In Gallery with Mosman Art Gallery

1) What is the History of Mosman Art Gallery? 

Mosman Art Gallery was launched in 1999. It was built as part of an adaptive reuse of a significant heritage site heritage (the original building was designed by the architects Burcham Clamp and Walter Burley Griffin. 

2) What is your galleries philosophy? 

We aim to be the home of Australian Art and innovation, reflecting the great artistic heritage of the area and as an active participant in future arts developments.

3) How do you choose shows for the Gallery? 

There are five criteria or streams that we consider for our programming. A program does not need to match all streams but we use them to make sure we have a balanced program. These streams of programming are: 1. Contemporary multi art program, 2. Heritage/collection program, 3 Access program,
4 Aboriginal program and 5. Innovation/new technology program. 

4) Is there a certain style of art that the gallery prefers? 

No particular style, but work of high quality that deals with interesting subject matter is usually preferable

5) What educational activities do you have? 

We have over 4,000 students participating in our education activities every year, with educational programs designed to reflect individual exhibitions as well as our permanent collection.

6)  If you can, what advise can you give to an artist looking for representation, what would it be? 

Always produce high quality work and be unique.

7) It is a hard market out there, how are you finding it? 

As a public gallery we are not dependant on selling works, although sales have been down in recent years during the Mosman Art Prize.

8) What kind of audience do you usually get visiting? 

 We have a range, but like most galleries the majority of visitors are women who are mostly older than the median age. Having said that our audiences are becoming more diverse with many younger people coming to specific programs.

9) Have you any advice when choosing a gallery to show in? 

It’s a bit of a luxury to choose, but you should aim to work with galleries and/or curators who get what you do and value it.

10) There are plenty of ARI (Artist run initiatives) out there, What are you thoughts on these spaces? 

These places are vital for the long term development of artists and in providing direct experience for the next generation of arts administrators.

11)     Social media is everywhere, do you use it and does it help the gallery? 

We have only established a social media presence this year but it is growing rapidly.
It is easy to use and provides another low cost outlet for getting our message out. 

12) How do you get people to visit your gallery? 

A variety of ways – through invitation, gallery friends, word-of-mouth, publicity and advertising and repeat visitation.

13) What art do you have on your wall at home and your office? 

Contemporary urban Aboriginal artwork.

14) Where can we find out more about your gallery? 

A good place to start is our website –

15) What do artists need to know about the Mosman Art Prize? 

That it is the most prestigious open painting prize in Australia with a first prize of $30,000. It is also the oldest municipal art prize in Australia, founded in 1947.  The inaugural winner was Margaret Olley. Many famous artists have won the prize and have used it as a springboard for their careers.

16) What shows are coming up over the next couple of months?

 In December/January we have Megan Heyward with a joint gallery/locative media project called Notes for Walking, which will also be featured as part of the 2013 Sydney Festival. During this time the Australian Watercolour Institute will combine with the Taiwanese Watercolour Institure in a joint international exhibition. Also, visitors to the Gallery can experience the Balnaves Gift, a recent $1 million donation of works to the gallery featuring Mosman landscape by key Australian artists including Arthur Streton, Sydney Long, Conrad Martens and Margaret Preston.

All blog posts and images are copyrighted and all rights belong to – Sydney Art Galleries and Art Community and Mark Rowden

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