The Public Gallery, Umina
Designed to welcome passers-by off the street and into a haven of art produced by talented locals, The Public art gallery is one of the newest spaces on the Central Coast. It’s part of Centered Ceramics pottery school and, although it’s small, it houses rotating exhibitions of various mediums, including oil and acrylic paintings, photography and pottery. Stay tuned for the latest exhibition via their Instagram page @thepublicartgallery.umina.
Open Thurs-Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 11am–3pm 246 West St, Umina Beach.
Gosford Regional Gallery, East Gosford
The Central Coast’s main art gallery, this Gosford institution has been around for more than 20 years. Located on 26 hectares of a waterfront public reserve, a visit makes for a peaceful morning out with friends, and it’s a great spot to take out-of-towners. Inside, there’s a trio of exhibition spaces where you will find paintings, photography, sculptures and design work from both established and emerging artists. In November through to January, feast yourself on 140 artworks from Lionel Lindsay who, in his day, was hailed as Australia’s leading printmaker.
There is also an art centre you can hire for art classes and community exhibitions, a small gallery shop showcasing homewares and jewellery, and an onsite café serving mostly burgers and salads. Before leaving, explore the Japanese style Edogawa Commemorative Garden, with its curling paths, koi pond (a big hit with children) and teahouse. You can learn about the garden on an audio tour; entry is free.
Open 9.30am–4pm 36 Webb St, East Gosford.
Ken Duncan Gallery, Erina Heights
Arguably the region’s most famous artist, photographer Ken Duncan has created a stunning space at Erina Heights to permanently exhibit his work. Light, bright and spacious, Ken Duncan Gallery walls sparkle with large-scale landscape and wildlife photography from around the world, including Italy, Argentina and the United States. You will also find plenty of pieces of local beaches, such as Terrigal, Avoca, The Entrance and Norah Head. Pop into the gallery solo or organise a guided group tour for a special occasion. There is also a theatre for seminars, conferences and product launches. Keep an eye out for Ken’s photo safaris too; they’re open to all levels of experience and are often to exotic locales such as Zambia and Svalbard. After you’ve browsed Ken’s collection, head next door to Kew Dining for an elegant high tea served from 10am Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Open Mon–Sun 10am–4pm 414 The Entrance Rd, Erina Heights.
Bobbie P Gallery, Terrigal
Tucked away in a sunny upstairs space off Hudson Lane, this Terrigal gallery attracts people eager to seek art out. The studio features the work of local Robyn Pedley, who paints arresting landscapes and abstract acrylic works. Robyn opened the gallery with her photographer husband, Darren, two years ago, after 20 years as a professional artist. Although Darren sells his photographs, the attention is on Robyn’s often vibrant pieces, while Darren makes the timber frames and hand stretches the canvases. Robyn generally creates two to three series of works a year and takes private commissions. You will also find a small selection of hand-blown Ogishi Glass bowls and jewellery on display.
Open Tues–Fri 10am–5pm, Sat 10am–3pm Level 1, 7 Hudson Lane, Terrigal.
KAB Gallery, Terrigal
In a prime position in Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific, KAB Gallery is all about welcoming people off the beach and into a creative space, sandy feet and all. KAB Gallery co-owner Kerry-Anne Blanket was determined the gallery would be open, visually inspiring and accessible to everyone. Her collection mainly consists of contemporary paintings with uplifting subject matters, such as beach living. Along with easy-on-the-eyes blues and whites, there are also plenty of colourful florals to brighten up lounge rooms. You will also Sydney landscapes by Jo Waite, funky ceramics by Tim Fry, and beautiful mixed media by a range of artists.
Open Mon–Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 10am–3pm Shop 19, Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific.
