The brainchild of a group of art students from the Hunter Institute of Higher Education, Watt Space has been exhibiting the work of student artists to the local community since 1989. Their inaugural exhibition, Watt’s Happening, was launched by special guest Dr William Bowmore OA – who also made the first purchase of student art from the exhibition.
In 1990, when the amalgamation of the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Institute of Higher Education was formalised, the gallery came under the care of The University of Newcastle Student Union (now UoN Services) who still contribute to the operational costs of the gallery.
Watt Space Gallery remained on Watt Street until 1995, when they moved into their current location in the old NESCA printery at the back of University House. The loading dock, pit and storage areas were transformed into five separate gallery spaces.
From this location in the increasingly bustling Civic precinct, Watt Space Gallery plays host to art exhibitions by current students of the University of Newcastle. Watt Space offers students a chance to exhibit their work in a gallery without the pressures of having to do so in a commercial space.
Exhibiting at Watt Space also gives students a unique experience and insight into what it takes to run an exhibition in a gallery. It also provides the public with an opportunity to see emerging artistic talent from the University Newcastle, all under the watchful eye of Watt Space’s Curator Penny Finnigan.
Current Watt Space exhibitions can be found here.