Arts & culture,
Creative arts & culture
Leading online Aussie retailer opens first gallery on coast
April 19, 2021
Local creatives can rejoice with leading online art platform Art Lovers Australia set to expand their digital art hub into a bricks and mortar gallery in Southport this weekend.
Gold Coast based founder Nancy Donaldson and co-owner Jarrod Knight, launched Art Lovers Australia in 2016, creating a vast online marketplace for contemporary Australian art.
The duo decided to open their first bricks and mortar gallery on the Gold Coast as a result of the city’s burgeoning arts and culture scene.
“We live on the Gold Coast and wanted to build something locally, we’ve talked about it for years and we finally felt our online business was strong enough to launch a bricks and mortar gallery to showcase the works in the flesh,” says Ms Donaldson.
“The Gold Coast arts scene has definitely been calling out for more. Ten years ago there really wasn’t much going on, but it feels like the Gold Coast has come of age in this space, with festivals like SWELL recognised nationally, and the soon to be opened HOTA Gallery which will bring a lot more attention to the arts scene.
“We love where we live, it’s hard to go past the incredible natural beauty and lifestyle we enjoy here.”
The pair, who are both artists themselves, launched Art Lovers Australia as a way to increase the visibility of other creators.
“There aren’t enough spaces to support every artist so we wanted to become that bridge to showcase their works,” says Ms Donaldson.
In 2019, Art Lovers garnered national media attention after partnering with Channel 9’s renovation television show The Block, showcasing the works of a number of their Australian artists. The online platform has since gone from strength to strength and has also featured nationally on Channel 7’s House Rules.
The purpose-built space located at The Brickworks in Southport will showcase the works of some of Art Lovers Australia’s 700 artists.
While the online platform will remain an important focus, the public gallery will give customers the opportunity to view their favourite artists’ works up close.
Ms Donaldson says the duo wanted their first exhibition to highlight the diversity of a range of Australian artists.
“We have everything from still-life, indigenous, abstract and landscape pieces. It’ll be an experience” says Ms Donaldson.
Mr Knight described it as “a window” for their online store.
“People like being in galleries and being surrounded by art. They also still love that human contact,” says Mr Knight.
In addition to exhibitions, Ms Donaldson and Mr Knight will also host regular art and lifestyle workshops at the gallery.
The first Art Lovers Australia exhibition officially opens on Saturday, 30 January 2021.