Sydney has an extensive range of independent art galleries and much of the art displayed is for sale.
Many people fear buying art, worrying that it won't go up in value or they'll have spent too much money on it. The true value of art is the richness it adds to your life. Like all things beautiful, you want to keep looking at it, and with a painting or sculpture, you can do that anytime.
Buying art from an auction isn't the only way and art doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars. There are plenty of emerging artists that will sell you a beautiful painting for under a hundred dollars. Just remember that Vincent Van Gogh sold no paintings in his lifetime yet now his paintings are worth millions. Buying from 'not for profit' galleries ensures you are paying a fair price and the artist is directly benefiting from the sale.
Upcoming exhibit at the Sheffer Gallery 7-21 Nov 'Italy Monochromes' by Sydney artist LJ Polley-Peters.
Independent galleries are an excellent place to buy art. They are free to enter, will have a price list near the door and often the artist will be in attendance so you can find out the stories behind the art.
The galleries mentioned have new exhibitions often (some fortnightly, others monthly) so you can visit multiple times in a year and always discover something new.
Marrickville #1 - The StirrUp Gallery is not for profit and showcases emerging artists allowing them freedom to display their shows as they wish. It's part of a community hub featuring artist studios, kids drawing classes, a re-imagined furniture shop (where old stuff is fixed and made new by local artists) and Reverse Garbage which is full of eclectic oddities (if you make your own art & crafts). Visit on a Sunday when the excellent Marrickville Markets are on. The StirrUp Gallery 142 Addison Road Marrickville PH: (02) 9569 7633
Not for profit the StirrUp Gallery is a great place to discover new artists. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
Glebe #2 - Gauge Gallery does not take commissions from artists and looks for vibrant and diverse collections to display. Upstairs houses beautiful glassworks from Australia and New Zealand. The Glass Artists' Gallery is internationally renowned having exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. At the time of visiting, downstairs held a combined exhibition of photo collages and industrial sculptures. Open 6 days. Gauge Gallery/Glass Artists' Gallery 68 Glebe Point Road Glebe PH: 02 9552 1552
#3 - The Shop Gallery is a small exhibition space in a heritage listed shopfront a short walk from the Gauge Gallery. Open daily during exhibitions. The Shop Gallery 112 Glebe Point Road Glebe (no phone provided)
Gauge Art Gallery/Glass Artists' Gallery Glebe. Images supplied by gallery & also by Jade Jackson.
Redfern/Darlington #4 - 107 'The Projects' is a not for profit community artists' space. The ground floor showcases rolling exhibits by emerging artists, often combining the work of several artists into one themed exhibition. Grab a drink from the in-house cafe and wander. Office hours are Tue-Sun but hours may vary with events and openings. 107 The Projects 107 Redfern Street Redfern PH: 02 9690 1007
Buy unique and beautiful art to fill your home. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
#5 - The Sheffer Gallery is a great place to discover challenging art from unrepresented artists. Opening 7-21 November is a 'Monochromes from Italy' exhibit by Sydney artist LJ Polley-Peters. Open Wed-Sun. Sheffer Gallery 38 Lander St Darlington PH: 02 9310 5683
Current exhibition at 107 'The Projects' showcasing birds. Exhibitions change fortnightly. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
Paddington Hidden away in the quiet backstreets you will find a number of galleries all within easy walking distance of each other. These are more commercial and some display works by established artists only.
#6 - Wagner Contemporary Upstairs, this gallery has a penchant for contemporary art and investment paintings. The gallery owner is more picky about who gets to display so it's more exquisite. Open Tue-Sun. Wagner Contemporary Hampden St Paddington PH: 02 9360 6069
#7 - Justin Miller Art is owned by an ex-chairman of Sotheby's Australia and is well connected in the arts world. Displays an eclectic mix of art. Open 7 days. Justin Miller Art 10A Roylston St Paddington PH: 02 9331 7777
#8 - Martin Browne Contemporary specialises in both Australian and international art and features a selection of artists at any time. Their showroom features a nice courtyard garden which usually has outdoor sculptures. Open Tue-Sun. Martin Browne Contemporary 15 Hampden St Paddington PH: 02 9331 7997
#9 - Sarah Cottier Gallery has a selection of artists it works with, providing dedicated exhibits for each. The showroom is also a great example of beautiful architecture. Open Tue-Sat only. Sarah Cottier Gallery 23 Roylston St Paddington PH: 02 9356 3305
#10 - Australian Galleries has been running for 60 years and its exhibitions are changed monthly. It has a sister gallery in Melbourne with a huge storeroom so it has a big catalogue. It also has a stunning Mexican themed courtyard. Open 7 days. Australian Galleries 15 Roylston St Paddington PH: 02 9360 5177
A selection of the many galleries found near Hampden Street Paddington. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.
Camperdown/Annandale #11 - Chrissie Cotter Gallery is a council run gallery & is free for artists to display their works. Focuses on art based on the local community. Check ahead for exhibits. Open Thu-Sun. Chrissie Cotter Gallery Pidock St Camperdown PH: 02 9335 2280
#12 - Tetch Gallery is a multi use space so check ahead to make sure there is an exhibit but here you'll find bright and loud local exhibits sure to brighten any house. Open Wed-Sat. Tetch Gallery 245 Parramatta Road Annandale PH: 0404 732 645
#13 - Annandale Galleries is in an old church and prides itself on contemporary Australian art including indigenous works. Open Tue-Sat. Annandale Galleries 110 Trafalgar St Annandale PH: 9552 1699
Sign up to each gallery's mailing list and you can expect invites to exhibition openings where you can sip champagne, gaze upon the latest artworks and mingle with the artists.
Each gallery has limited on street parking available (often paid) and they are all close to public transport. Don't expect facilities unless mentioned but they all have cafes nearby. It's not Asia so don't expect to barter or negotiate prices listed, and a red sticker means it's already sold. Some galleries take credit cards and others will issue an invoice for payment. Ask to be sure.
Note:If you are a new artist and wish to have an exhibition, galleries #1-4 all accept submissions, however exhibitions are usually decided 6-12 months in advance. Contact each gallery for guidelines.