Our Story


The beginning of something amazing…

In 2016 Port Stephens Council approached local makers and artists with the idea of creating a group collective to showcase their art to the wider public in a collaborative manner.

It was envisaged to be a space where the efforts of local artists and makers would come together to support a commercial enterprise of a retail shop front. There were examples in Newcastle and other areas of this type of initiative to learn from and be inspired by. The catalyst was the Port Stephens Smart Arts program; a partnership between Port Stephens Council, Octapod and The Business Centre Newcastle.

With the help of the council, vacant premises were found and the members of the collective had a home. In 2017 they were located on Magnus St in Nelson Bay’s CBD, where an empty shop was activated and transformed into a culturally vibrant gallery and retail space, selling unique local works of art.

At the end of 2018 this space needed to be vacated, and a new location was sought. After approaching D’Albora Marina Nelson Bay, the current space was activated…

Making our mark in Port Stephens

Whilst open, there have been other projects that have been initiated from the space of Artisan Collective, such as the 2019 Love Seafood Art Trail and the ‘Dress up Nelson Bay’ project.

This is a project that happened with the cooperation of shop owners and estate agents, where bare shopfronts were styled to show local art and hand made products.

In this project dead spaces were activated, beautified and made available for locals and tourists to stroll by and enjoy.

The Artisan Collective PS hold regular exhibitions, activites and artist talks to share our passion for our art, engaging and inspiring our community.

We would like to make a place where the art is paramount and the atmosphere is welcoming – a professional place where local artists, visiting artists, emerging artists and established artists mingle.

We are proud to be able to provide locals and visitors with high quality, unique and locally made artisan products direct from the makers.

Megan Barrass