It was on this day 28 years ago that a refurbished shop front situated at 11 Watt Street, Newcastle, opened its doors for the very first ever Watt Space Opening.
This student run gallery was the initiative of three Art and Design students Jacquie Henderson, George Drewery and Brian Bully who after protests to the SRC for fairer distribution of Union funds for the Fine Arts Faculty, where given a budget of $100 a week to realise their dream. Drawing on their personal skillsets the three fitted out the shop front and rallied the support of local business for sponsorship and advertising. And so it was that Watt Space Gallery was born!!!
Fast forward a staggering 28 years and Watt Space Gallery, still run by University students, has evolved from its humble shopfront beginning to the grandeur of Northumberland House.
Watt Space has a legacy of dedicated and talented students, artists and professionals who have all played their role in its success. The gallery has showcased, supported and mentored almost 30,000 student artists over this time. Still today it serves to provide a space for students to learn invaluable skills including curation, marketing, installation, collaboration, fundraising, administration, events planning, and professional practice.
These opportunities for Students to gain experience within the Arts sector can be the professional edge needed in an often challenging and competitive industry. Something noted by University of Newcastle Lecturer, Professional Artist and former Newcastle University student Dr Deidre Brollo
“The first and most profound stumbling block for emerging artists is the transition between Art School and professional practice. Watt Space Gallery is one of the very few bridges that make that crossing possible, enabling art students to become artists”
Celebrate with Watt Space tonight at the Official THIS IS NOT ART launch and Crack Theatre Festival commencing 5:30pm at Watt Space Gallery.

TINA and Crack Theatre Launch Party

TINAWatt Space Gallery is thrilled to be hosting Crack Theatre Festival for this years 2017 This Is Not Art.

Dates September 28th- 1st October
Gallery Hours:
Thurs: 5:30 -12pm
Friday-sunday 9am-12pm

TINA Launch Thurs 28th 5:30pm

Please join us for the Opening Night and the Official proceedings for the launch of TINA 2017 from 5:30pm.

This event coincides with the 28th Anniversary of the opening of Watt Space Gallery.

Further details on the Crack Theatre Festival Program can be seen http://cracktheatrefest.com/events/

TINA festival is an Octopod production http://www.thisisnotart.org/

Watt Space located in Northumberland House, corner King and Auckland Streets, Newcastle.


The Penny Finnigan Scholorship

Watt Space Gallery would like to thank the University of Newcastle for the dedication of the previously known Annual Student Travelling Scholarship in Penny Finnigan’s name.

This annual prize worth $2500 will now be known as
The Penny Finnigan Scholarship.

Watt Space Gallery and University Staff have also placed a plaque in her honour within the Watt Space Gallery. It reads;

Remembering Penny Finnigan
Penny’s initial connection with Watt Space was as a student committee member in the early 1990’s. She was appointed Gallery Director in 1996, a position she held untill1999. Penny returned as a curator of Watt Space in 2012, where she continued to champion the Gallery until she passed away in June 2017.
As Gallery Director and Curator, Penny contributed a wealth of Knowledge to the management and preservation of Watt Space, gained from many years working with regional galleries in Newcastle and Broken Hill and a range of Art Committees. As an educator, she was a generous and committees teacher for the many student scholars, interns, committee members and exhibitors who came through Watt Space. The work-embedded learning opportunities offered through the gallery were acknowledged when Penny received the Vice Chancellors award for Integrated Learning in 2013.
Penny’s contribution to the refurbishment of the heritage-listed Northumberland House as the new gallery was critical. Her insistence that the gallery be finished to the highest standard was typical of her belief in the future of Watt Space. Penny will be remembered for her absolute dedication to the students of the University of Newcastle, and for those who knew her, the Gallery will always be a tribute to her work.

Penny Finnigan

Words In Semblance

Watt Space Gallery  had the pleasure of being host to the UoN writers collective for their event Words in semblance which responded to the theme of the Annual Student Art Prize exhibition presently on show. Writers Kait Fenwick, Claire Albrecht, Alison Kelley and Jodi Vial each recited their amazingly inspirational and insightful poetry to a packed house.thanks all to those who came.