About Us


Local creatives

The Hunter Artisan Gallery & Café is a permanently housed artisan collective, featuring the works of some 60 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.


(Subject to changes from time to time)



Our little Gallery Café has a tasty menu that changes regularly and comprises delicious homemade sweet and savoury dishes and a selection of Gluten Free, Lactose Free & Vegan treats from Georgie’s Fine Foods….however, please remember, ‘WE DO NOT DO FAST FOOD..NOR DO WE DO FOOD FAST’…so please enjoy your time with us…play a game, read a book, look at the art or most importantly talk to each other.

‘SWEET TREATS’  - Available all day until 4pm  

Raisin Toast - 2 x toasted slices w/ butter $8   

Warm plain scones w/ berry jam & fresh cream $8 (2/serve)

Warm date scones w/ fresh butter $8 (2/serve)      

Apple cake served warm w/ cream $8   

 (GF*, V*) Chocolate brownie warm w/ ice cream $8

 (GF) Georgie’s Fine Foods Florentine  $4  

 Georgie’s Fine Foods Pistachio and almond shortbread  $4   

 (GF)Georgie’s Fine Foods Chocolate, orange and poppy macaroon$4   Georgie’s Fine Foods Date, ginger and oat cookie  $4

 BRUNCH MENU - Available 9am until 2.30pm

  (*GF) Hearty Bacon & Egg Roll - 2 eggs, bacon, cheese, hash brown, spinach & our special tomato relish $15 

(V*) ‘Beans On Toast’ -  ‘Mumma Jen’s Famous Beans’ w/- chorizo, topped w/a poached egg & feta on a toasted English muffin $15

(*GF) Build Your Own – Toasted English muffin  w/ Choose from of the following – bacon, 2 x eggs (poached, fried, scrambled), corn fritter, beef patty, vegetable patty, hash brown, wedges,  2 x sausages, spicy beans  Choose 2 - $15, Choose 3 - $19, Choose 4 - $22, Choose 5 - $25

Fish Cakes - tasty fish cake, served w/- crunchy chips & salad garnish  $16

(V*) Corn fritters w/ smoked salmon or bacon or roasted sweet potato, topped w/ corn drizzle $16

(GF*, V) Eggplant stack – Grilled eggplant, stacked with brown lentils, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, baby rocket leaves & balsamic reduction    $16

(GF*, V) ‘Melt of the Day’  Served with salad garnish & sweet potato fries $16

(GF*/V) Haloumi Burger – Grilled haloumi, sweet potato, avocado & lettuce on a toasted roll with beetroot relish & wedges $16

 *Changes can be made to the dishes (within reason), GF bread is available as a substitute 


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)


Life Drawing Workshop Flyer - EVERY WEDNESDAY (pdf)


Exhibition Calatogue April to Nov 2020 (pdf)


Workshop Calatogue 2020 (pdf)


Book Club Poster (pdf)


Fabric Printing Workshop Brochure (pdf)


Shibori and Eco-dyeing Workshop Brochure (pdf)


ARTstART Brochure 2020 (pdf)


Upcoming Events & Exhibitions





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

These sessions are held every  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

EMAIL: jenninichols1963@gmail.com

Or message our Facebook page: 

The Hunter Artisan Gallery and Cafe





If you love good food, interesting company and stimulating conversation, why not join us for a past life dinner experience?  over the course of your meal you can learn fascinating insights of your previous lives and that of your dinning companions.
Tickets per person include an introductory glass of wine, a set  two course meal, tea and/or coffee and an insight into one of your past lives.All other beverages (alcoholic or non alcoholic) are  available at your own expense. Numbers are capped at the Hunter Artisan Gallery and cafe  venue  for a max of 16 per evening, so grab your friends, workmates or relatives and join us for a night out of the ordinary!


