So who’s who @ the centre? Well for a start you’ll probably meet someone you know framing an artwork dear to them or browsing in our range of art materials, or chatting with us and sharing a coffee (we make a pretty nice one even if our barrista range is limited). And as for us behind the counter, the screen and the scene? Well we’re six very dedicated persons who love their work and aim at perfection day after day and job after job and we’ve been at it for a while because between the 6 of us… there’s more than a century of experience at jobs of the kind we’re doing!
Michelle Dawson is the wonderful artist behind the counter in Ballina (when she’s not in her studio!) who will provide creative answers both to your framing needs and art materials queries…
Born in New Zealand, Michelle moved to Australia in 1985. She has been working as a professional artist since 1996 and has studied both in Australia and the UK. She has twice represented Australia at the Inter-Continental Biennale of Small Graphics and been shortlisted for many major art prizes including the Jacaranda Drawing Prize 2014, Portia Geach Art Award, (Highly Commended), The Bendigo Drawing Prize, The Wilson Art Award, The Northern River’s Portrait Prize and the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize. She has also illustrated 3 children’s books and was shortlisted for the CBCA 2009 Crichton Award for Best New Illustrator.
We met Sharon Muir when she taught drawing here a few years ago. At the time, we discovered that she was both a wonderful teacher and, too, had a passion for art materials and colour. When the time came to think of someone to run alone our ever so cute, little art store in Mullumbimby… she seemed the absolute perfect person! (She now works in Byron Bay.)
Sharon is a professional visual artist who has been working across a range of fine art disciplines but her last two solo exhibitions were in response to ecological concerns. Her work has been selected for nationally recognized awards such as the Art Concerning Environment Award and the Silk Cut Award for Linocuts. Sharon has a Diploma of Fine Art and has been teaching drawing, colour and painting for more than two decades (of which three years touring outback QLD and NSW as part of the Flying Arts team!)
On the days Sharon was in her studio, Zoe Barber used to take over our little Mullumbimby store and now works in Byron Bay too. Zoe, after decorating a million cakes with twirls and embellishments (she was a pastry chef!), discovered a passion for painting. Zoe combines her studies in marine biology and her emerging practice with a few days at the store…
Mahala Magins is also a local artist whose works and talent have been recognised and often displayed in our local galleries, from The Lone Goat to the Tweed Regional. Mahala too divides her time between her studio practice and the Byron store.
Noel Richards is the framing expert behind the scene
When Noel joined the team full time in 2008, he brought on board his 30 years of experience as a framer in Melbourne where he had 5 framing stores… now he’s happily retired in Byron Bay (and only works from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 5pm… so just imagine what it was back then!).
Nothing is too hard or bizarre for Noel to frame… whale bones, dirty tee-shirts, rugby caps, delicate ceramics, coral fans, silk scarves, dried flowers, shields, ancient tankas… you bring it, he’ll do it!
Of course, your photos or prints are also in good hand and, last but not least, he’s an expert at stretching canvases.
Together with Noel, we have created our range of PROFESSIONAL stretched canvas which is on par with everything we do here… the best quality at the most reasonable price! For more information have a look at our canvas page.
In 2019 Dean Pearce joined the team and brought not only his previous experience as a framer in Lismore and Sydney for many years but also his meticulousness and creativity as a leather artist with his own practice.
Sabine (mostly running around but can be found behind the counters in Byron and Ballina) and Vianney (mostly behind his screen) have been partners in life and at work for quite some years now…
Sabine’s background is in English literature and her first passion was for a lovely English bookshop in Paris, Attica, she founded with a friend. She moved on to design thousands of book covers, then later, as a publisher, began the first collection of Australian books in French… somewhere in the middle she did work with an American art expert for a couple of years on a catalogue raisonné of Magritte’s works. Her latest passion though is for art materials and she has been visiting paint or brushes makers all over the world and writing about it… you can find and follow her blog by clicking here.
Vianney’s background is equally interesting as he’s got a PhD in Psychology and a post-grad degree in Management of Cultural Events. For years he was cultural attaché of the city of Arles, in Provence, managing many a festival there, in dance, music or the yearly grand Art exhibitions the city held. Vianney’s newfound passion is in making “photographic paintings” which have been exhibited in Byron Bay and Arles regularly in the last few years.
In 2002, Sabine, Vianney and their two boys spent a year in Australia and loved it so much that when they sold their publishing house in 2005, they decided to come and live here… After all those years of visiting Australia, reading, publishing and translating Australian books, in February 2006 their dream came true! A few months later they bought the Waywood Framing & Gallery which was turning 10 that year… and extended it to become their ideal art space: Still @ the centre.
These days they share their time between Byron Bay and the artist residency in Provence, Ateliers Fourwinds, they also manage.
We hope to meet you soon and that you’ll enjoy discovering our centre!