ahn Wells, has diversified her practice by moving out of the studio and into the gallery, establishing her own business in Hamilton.

Gallery 139 will showcase local emerging and established artists, many of whom are graduates and staff members of UON.

The debut exhibition, which opened this week, features 30 artists including Pablo Tapia, Meredith Woolnough, Olivia Parsonage, Natalie Engdahl, Barbara Nanshe, Chris Byrnes and Alison Smith. They are joined by seasoned Newcastle-based professionals such as John Earle, Helene Leane and Peter Lankas and works by the winner of the Maitland Regional Art Gallery’s Brenda Clouten Award, Michaela Swan, and the winner in the sculpture section of the Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize, Gavin Vitullo.

On taking the plunge to open a gallery of her own, Wells explains, “I want to do it my way. I’ve learned a lot from being a volunteer director and gallery worker. I know how much time, energy and determination it really takes to make a gallery function from day to day”.

“I feel as though I’ve been doing a bit of an apprenticeship for over 10 years. It’s time to see if I can do it all independently. If something goes wrong, I only have myself to blame”.

“It’s also about good quality, innovative art that is being produced in Newcastle. I want to bring the art world to everyone.”

The gallery will also sell art books and music by locally published authors and musicians.

“It can be difficult to find these things all the time, but here you can walk in and know that you can get your hands on the latest edition of the Newcastle Poetry Anthology or the debut album by De’May.”

Wells has spent the last 17 years studying, exhibiting, curating and working in art galleries. Currently the Director of Newcastle Art Space, Wells has formerly held the position as co-Director of PODspace, both of which are voluntary positions.

Gallery 139
139 Beaumont Street, Hamilton
10am – 5pm, Wednesday to Friday
10am – 2pm, Saturday.

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