     For upcoming dates and  bookings please contact Kim Willis directly by   phoning 0447 480 130 or head to her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/ktwillis13/?eid=ARDsZnXjEAepAEedvXRO_YbUwk9_omoNr5DAxx9vKlMuqvwyzKnaaH6RDRN-e1sNVawh8ltb9L5eJGzz



'FEATHERS AND FUR' - A Solo Exhibition by Debra Spence



Mon 16th March 10am—1.30pm

COST $85 (all materials incl. light lunch ) 


Impress your friends by printing and stamping tea towels and other fabric items to give as gifts or to keep. Suitable for beginners.

PRICE INCLUDES: Two tea towels to personalise as you wish, assorted fabric scraps to practice/print/keep. Paints and tools, stencils and linos.

More items can be purchased for personalisation if required on the day or you can bring along your own fabrics to work on.
Light lunch included .
Wear 'old' clothes.
Book at www.amandadonohue.org/workshops www.amandadonohue.org/workshops 

Amanda Donohue Artist has over 20 years experience creating contemporary prints, specialising in etching, linocut, dry point, silk screen and collographs.

'FEATHERS AND FUR' - A Solo Exhibition by Debra Spence

'BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAIL' - An Exhibition by Lynda McPherson & Linda Lunnon

'FEATHERS AND FUR' - A Solo Exhibition by Debra Spence


This is Debra's first solo exhibition and reflects her passion for animals and the natural world.  It will focus on the diversity, beauty and detail of nature.  Her story will be told through a series of realistic animal portraits, of a variety of wildlife in different mediums and will appeal to those who love realistic and emotive artwork.


FRIDAY 17th April, 2020  6 - 8pm

This is a FREE EVENT - Light refreshments provided


15th April - 26th April, 2020

Daily 9am - 5pm

'BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAIL' - An Exhibition by Lynda McPherson & Linda Lunnon

'BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAIL' - An Exhibition by Lynda McPherson & Linda Lunnon

'BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAIL' - An Exhibition by Lynda McPherson & Linda Lunnon



Beauty in the natural world comes in many forms.  From the hidden treasures found in the decomposing leaf litter, to the curious creatures of Australia's iconic wildlife, there is beauty in the detail.  

This exhibition of works in watercolour and scratchboard, aims to draw the viewer in to examine these detailed artworks, to bring a renewed appreciation for slowing down and observing the natural world in all of its incredible wonders.


Friday 22nd May, 2020

6 - 8pm

This is a FREE EVENT - Light refreshments provided


20th - 31st May, 2020

Daily 9am - 5pm

'SIMPLY CHILDREN' - A Solo Exhibition by Michelle King

'BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAIL' - An Exhibition by Lynda McPherson & Linda Lunnon

'BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAIL' - An Exhibition by Lynda McPherson & Linda Lunnon



This is Michelle's first solo exhibition.  There is something so timeless and simple about a photography portrait.  As Michelle says, " It's about capturing the person in front of me, their essence and being connected in the image.  It's not about the pretty background, the amazing backlight evening light.  They are the star of the image and everyone has a beauty to tell in these images."


Friday 19th June, 2020

6 - 8pm

THIS IS A FREE EVENT - Light refreshments provided


17th - 28th S, 2020

Daily 9am - 5pm

Featured Artists


Jennifer Nichols

Deborah Van Heekeren

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.


Sharran Makin

Deborah Van Heekeren

Jennifer Nichols

Sharran Makin is a multidisciplinary award-winning artist. She is best known for her photography, print making and painting and loves working with many different mediums. Her work is often inspired from nature, the land and the Ocean, which has been an important part of her life.

She is an international award-winning artist. Her work has been exhibited in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Bathurst. Her art and photography has found its way into many homes and organizations and is also owned by a number of art collectors and is admired by many.

She turned to art, photography and nature to help with her healing journey after suffering from PTSD, to help deal with stress and improve her cognition and memory. She hopes that by sharing her art and photography with the world, that it might encourage others who are going through a difficult journey or illness to turn to art as a form of therapy to help with their recovery and also encourage health professionals to consider art as an option to assist with their patient’s recovery.


