Manyung art gallery was a surprisingly sumptuous feast for the eyes. I was lucky enough to be given the royal tour by David whom owns the gallery in partnership with his wife Sharyn. They were customers of this 46 year old gallery before it became theirs 12 years ago. It is the oldest continuous commercial contemporary gallery in Victoria and David and Sharyn see themselves as its custodians.
The gallery was built by 10 local residents in the 60s on the site of a farmhouse and also boasts a sculpture garden. It is light, airy and spacious and comes complete with an entry used on special occasions, that looks like it belongs to a castle, complete with drawbridge. The gallery also has a restaurant on the premises called Licciardo's Gallery Bar and Grill, so there's somewhere to go for sustenance in between checking out the art .
The gallery has had weddings, 100 year old birthdays and Tibetan monks chanting in its space. The acoustics must be good because David mentioned that the reverberations from the diaphragm of a chanting monk called 'Temper', could be heard from the back of the gallery. They've also had a female French artist and author launch her book signing at the gallery.
Looking like an entry into a castle, it comes complete with a drawbridge.
Under David and Sharyn's directorship, the gallery continues to thrive because of their innovative approach towards their business. David comes from a National Consulting business background, and Sharyn was a group sales manager at channel 10. The gallery at the time was viewed as a passive business.
I loved this glass piece and wouldn't have minded it protruding out of my bedroom wall.
Since then, Manyung's legend stems from showcasing the very best of Australian art. David and Sharyn's unique vision of selling art includes a business model that is not something one hears of often in the art world. The focus behind it is to make contemporary art affordable for everyone and to step away from the belief that art is inaccessible. They do this by providing extended payment terms and interest free options.
From 60 or 70 paintings the gallery has grown and gets invited to International showings
Another initiative launched by the 'passionate about art' duo, to change the way people view purchasing art, they have launched something called 'Art Buy Sell'. It offers art owners the opportunity to on-sell their paintings without the high fees and processes of art auction houses.
There are two other Manyung galleries. One at 8 Claremont Ave, Malvern (03) 9509 8999 and the other at 113A Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento (03) 9787 2953. Manyung continues to showcase and promote Australian art, taking it to the international platform by being a part of art shows that have been held in Hong Kong, Singapore and Seattle. They've also won 'Best Tourism Venue" (2007) and have been voted top gallery by RACV, in their top 101 destinations (2008) segment and have been nominees in the Tourism Victoria Awards (2008 and 2009).
Art classes for adults and children are run at Manyung and they provide free in-home art consultancy. They are also available for corporate and private functions. Check out their webpage for more details and 'like' their Facebook page to keep up with their events and news. Its definitely a gallery worth visiting and everyone is very helpful and informative.