Jenni Nichols (Gallery Owner) - 0407381911

The Hunter Artisan Gallery & Cafe

48 Melbourne Street, EAST MAITLAND NSW

We aim to encourage, connect, empower & inspire our local arts community              

Jenni Nichols (Gallery Owner) - 0407381911

    About Us


    Local creatives

    The Hunter Artisan Gallery & Café is a permanently housed artisan collective, featuring the works of some 30 independent makers from across the Hunter and surrounding area. We encourage creativity to connect, inspire and empower the creative community; this is our simple aim and at the heart of what we do.  All works are FOR SALE. 


    Home-style cafe

    The small gallery café offers a very simple menu of hearty home-style meals, tasty toasties and home-made cakes and sweets.  As far as practicable, we endeavour to use local produce and 'made on the premises' condiments. We are fully licensed and offer a small range of Hunter wines.


    More than a gallery...more than a cafe

    'A Creative Space and a space for creatives'. 

    The building, located at 48 Melbourne Street, East Maitland (the former George and Dragon Inn, originally built in 1837) is unique and beautiful and filled with a history that spans across 180 years.  As well as gorgeous art, we have beautiful giftware, jewellery, homewares and vintage china.  Our creative space also offers drawing and other art workshops, special individual and group exhibitions and a wonderful meeting place for writers and poets.

    Gallery Newsletters, Exhibition Brochures & Event Flyers

    For your convenience, to keep up to date with events and exhibitions, you can download information here.



    The Hunter Artisan Gallery & Cafe Brochure (pdf)


    Maude's Madhouse Art Workshops 2019 flyer (pdf)


    FINAL Exhibition Calatogue March to Nov 2019 (pdf)


    Life Drawing Workshop Flyer (pdf)


    High Tea @ The Gallery Brochure 2019 (pdf)


    Upcoming Events & Exhibitions



    Our Life Drawing Sessions provide the opportunity to gain confidence with a life model. 

    These sessions are held every second Wednesday evening from 6.30 to 8.30pm and suitable for all levels. 

    You will be inspired by a combination of an experienced Life Drawing facilitator (East Maitland local artist and author, Graham Davidson), a wonderful model and the ambience of our wonderful gallery.

     Develop your drawing skills and experiment with new concepts and approaches. Bring along your favourite materials so you feel comfortable. 

    Places are limited to 12, so it is important that you confirm your attendance. COST $25 for a 2 hour session.



    PHONE 0407381911


    Or message our Facebook page: 

    The Hunter Artisan Gallery and Cafe



    High Tea & Artist Chat @ The Gallery is a new regular creative event for 2019.

    Join with your friends and other creatives for a fun afternoon indulging in the revival of the traditional high tea and a talk by one of the gallery's artists. Served on funky china, with linen tablecloths and napkins, your afternoon begins with sparkling wine followed by a selection of petits fours and sweet and savoury pastry treats. The afternoon will also feature chat by one of the gallery's creative collective. A great opportunity to hangout with others and find out what they are doing creatively, learn about events and meet new friends. Places are limited to a maximum of 12 and an all-inclusive cost of $25/person.

    The best way to keep up to date with these gatherings is to like our FB page or download  the brochure, which includes 2019 dates, from the 'Gallery Newsletter and Exhibition Brochures' page on this website.

    Book now



    ‘An evening of art, poetry, music & food’…

    An intimate gallery atmosphere, sharing a 3-course communal dinner of delicious dishes, enjoying great company & getting up close & personal with art...

    Featuring: local poets,visual artists, musicians, writers, photographers and story tellers

    Cost: $55/head (includes 3 course dinner and a complimentary drink)  


    The best way to find out when the bookings open for the next dinner is to like our FB page - The Hunter Artisan Gallery & Cafe

    NEXT EVENT : TBA 2019

    Click on the button to book and pay online




    A collaboration of paintings, sculpture and drawings in a variety of medium by two local artists, featuring beautiful colours, creatures and subjects from nature.


