Art in the Garage – a Tulgeen flagship program

Art in the Garage has been Tulgeen’s flagship creative arts program since its establishment in 2001. It provides creative options for emerging artists with disability, with an extensive program of exhibitions, arts collaborations, presentations and public discussions, which help to build meaningful links to the wider community. Our mission since inception has been: To nurture individual creativity through the process of making and exhibiting art works that promote development of art skills and lead to pathways to professional development.

The Art in the Garage program is guided by its  Core Values and Philosophy which underpins all decision making and practice within the program.

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Most recent exhibition ‘Colour My World’ 12 Feb to 2 March 2016

Art in the Garage began with the conversion of a domestic garage into a studio space for supported art making. Since those humble beginnings the project has been able to expand and evolve through the employment of practicing artists as mentors and educators. A core philosophy of nurturing individual creativity has produced a group of artists who make dynamic and original art works.


The project has had 25 highly acclaimed exhibitions for both the project collectively and for individual artists. As true practicing artists, Art in the Garage artists are subject to commercially set commissions on art sales at exhibitions.   Works are priced to reflect this.In 2013, through support from Regional Arts NSW and the NSW Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care, additional studios were added to support a broader range of art making including printmaking and ceramics.

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Art in the Garage has nurtured a number of artists with disability in achieving commercial success. They are eminently collectible and have experienced sell out exhibitions in recent years  These include but are not limited to Miriam Kydd, Graeme Smith, Jeffrey Young and Graham Henkel.  Join us at the opening to discover the ‘next big thing’ in our local art world.


Current art mentors Leigh Gordon (left) and Jen Mackenzie

Practical Issues – Taking Care of Business – the business of art making, sales and commissions

As a not for profit organisation and program supporting emerging artists, Tulgeen’s Art in the Garage levies  all Art in the Garage artists a 30% commission on all art sales  whether sold directly from our studios and/or at exhibitions.   Tulgeen is completely transparent about this commission structure and urges you to read more detail about it here.


In 2014-15, with financial support from the Cassandra Gantner Foundation, Art in the Garage extended its art making mentoring to children for the first time in Kids in the Garage.  In partnership with Bega Primary School, visiting ceramic artist Daniel Lafferty worked with primary school children with disability in Tulgeen’s ceramic studio over two school terms providing them with an opportunities and resources not available within their standard curriculum.

Become inspired by viewing the following short clips about Art in the Garage’s artists. Click on the titles to play the video in a new window if they don’t already appear on the page.

Art in the Garage – Our New Studios – Produced by the Supported Studios Network and featuring Art in the Garage artists and their art mentors. (2012)


Art in the Garage – Narrated by artist and musician Matthew Perry, this short film traces the origins  and history of Art in the Garage.(2009)


Miriam’s Gift looks at Miriam’s artistic gift and the beautiful relationship she shares with Jen who has supported and encouraged Miriam over the past five years.  The video explores how being involved with Art in the Garage has transformed Miriam’s life. (2015)


Painting Memories : The Art of Jeffrey Young .  This explores how Jeffery Young’s striking paintings draw on his vivid memory and love of country life and how this is his inspiration for his artworks. (2013)

If you are an artist with disability who wishes to become involved, please contact Karen Machan on 6499 0845 or email

If you’re an artist and inspired by what you’ve seen and wish to contribute as a mentor, please make contact