words by niall roeder

The Gold Coast is known for a lot of things; bikinis on bronzed bodies, Snapper Rocks, metre maids, theme parks, Cavill Avenue and Cody Simpson, to mention a few. However, one thing its reputation does not extend to is that of the art world. It doesn’t… yet.

The times they are a-changing, for the better. Much like the welcomed rise of the cafe, microbrewery and general foodie culture on the Goldy, the art scene is also on the up. And we could not be happier.

Here are four exhibitions to wrap your eyes around.

Melissa Hartley – Nocturnal Heartstrings
Nocturnal Heartstrings is a collection of delicate acrylic portraits and floral paintings on black backgrounds. The collection deals with the role flowers play in our lives – the beauty they possess and the contrast with the often sad times they’re associated with. This exhibition is draped in melancholy and distant heartache, but the prettiness of it all balances it in such a way that it leaves you appreciating and not sooking.
Nocturnal Heartstrings is at 19 Karen from Nov 26 – Jan 14

Signs of the time
Over the last 20 years, the once poo-pooed sect of the creative world has risen from “just vandalism” to a credible and important part of popular culture. Often witty, constantly socially relevant and always damn impressive, the works of street artists are often splashed on city walls by night using guerrilla tactics. Signs of the Time features a quiver full of sharp international and local artists, like Blek Le Rat (France), Banksy (UK), Swoon (USA), Bambi (UK), E.L.K (Australia), Lister (Australia), Stewy (UK), D*face (UK) and A1One (Iran/Germany).
Signs of the Time is at The Arts Centre Gold Coast from Feb 18 – Apr 9

19 Karen Artists at QT Gold Coast
As of late last year QT Gold Coast teamed up with the 19 Karen kids to set up a seasonally rotating pop-up exhibition for hotel guests and Gold Coast locals to gawk at. The exhibit currently features works by Kate McCarthy, Melissa Read-Devine, R. Nicholas Kuszyk and Indie184 – with new artists to be brought in after February 2.

Gallery One Annual Art Sale 2017
Each year the contemporary art gurus at Gallery One have an art sale. They throw together an exhibition of epic artworks and flog them off. If you into acquiring art, this is for you. If you aren’t into acquiring art, this is still for you. Get along and check out some great acrylic and oil paintings by Australian artists, like David Bromley, Cynthia Breusch and Wendy Arnold. Note – if you are just looking, feel free to stroke chin and employ “pondering face” as if you are going to actually buy something.
Gallery One Annual Art Sale runs from Jan 1 – 31

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