Ask a local – more hidden art spaces in Mornington
Mornington is a thriving hub for creativity, so much so we couldn’t fit them all in one article! Chasingour first feature, read on for part two, as we offer more local recommendations on hidden creative hubs waiting for you to discover. Join us as we continue to explore all that the Mornington art scene has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.
The Nook opened its (roller) doors initially as a gallery for emerging creatives filling a much-needed gap on the Mornington Peninsula. Since then the Mornington industrial precinct-based hub has evolved into something much bigger, with private studios for creative business owners, two gallery spaces and a courtyard area. Founders Kristy, Joel and Josh are local siblings. Together they came up with the vision for The Nook — a place creatives could come together to work alongside like-minded people. A versatile space, it plays stage to visionary brands, passionate entrepreneurs and talented local creatives.
Established in 1968, Manyung Gallery Group is directed by Sharyn and David Wemyss-Smith who pride themselves on showcasing contemporary and traditional works of art by established and emerging visual artists and sculptors who are sourced Australia-wide. The gallery's offering includes original oil, acrylic and water-colour paintings as well as fine art prints, sterling silver jewellery, glass, ceramic, steel, bronze, wood and mixed media sculpture and photography. Manyung Gallery Mornington in the bustling Progress Street precinct serves as the group's art warehouse and includes a 70-metre art presentation space.
Seeing the potential, a local café was transformed by landscape artist Sophie Perez and her husband Brett. After what she explains felt like “a gazillion hours of cleaning, measuring (twice), cutting and building,” she now has four beautiful artist studios, and a communal space /gallery to call her creative home. Look out for her open studio days where you can meet Sophie, chat about her work and have a cup of tea (she does love a chat!) While there, meet the other talented creatives who form the studio community, including local photographer Julie Haines, otherwise known as Willow Creative.
Settle in for a delicious coffee and a meal made with love with front row seats to the creativity at play in any one of the three studios housing working artists. We understand the appeal, what better way to get the creative juices flowing than to the scent of roasting coffee! Windows into workshops of a photographer, jeweller and illustrator give new appreciation for the ‘behind the scenes’ creative process. A space thriving with creativity, the energy is always a buzz with many a local work meeting planned over the ‘coffee cup that counts.’
A new exciting concept aimed at supporting creative people to showcase their skills in arts and crafts, Black Spot Gallery is a modern gallery with industrial styling. Designed to accommodate small intimate gatherings as well as larger exhibitions, it is the perfect space to showcase creativity.
Not so hidden, but how could we not include this regional prize - The Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. The largest public gallery in the South East region of Melbourne, the team are passionate about making art accessible to everyone, entry to the Gallery is free. The seasonal program combines a mix of curatorial projects, local artist focus projects, collection-based and touring exhibitions. Having recently celebrated 50 years, the MPRG collection has grown to include over 1800 objects, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. This beautifully changing space is a must to visit while exploring the Industrial Estate.
Just up the road, among the characterful cafes, retailers, restaurants and bars of Main Street Mornington, are more galleries waiting to inspire. Discover the local makers and creators who have collaborated to create a new retail experience - Artisan’s Alley. Immerse yourself in the quirky works of Nissarana Gallery exhibiting paintings, ceramics and sculpture by award winning artists from Australia and overseas. Be transported by the landscape photographs of Tom Putt, works that are a pure celebration of beauty.