The History of Gunyulgup Galleries

Gunyulgup Gallery

When Gunyulgup Galleries opened its doors on 28th March 1987 Margaret River was at the beginning of its rapid expansion. At the time there were thirteen wineries with labels and no art galleries and now there are at last count 81 wineries and numerous galleries.
Nina 5. Ashley Jones (after moving to Yallingup in 1986 from Perth) curated the very first exhibition at its inception. The same high standards of display and selection remain to this day. The original site of the gallery was on Caves Road but in 1995 moved 2kms away to its present location in Gunyulgup Valley on the lake. The well known Lamont’s Restaurant and cellar door is adjacent to the gallery and the two businesses complement each other.

The gallery was designed by artist, Ashley Jones and took into account previous experience of gallery architecture from around the world. The building is both practical and aesthetically pleasing and provides beautiful views of the lake. An open and well lit environment work perfectly to present contemporary art and objects.

Nina Jones has a background in arts administration through working at the Fremantle Arts Centre as the Director’s assistant for six years and also as assistant to the Curator of Artworks at Curtin University for four years. From this experience she decided to move away from the public sector to the private one and not be dominated by some of the limitations that those institutions have imposed on them.

The overriding philosophy of the gallery is to present Western Australian artists exclusively. This was borne out by the experience of witnessing when both public and private Western Australian galleries chose to focus upon Eastern States and overseas artists during the time of the America’s Cup. This has been the case for twenty years with a few exceptions. It represents about 120 artists and craftsperson’s at any one time and displays paintings, glass, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and writers ( mainly through Fremantle Arts Centre Press and University of Western Australia Press), Paintings and glass have become the major strengths over the last decade. The gallery is open seven days a week and presents five to six solo exhibitions a year of painters which puts a major focus on these artists.

The original concept was to have a focused fine art gallery in the Margaret River wine region as opposed to a tourist attraction. The emphasis was to give a cultural experience and expose Western Australian art and design to people who may not have visited art galleries in the city. The aim is to provide a friendly and informal atmosphere in which to view a diverse range of quality fine art. Importance of display and good service has been a priority.
As a commercial gallery we are gratified to have supported and nurtured numerous artists both established and emerging. Many of these have been long, rewarding and symbiotic relationships.
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About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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