Many of you will know Southern Buoy, established on the Mornington Peninsula in 2001 by Micah Mills. Now operated by Micah and his wife Bern, their custom frames have been well received amongst artist communities for their contemporary design. Their business has grown from a small framing studio into a larger warehouse that offers framing, fine art printing, professional art supplies and custom size stretched canvas.

The husband and wife team are also the force behind Southern Buoy Studios - a dynamic space and artistic community set up next door to their framing operation in Mornington.

“Southern Buoy Studios really developed as an alternative to the usual commercial gallery format,” explains Micah. “Having been in the art framing business for so many years we had dealt with many artists who had worked with these traditional galleries, and found the whole process a bit brutal. What we have created here is all about the artist. We have studio spaces here on site for local artists but we also exhibit artists from all around Australia.”

“The profile of Southern Buoy Studios really is expanding, and our goal really is to increase the number of visitors we have to the Gallery so we can get as much exposure as possible for Australian artists.”

A not-for-profit organisation, Southern Buoy Studios is both a Gallery and a studio space for local artists. Esther Gyorki, Operations Manager, and Sophie Perez, Chief Gallery Co-ordinator, work closely with artists and the community to establish a full calendar of events and programs – exhibitions, prizes, education programs, workshops and online sales.

Explains Sophie, “We are trying to raise the profile of the space and make it very accessible for emerging artists.” An award-winning and well-respected artist herself, Sophie’s oil landscape paintings are highly sought after.

Adds Sophie, “There are so many artists who have perhaps been painting for a while but have no idea about how to get their work exhibited. Every artist is welcome to enjoy this fantastic community space and it has such a great vibe.”

In addition to a number of exhibits and competitions that the Gallery holds throughout the year, Southern Buoy Studios has created a fantastic fund raising event – with all proceeds going to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre to continue the amazing work that they do.

Created in the form of an online auction, the event allows you to bid on some fabulous and thought provoking original artwork. Well-respected and talented Australian artists have come together to support the Gallery by painting a unique pair of custom-made thongs.

Why thongs you say? Well thongs are the most popular style of shoe all around the world and for decades have been an egalitarian and accessible form of footwear. These thongs (along with some donated artworks) are being sold via a silent online auction.

Participating artists include:Ken DoneTom CivilWarmun Art CentreBaden Croft Sophie PerezFiona CabassiKirsten JacksonMichael BondSam MichelleReg MombassaLiorHannah KentKon KarapanagiotidisFavel ParrettEmily PerssonLeisl MottAndy Pye

As part of the exhibition, Havaianas has also generously offered to donate 50 pairs of thongs to asylum seekers on Manus Island.

The exhibition runs until August 3rd.


1/19 Carbine Way, Mornington

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