     OFFICIAL OPENING: FRIDAY 29th March 6 - 8PM

    EXHIBITION DATES: 27th March - 7th April, 2019

    Daily 9am to 5pm

    'THE EMERGENCE OF HOPE' - A Solo Exhibition by Sonja Elise


    I am constantly challenged by my emotions and being able to paint these emotions gives me the opportunity to feel without confronting or offending anyone. Bright colours that contrast and compliment each other bring me great joy.

    OFFICIAL OPENING: SATURDAY 20th April, 2019 6-8PM 

    EXHIBITION DATES 18th April –4th May, 2019 Daily 9am to 5pm 

    'MY MAITLAND'- A Solo Exhibition by David Oberdorf


    This exhibition of primarily fine ink works by well-known local artist David Oberdorf, features buildings, landmarks and points of interest in and around Maitland. It's aim is to present the strong heritage theme of the city and to highlight the craftsmanship and creativity of our founders.


    OFFICIAL OPENING: FRIDAY 24th May, 2019 6—8PM


    EXHIBITION DATES 22nd May - 2nd June 2019 Daily 9am to 5pm 

    Featured Artists

    Jennifer Nichols


    My fascination is with the human form… with people and their stories. My work takes form utilising different mediums, particularly charcoal/pastels, inks, ceramic and acrylics, combined with the techniques of painting, drawing, ceramic-work, sculpture and print-making. I use whatever medium is appropriate to transform my ideas into reality, with a preference to using multi-medium, often with the combination of natural and man-made materials.

    I am fascinated by the process of how we transform throughout life, the journey more so than the destination and how the stories of others can change us, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

    My personal life journey has given me much insight. It has taken me from the depths of despair to the heights of happiness and peace and it is these constantly changing transitions between emotions that direct and inspire my work.

    I love the beauty of the broken, the lost, the damaged, the forgotten, the sad, the disenfranchised, the imperfect… the perfection of imperfection.

    My work is inspired by photographer Diane Arbus and painter Alice Neel, both of whom also embodied this narrative. Diane Arbus once said ‘The subject is more important than the picture’...a statement that I fully endorse.

    Sonja Elise Art


    "I am a creator. I use my highly emotional states to create art. It doesn’t matter what mediums I have on hand; whatever I have, I use, to express myself. I have many styles of art, and I hate being put in a teeny tiny art box. I am not an abstract artist, an expressionist, a watercolourist; I do not draw, or make marks exclusively. I do all of these things, and I love doing all of these things, because its what I was destined to do.

    I do have a few mediums that I prefer, and each has its own draw depending on my mood and needs at the time. When I need a sense of control and meditation, I make cuts in lino and create linoprints; when I’m sad or angry, or highly elated, I use acrylic and mixed media on canvas to express my emotion; when I need focus I work on fine detail in my watercolours; and if I’m stuck creatively, or just want to ‘lash out’, I use inks and make marks on paper. 

    I work at 100%, with all my nerve and fibre to create art, nothing is half assed, and the anxiety, paranoia, and self-talk I overcome to create my art makes it all the more sweet. I believe in my work, and I’m proud of everything I have achieved.

    I have a natural desire for balance in composition, but I am currently pushing against that natural desire to extend my practice in new and exciting ways. The desire for balance stems from a life of imbalance, and while its good for us humans to be controlled and to comform, art is a different monster. Art needs a certain imbalance for viewers to ask the questions, to form the opinions, and to create the emotions. 

    As artists, we all want to believe that our little art practice will change the world of art; that one day, when we’re dead and buried, we’ll be like Van Gogh or Kandisnky. I am no different, and I have illusions of grandiosity. I imagine a ménage à trois (love triangle) with Vincent and Vassily, they are a huge inspiration in my art, and also in my life. Like Vincent, I have a mental illness, and have been hospitalised, although these days with medication and medical research I am not nearly as sick as Vincent was, but “to be just a little bit crazy helps in the artistic process, it helps to free the mind, to allow for the space for new ideas to grow.” Kandinsky, on the other hand, was all about the ‘spiritual’ in art, using colours and shapes to express his ethos. I am what I would consider a spiritualist. I have my own belief system, and my work is an extension of those beliefs, even though you, as viewers, may not see it.