Deborah Van Heekeren

Deborah Van Heekeren

Deborah Van Heekeren


Deborah has a passion for the traditional method of oil paint on canvas, with an experimental edge. Her figurative works are often enhanced with collage and mixed media treatments and display the sensual pleasure that comes from making one’s mark. Deb’s practice extends to works on paper. dimensional pieces and an occasional poem. 

Deborah has a strong desire to contribute to the creative life of Maitland and many of her most recent paintings have echoes of the Australian figurative artists of the mid-twentieth century and European Modernism . Characterised by idiosyncratic use of colour and imagery that evokes dreams and distant memories, her works are aptly described as dreamscapes. 


Jillian Rapley

Jillian Rapley

Deborah Van Heekeren


I am a purely   self -taught t artist inspired by the very fragility of our frivolous and   fleeting joys. Capturing a memory or spark in time and translating that brief   moment with an extraordinary array of colour, texture and energy.
 My art comes from my happy place and I think it shows. My art is ever   evolving and comes from an understanding of nature's intention for everything   to eventually disintegrate. From the biggest tree to our own building, I   understood at a very young age that ultimately the entirety of our universe is   constantly changing.
 I am a purely self taught artist, with influences such as Donna Downey, Tracy   Verdugo, Starla Michelle, Nika Rouss, Renata Loree, all of whom are all      brilliant modern artists who express their joy of life in their gorgeous art.  


Kay Sparkes

Jillian Rapley

Annie Palmer

Kay was born and grew up on the land near Gulgong, Central Western NSW. Music has always been a major part of her life. When she moved to Sydney she worked in the music industry and sang professionally.

Kay moved to Maitland in 1996 where she began to explore her love of art and in 2006, friend and artist James Casey introduced her to canvas and oil and the use of the old master’s techniques – light and shadow ( the chiaroscuro technique). Kay loves painting and stuff we eat, touch and use everyday and those things become the subjects of her still life artworks.

Kay has won many prizes including the Maitland Art Prize and Newcastle Art Prize. Kay has also been a finalist in the Bowral, Hornsby and Mortimer Art Prizes and the prestigious EMSLA at Coffs Harbour. 


Annie Palmer

Jillian Rapley

Annie Palmer

  'Earthiness   is at the core of Annie’s paintings. She combines colour and movement to   express changing experiences of landscapes and contemporary visions’

In my   endeavour to produce a diverse range of visual paintings formats and   subjects, I am continuously challenging myself to develop a combination of   numerous styles and textures. These are created by including techniques   incorporating acrylic, mixed media, collage, inks and watercolour. 

I have   been painting for over 40 years and for the past 20, I have been a member and   tutor for the ‘Society of Artists Newcastle Inc’ as well as teaching private   lessons. I am proud to have sold many paintings here in Australia and   overseas, having successfully displayed and sold in several exhibitions and   galleries. I am also a member of Hunter Women Artists.



Karen Malmgren

Aaron De Friskbom

Karen Malmgren


I have lived in the Hunter since 1987 and am an artist who is inspired by the beauty of Australian landscapes and seascapes, as well as pet portraits. I work in oil, watercolour, acrylic and pastel. Art has always interested me, as a child I was always drawing, but as an adult could not find the time for this pleasure, since semi-retiring in 2008 and full-time retirement in 2014, I have at last made the time and WOW…I am so enjoying putting paint to canvas.

I have been fortunate to secure several awards at Exhibitions and have sold many paintings, and I enjoy doing commissions, mostly animal portraits.

One of my paintings has been chosen by a Theatre Company Off Broadway New York to promote their upcoming production. The painting will appear on all their publicity promotions as well as the programme 



Sonja Elise

Aaron De Friskbom

Karen Malmgren


I have lived a tumultuous life, and recently was diagnosed with the trifecta of mental illness. Bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and C-PTSD. Since this day, I have fought with everything I have to become well again. I have had a lot of support, but ultimately I did it on my own, and I am so extremely proud of myself, because I can honestly say, that not only am I surviving, but I am thriving. 

