In a tiny, standalone building on Ballarat’s Grenville Street sits a slice of urban Melbourne.
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The box-shaped white building ensconcing the new Wyattart gallery is emblazoned with a striking mural of a beautiful child with an almost hypnotising gaze.
The funky, uber-urban gallery sits on the corner of Cattan Street, itself more an alleyway, reminiscent of the types of businesses that pop up in Melbourne’s inner north.
Wyattart is a continuation of an arts brand already established in Ballarat – a collaboration between husband and wife team Jack and Corina Wyatt, who work in abstract and impressionist art.
The new gallery, which officially opened at last weekend’s SongWays festival, is their attempt to reach out from beyond the privacy of their home studio and connect directly with Ballarat’s community.
Mrs Wyatt said with Ballarat undergoing a development boom, its arts community was also growing.
“I think Ballarat is really receptive. It’s quite a small arts community and as visual artists it’s about stripping back to who you are and offering what you can to the community,” Mrs Wyatt said.
“There is a lot of building going on in Ballarat at the moment so people are coming in and buying one-off artworks.
“People will be drawn to art for different reasons and each person connects to art in their own way.”
The Wyattart gallery is unique in Ballarat. While the city is home to several other galleries, Wyattart is an artists’ working studio as well as a shopfront solely dealing in the work of one collaborative team.
Mrs Wyatt said there was a section of wall that was usually covered in canvas and a work in progress.
“Usually I’m covered in paint,” she said.
“For us to be in here, it’s about us connecting with the community – people can meet with the artists and talk about their desired outcome.”
While working as a team, the Wyatts have vastly different art styles.
rs Wyatt said she worked as an expressionist, using nature as an inspiration, while Mr Wyatt preferred to find faces and places, often online, and translate them into larger works.
However, the two do work collaboratively, such as their joint Archibald Prize entry last year of famed Ballarat runner Steve Moneghetti.
The pair are also in the process of launching an arts program, Heart Space, for at-risk youth.
Mrs Wyatt said the pair would work with young people on a collaborative piece and give them a chance to engage and reconnect using art.
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