23 July 2021

Private gallery and studio on the hunt for artists near Crookwell

| Hannah Sparks
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Margaret Wonson painting

Crookwell artist Margaret Wonson will paint and sell local works from her new studio and gallery. Photo: Supplied.

While many art galleries have been forced to close during the pandemic there is one defying the odds.

Crookwell artist Margaret Wonson is proposing to open a new gallery in the town’s main street in the NSW Southern Tablelands as a place to paint and support other artists.

She was involved in opening the Wall Candy studio and gallery on Goulburn Street in Crookwell in 2018 as a place for local artists to sell and share their work.

It was met with strong support and excitement from the community, but depended on volunteers which made it difficult to stay open during the week and then the pandemic hit.

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The Crookwell Art Gallery helped bring Wall Candy to life, but this time Ms Wonson is venturing out on her own.

She has been practising painting in the lockdown and an old friend fell in love with her work, so much so that the 85-year-old friend offered to fund the new gallery and studio.

Here, Ms Wonson will paint, run classes, sell art supplies – such as paints and boards, and local artwork.

“All forms of handmade art will be considered from sculptures to paintings, drawings, photography, bookmarks, handmade cards, magnets and small and decorative furniture. Anything unusual – anything artistic,” Ms Wonson said.

“I also include local recording artists’ CDs like Mariah K’s, and books written by locals.”

Margaret Wonson painting

This is one of Margaret Wonson’s latest paintings. Photo: Supplied.

The new gallery will run on commission, although Ms Wonson is determined to keep artists’ fees low.

“It will be a shopfront for artists and they will pay a minimal amount.

“The artists don’t have to be from Crookwell either – I’ve been speaking to artists in Oberon, Taralga, Goulburn and Gunning – across the area.”

The classes run at Wall Candy were very popular and included wire sculpting and lino printing. They were also due to run a class on refurbishing furniture before the pandemic hit.

“It was going really well. It would be great to have a gallery in Crookwell again,” Ms Wonson said.

Ms Wonson is thinking of a name for the new gallery and depending on artists expressing their interest in exhibiting works at the gallery for her idea to take off.

She will leave her job to run the gallery full-time so it’s a big risk, but she said there are plenty of artists in the area.

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“I’ve had 19 contact me so far and 23 in my book that I haven’t spoken to yet,” Ms Wonson said.

If you’re interested in exhibiting your art in Ms Wonson’s gallery contact her on 0427 365 259.

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