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 complement each other, bring me great joy. I love to create bold works in acrylic and symbolism plays a big part in my work. I delve into the spiritual realm often, as I have spent many years thinking deeply on life after death and learning to process the grief that all people will feel at some time during their life. 

I want to be an artist who is remembered for her contribution to art therapy as a style in itself. I want the world to see me, for the sunshine that now lives in my soul. I pray that my work reaches you and gives healing where it is needed.



Aaron De Friskbom

Aaron De Friskbom

Aaron De Friskbom


Aaron de Friskbom is an emerging artist in the Hunter Valley of NSW. His passion is watercolour and landscapes. He enjoys painting en plein air and takes every opportunity to combine family outings with painting.

Aaron’s most recent success was at The Maitland Region Society of Artists Annual Exhibition in August 2017, where he won First Prize for Works on Paper.

‘Although I have had a life-long appreciation of art it wasn’t until my mid-forties that I was encouraged by a fellow artist to ’pick up a pencil and give it a go’. Initially I started drawing everyday objects found around the home and in nature, it wasn’t long before I wanted to add a splash of colour.

Watercolours seemed to be the right place to start, though little did I know that I would become so engrossed in trying to perfect the various techniques, whilst developing my own style of painting, that I am yet to try another medium such as pastels or oils.’ 



Adrian Raysmith

Marea Kozaczynski-McCaig

Aaron De Friskbom


Adrian was born in Newcastle, however he now lives in the Hunter Valley.

Working as a traditional artist, Adrian is exclusively an oil painter and draws on a wide range of subjects including landscapes, portrait, still life, birds and animals.

He is currently an active member of the Maitland Region Society of Artists.



Marea Kozaczynski-McCaig

Marea Kozaczynski-McCaig

Marea Kozaczynski-McCaig


Artistic inspiration comes from a myriad of sources. Some of my inspiration came while reading my grandmother’s collection of old English ladies magazines. Now I am lucky to live surrounded by lush cottage gardens which creates the perfect peaceful creative ambience.

I’m a pretty prolific exhibitor, and my works are often seen at major shows held throughout the region and I also love my work as a workshop tutor, travelling around the state sharing my skill and knowledge and inspiring others to greatness. I am also asked to judge many exhibitions.

As a child, I was always drawing and I spent a great deal of time staying with my grandparents who encouraged my creativity. During these visits, I would love working with pen and would spend hours copying and sketching from the fashion pages depicted in my grandmother’s English Women’s Own magazines.

The legendary artist Margaret Olley once told me ‘be true to yourself and paint what you like: be challenged and use your imagination.” This philosophy has always reflected in my style. 



Valerie Maude

Marea Kozaczynski-McCaig

Marea Kozaczynski-McCaig


Val’s Rules for Art

1.  Create with love

2. Use all the colours

3. Laugh a lot

4. Break the rules

5. Make mistakes

6. Start again

7. Teach others

8. Experiment

9. Stay real

10. Share art.

Creating since 1957 with pencils, pens, photography, paints, papers and ink



'And Lemons' acrylic on canvas by Janelle Goldman

'And Lemons' acrylic on canvas by Janelle Goldman


'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

'And Lemons' acrylic on canvas by Janelle Goldman

'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

'And Lemons' acrylic on canvas by Janelle Goldman

'Drifting' mixed media on canvas by Bev Leggett Simmons


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

'Pauashell' Limited Ed. photographic print by Marie Foster

'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

'Pauashell' Limited Ed. photographic print by Marie Foster

'Pauashell' Limited Ed. photographic print by Marie Foster


'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

'Pauashell' Limited Ed. photographic print by Marie Foster

'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


09:00 am – 05:00 pm


09:00 am – 05:00 pm


09:00 am – 05:00 pm


09:00 am – 05:00 pm