Six Mount Pleasant Road Eltham, Victoria.
A Short Background
The Gallery has grown out of a family property project spanning more than sixty years of residence by the Mitchell family.
Moving to Eltham in 1948 Grace and Arthur Mitchell raised hens, planted an orchard and grew vegetables to support their own needs and to service the pastry shop business they created in the early 1950s.
Grace Mitchell retired from her pastry business and completed a Fine Arts Degree from RMIT (Phillip) Institute in the 1980s specialising in sculpture and printmaking. Rejecting the commercial aspect of the art world Grace would exhibit her work only in exhibitions that would not require her to part with her work. Her reason for this was coming to the visual arts later in life she wanted to continue to enjoy the process of creating mindfully; because she wanted to make sculpture, not because she had to sell to make a living. She was a true artist in the most pure sense. Grace died in 2011 aged 94. Her Sculpture, Textile and printmaking work is on show at the Eltham South Fine Art Gallery.
Jenni Mitchell was born an only child to Grace and Arthur in 1955 and began painting at an early age from the nearby Montsalvat artists’ colony under the tuition of Lesley Sinclair. Jenni went on to RMIT and later Monash to gain a Masters of Visual Arts.
Mervyn Hannan also grew up in Eltham in the 1950s amongst the artist families of Montsalvat. Sonia Skipper, one of the founding artists of Montsalvat, painter and sculptor is Mervyn’s Mother and Joe Hannan, painter, potter, his father. Mervyn works as a painter, sculptor and musician as well as the picture framer for the gallery and Studio Framing.
The Gallery is a product of Grace’s legacy and is intended to show the families work as well as invited artists throughout the year. As founding artists of the Eltham Open Studio Program the gallery and studios will open with the now Nillumbik Open Studio weekends in November on March each year.
The gallery is open weekly from Thursday to Saturday 10.00am – 5.30pm as well as most Sundays 11.00am – 5.00pm.
The Teaching Studio
Classes are held in Grace’s Studio. The sculpture studio has become the light filled painting studio with tables and easels provided. Students are able to work in the studio or in the orchard garden.
Small classes are suitable for beginners, advanced students or experienced students seeking to work within a supportive group.
Regular classes are available Thursday and Friday mornings 10.00am – 12.30pm and Thursday evenings 6.30pm – 8..30pm.
Private tuition is available at mutually suitable times.
Students may work in any medium including oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolour and pastel.