The Gate Gallery opened in September 2010, the fulfilment of a ten year dream for Dutch born couple Caroline van Zanten and Willem van Zanten.
Initially Willem and Caroline talked of opening a gallery in New York but they found themselves in Australia and fell in love with a hundred acre property, Lavender Gate Farm, just outside the historic village of Wollombi in the lower Hunter Valley and The Gate Gallery and Sculpture Park was born.
Intrigued by the rich Aboriginal heritage in the Wollombi area the past three years have seen an expansion of their plans and the gallery now has a significant focus on Aboriginal Art. During 2010 and 2011 the gallery and sculpture garden was involved in Sculpture in the Vineyard. In 2012 they have further extended their vision forming a partnership with Defiance Gallery, Sydney to expand the sculpture garden and create The Defiance Sculpture Park at The Gate Gallery featuring forty outdoor works by prominent and emerging Australian and International sculptors, making this sculpture park the first of its kind in Australia.
Willem and Caroline have resided in various European countries and now live in Australia. They have been involved in the arts community in several international cities and have been collecting art for 25 years.
Caroline’s qualifications are in Dutch literature and Inter-cultural management. She worked as a corporate trainer for 12 years, in the Netherlands and Hungary. Art has always been her passion and during her five year stay in Budapest she became involved in the art community. She hosted a regular salon where artists from different disciplines came together to interact. Via this activity Willem and Caroline sponsored numerous cross media activities. For example the Róbert Swierkiewicz painted hot air balloon used in many of his exhibitions around the world including Paris and Venice.
Willem began his career as a journalist. He later became Pacific Regional Director of an international publishing company Wolters Kluwer based respectively in Amsterdam, Budapest and Sydney. He started the Dutch art magazine Kunstbeeld in 1980 – a well-respected magazine in the Netherlands. Due to his huge interest in art as an art collector he had the opportunity as a CEO to develop an art collection for the company through acquisition and commissioning.
Willem and Caroline are fluent in English, French, German, Dutch and Hungarian and welcome Australian and international visitors and enquiries.
The Gate Gallery houses a gallery shop, stockroom and a large exhibition space for temporary exhibitions and is surrounded by expansive grounds containing the Defiance Sculpture Park.
The stockroom and exhibition program of the Gate Gallery reflect Willem and Caroline’s interest in contemporary artwork produced in any genre, movement or style since 1980 as well as their special focus on abstract art and Australian indigenous art.
The Gate Gallery has an extensive stock room of Australian (both indigenous and non-indigenous), Dutch and Hungarian contemporary artists and has a diverse and exciting exhibition program that showcases current and retrospective works from practicing artists, through both solo and thematic group exhibitions.
The Gate Gallery 2480 Wollombi Road Wollombi NSW 2325 +61 (2) 49983370
Gallery hours Friday - Monday 10.00 - 3.00 or by appointment.
Directors: Willem and Caroline van Zanten