Glenn Mckimmin Gallery, Long Jetty
The large-scale photographic landscapes hanging in the windows of Glenn Mckimmin Gallery steel your attention as you drive along the main strip of Long Jetty. Do yourself a favour and pull over to peruse the artwork, which mostly consists of dramatic seascapes from across the Central Coast. Stormy skies, rolling waves, misty mornings and peaceful sunsets form part of the collection, along with streetscapes from Greece and beachscapes from Italy. The gallery is one of the newest in the region, having opened mid-2021. Glenn also runs workshops on Sydney Harbour, and tours to places such as Lake Eyre and Kosciuszko National Park.
Open Mon–Sat 10am–3pm Shop 1/421–423 The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty.
MAC. Museum of Art and Culture, yapang, Lake Macquarie
One of the most sophisticated galleries in the area lies on the shores of Lake Macquarie. The Museum of Art and Culture, yapang underwent a $2.3 million renovation in 2019, taking the already impressive gallery to another level. Affectionately known as MAC, this is a regional space that would fit effortlessly into the Sydney gallery scene and is only a 45-minute drive north of Tuggerah. Inside, you will be greeted by a mix of travelling and curated exhibitions of very high standard, including the Lake Art Prize 2022 and long water: fibre stories, featuring works from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. From December, the gallery will transform with Wendy Sharpe’s figurative and narrative style paintings.
The gallery also celebrates local artists with an “art in your community” program, and runs adult art classes (from eight-week projects to beginner drawing workshops) as well as kids’ classes where they can “draw with wire” and build rafts from natural materials. Give yourself time to browse the shop, where you will find glassware, ceramics and textiles, before heading into Three Bears Café for coffee and cake. Or you can pack a picnic to enjoy in the five-hectare garden dotted with sculptures on the shore of Lake Macquarie.
Open Tues–Sun 9am–3pm 1A First St, Booragul.
Dobell House, Wangi Wangi
Another must-visit gallery in Lake Macquarie is the heritage-listed Dobell House, the former weekender of renowned artist Sir Willian Dobell. After Dobell’s death in 1970, a group of Wangi Wangi residents formed a committee and bought the house to turn into a museum and gallery honouring him. You can visit to see around 200 artworks (in print) dating back to the 1920s, including a painting titled Oil Drums. Also on exhibit is some of Dobell’s clothing and restored furniture. Dobell had such an impact on the region, there’s even a month-long festival celebrating the artist every June.
Open Wed 10am–3pm, Sat & Sun 1pm–4pm 47 Dobell Dr, Wangi Wangi.
Other art galleries worth checking out:
- Green View Gallery, Kincumber: exhibits local and international artists such as Peter Fennell, Mary Cottam and Susie Linigen.
- Grant Molony Gallery X Rowsie Lane, The Entrance: predominantly ink and acrylic art as well as shared exhibition space.
- Toukley Art Gallery, Gorokan: a community gallery run by the Toukley & Districts Art Society.
- Bouddi Gallery, Killcare: showcases arts and crafts produced by not-for-profit Aboriginal Art Centres and Indigenous artists.
- The Bay Gallery, Art Studios Co-operative, Ettalong Beach: exhibiting the works of six local artists.
- Two Birds Gallery Café, Toowoon Bay: You may go there for the coffee but you’ll linger over the art on the walls.
- The Entrance Gallery & Studio, The Entrance: a community gallery, under the auspices of the Central Coast Council, exhibits local and visiting artists.
Artists and online galleries:
- Garry Purchase: award-winning Dharawal/Dunghutti artist at garry-purchase.myshopify.com
- Katerina Apale: vibrant artworks at apale.art
- Nicole Berlach’s beautiful scientific illustrations translate into prints, homewares and stationery at nicoleberlach.com
- Pete Rush public sculptures: find where they are at @peterushsculptor on Instagram
- Peter Godwin: one of the coast’s most acclaimed artists. Exhibits throughDefiance Gallery defiancegallery.com
- Phil Meatchem: specialist in portraiture from realism, impressionism to caricature. The Glass Onion Society, Long Jetty