A Rising Trajectory – MARS Gallery turns 15

Penelope Davis, Sea-change, 2017Running from 12 – 20 December, MARS (Melbourne Art Rooms) Gallery will be celebrating 15 busy years with a group exhibition featuring more than 30 artists of importance to director Andy Dinan.

Spanning all three floors of the purpose-built Windsor gallery, the exhibition will encompass painting, photography, sculpture, and video, and epitomises the extensive and varied art practice that has been exhibited throughout MARS’ history.

Featuring the works of MARS represented and affiliated artists, including Daniel Agdag, Stephen Haley and Jason Sims, this group exhibition will present an array of contemporary artworks by those that have shared and contributed towards the MARS journey.

“All of the artists that I have worked with and that have exhibited at MARS have produced work that is unique, technically accomplished, beautifully implemented and of the now,” says Andy Dinan. “The most exciting thing has been working together to build their careers and watching their growth from emerging to mid-career artists.”

This world of MARS includes: 462 exhibitions, 622 artists, 125 art works rented since 2004 through the rental art collection, 100 interns through the MARS intern program, 11 overseas and interstate art fairs independently financed, and $2.3 million dollars of public art installed and commissioned across Australia since 2013 by Dinan’s company, ADA Consulting.

Established in 2004, MARS has launched and built the careers of many Australian artists. From its beginnings in the Port Melbourne warehouse, to its state-of-the-art gallery in Windsor, MARS has pushed the boundaries for what is considered possible for commercial galleries and has been the launching ground for a generation of new artists.

“MARS became the launching ground for a generation of new artists who had been shunned by the establishment for being too progressive, too clever, or too bold,” says Simon Greg, Director of Gippsland Gallery and former MARS employee. “It didn’t matter to Andy if an artist had not yet been recognised by the ‘art world’, for she had her very own world called MARS.”

This 15 year success story is being celebrated at the birthday exhibition, in which the artists being featured represent those whose work Dinan feels particularly connected to, or has been instrumental in their career. The majority of these artists are making new and exploratory work, making this exhibition as exciting as the gallery’s history and Dinan’s career.

Artists exhibiting include: Daniel Agdad, Atong Atem, Fabrice Bigot, Mathiew Briand, Joshua Burrowes, Penelope Davis, Domenico de Clario, Simon Finn, Robert Hague, Stephen Haley, Sophia Hewson, Julie Irving, Anne Judell, Kil Kern, Tony Lloyd, Allan Mitelman, Dani McKenzie, Jo Mott, Nick Mourtzakis, Josh Muir, Kenny Pittock, Hannah Raisin, Diego Ramirez, Cameron Robbins, Bernhard Sachs, Damien Shen, Jason Sims, Meagan Streader, Camilla Tadich, Brie Trenerry, Tricky Walsh, Shaun Wilson and Jud Wimhurst.

“I started showing with Andy for two reasons,” said artist Stephen Haley – who has exhibited his work at MARS for the past five years. “One is that she is a genuine, open person with a passion for art and an adventurous spirit. The other was I could see the rising trajectory of the gallery – and that trajectory just hasn’t stopped.”

MARS Gallery specialises in exhibiting, promoting and building the careers of contemporary Australian artists. At MARS, we represent a select group of emerging to mid-career artists and maintain relationships with a vast network of Australian and international artists.

MARS Gallery 15th Birthday Exhibition
MARS Art Gallery, 7 James Street, Windsor
Exhibition: 12 – 20 December 2019
Free entry

For more information, visit: www.marsgallery.com.au for details.

Image: Penelope Davis, Sea-change, 2017 (installation view). Courtesy of the artist and MARS Gallery – photo courtesy of Matthew Stanton Photography