    I want my art to resonate with my audience. I want You to think. Why did she put that yellow stripe there? What is the significance of that blue square that fades into infinity? What does she mean by that great title, does it reflect the artwork, how does it relate to me?"

    Sonja has completed her Diploma in Visual Arts and is currently completing the Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts at Newcastle Art School.

    Although this is Sonja’s first solo exhibition, she has participated in a number of group exhibitions and her works have been chosen as finalists in a number of prestigious art prizes.

    Not just a pretty face - Boonah QLD 2015

    Depth of Whimsy - Ipswich QLD 2015 Diploma Exhibition - Newcastle Art School 2017 NEAP (Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize) - finalist 2017 Diploma Exhibition - Newcastle Art School 2018 NEAP (Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize) - finalist 2018 

    For this exhibition ‘The Emergence of Hope’, Sonja is showcasing works completed over the past 2 years and has included lino-prints, woodblock prints, acrylic works and watercolour and ink works.


    David Oberdorf


    Artist David Oberdorf was born in Maitland, NSW. His artistic skills were recognised at high school when chosen to illustrate and draw cartoons for Maitland High School’s weekly news sheet, which extended over a two year period.

    Following school he worked for 22 years as a press photographer before pursuing his passion for art full time in 1994 when he began drawing house portraits. An exhibition of his work was held at Maitland City Art Gallery that year.

    Since this time demand has grown significantly for David’s house portraits, which he draws by hand in fine ink from photographs. Many requests are made by proud home owners or people wishing to give their favourite relative or friend a lasting and unique portrait of their home. Orders are also often taken for church portraits, to become a timeless gift and celebration of the wedding for the bride and groom.

    David has completed numerous commissions for Maitland, Newcastle and Blacktown City Councils which included public buildings, hotels and tourist sites.

    David’s photographically accurate and highly detailed house portraits have been featured on NBN television and in Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

    'The Art of Words...Words in Art'...

    'Change' - (suiga) (Mixed media ceramic, natural bark & wood by Jennifer Nichols


    'Shouldering the burden

    of wings emerging-

    fear having bled the past-

    hope now sends ripples

    into a future bending

    to the winds of change,

    the power of flight.'

    Poet in Residence

    Pip Sheehan Lowther


    'And Lemons' acrylic on canvas by Janelle Goldman


    The Lemons

    'They hang over the fence

    I watch the globed fruit

    hang into the sunlit air

    with an assumed sigh 

    of disinterest

    that belies the acid

    juicing beneath

    the tough skin.

    I watch out the kitchen window,

    I want them to ripen.

    My iced water needs

    something extra.'

    Poet in Residence

    Pip Sheehan Lowther


    'Kinship' oil on linen by Skye O'Shea


    The Shapechanger

    'Sleeping, drifting, dreaming

    Fey, virgin, vixen mother

    leaning back into the earth.

    Signs autumn before the winter'

    Poet in Residence

    Jan Iwaszkiewicz


    'Drifting' mixed media on canvas by Bev Leggett Simmons


    'Small grains of minutes

    seconded from life's flow

    drift past.    here were are

    at bedrock we think

    but large chunks of reality

    break off the continents

    of family, work, friendships.

    as mothers, days are measured

    by skin-smell and small steps.'

    Poet in Residence

    Pip Sheehan Lowther


    'Vineyards Slab Hut' acrylic on canvas by Renata Daniel


    'Grandpop's barn

    was made of

    logs rough hewn and primitive

    and corrugated iron rusted

    to a piebald roof-skin

    Grandma's roses

    are long since overtaken

    by prolific purple thistles.

    Thinking of her scones,

    sponges, lemon curd, and

    fresh buttered mushrooms,

    I am surprised

    by a saliva rush

    half a century later.'

    Poet in Residence

    Pip Sheehan Lowther


    'Pauashell' Limited Ed. photographic print by Marie Foster



    marine waves

    leeched from the oceans

    of light,

    swim across

    my soul's

    salty pools.'

    Poet in Residence

    Pip Sheehan Lowther


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    The Hunter Artisan Gallery & Cafe

    48 Melbourne Street EAST MAITLAND NSW 2323




    By Appointment


    By Appointment


    By Appointment


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm