IMAGINE an art gallery that was open 24/7 where you could hang out with friends and enjoy art on your own terms and on your own schedule.
Sounds fanciful – especially in WA where Sundays are like an episode of Heartbeat and everything shuts at 5pm – but a new gallery in Melville is breaking the mould.
Situated on the Canning Highway in the old city hall, NextDoor gallery was opened in late 2020 by artist Ron Nyisztor and is open 24/7 to artists and art lovers who pay a small subscription fee.
The gallery is located “next door” to Nyisztor Studio, an independent artist-run space opened in 2006.
Nyisztor wanted NextDoor to reflect modern society where people work all kinds of hours and the communication between artists and the public is less abstracted and more immediate.
“The concept is to give people autonomy over the space, they can bring friends in anytime of the day or night, accessing by a Bluetooth app on their phone,” Nyisztor says.
“They are welcome to lounge and view the artworks, contact the artists directly to discuss, or, make a purchase online. There is a complimentary café and refreshments bar for subscribers visit, so it’s an ideal catch up spot after a meal or show. It’s great to be able to meet there and talk about the artworks freely.
“There is a sense of ownership while you visit the space and I hope this idea will grow to become a vibrant hub and art promotions platform.”
About 80 artists and art lovers have already signed up and there are about 100 artworks on display including paintings, sculpture, photography, printmaking and illustration in the 12m x 12m space.
Featuring predominantly local artists like Sioux Tempest, Trevor Richards and Charmaine Ball, the gallery also exhibits interstate artists like Lee Harrop from Darwin and Abraham Dunovits from Melbourne.
Since the studio is unattended, artists deal with buyers directly, cutting out the middle-person.
There’s also a small unattended shop in the gallery where people can buy artists’ prints, zines and t-shirts using QR codes on their phones.
“All works are posted to our instagram and website gallery which basically acts as an online floor sheet with prices and artist contact details,” says NextDoor administrator Garth Adams.
“It’s a way to try and connect artists with collectors directly and helps younger artists to build relationships within the community.”
The gallery, situated at 391 Canning Highway, is accessed using an app with CCTV monitoring what’s going on.
For more info on NextDoor go to nextdoorart.com.au
By STEPHEN POLLOCK