19 Karen Contemporary Artspace

Venue  |  Exhibitions
la madre, 2009 Acrylic On Linen 150 X120 Cm
© karen Contemporary art space
© Courtesy of 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace
19 Karen Contemporary Artspace
19 Karen Avenue Mermaid Beach
4218 Gold Coast Mermaid Beach
Gold Coast, Q
Venue Type: Gallery
Representing Artists
Amaya iturri
Open hours
Tue-Sat 10-5
+61 7 5554 5019
Gallery type
About Us
19 KAREN Contemporary Art Space is based on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. 19 Karen was launched in 2008 to promote nurture and provide local emerging artists the opportunity to showcase their work in their own home environment. We have since expanded to included mid-career and established Australian and International artists. The space was created to compliment large scale works as well as small works. The high ceilings, professional lighting and the massive walls allow the paintings to breathe and stand out. 19 KAREN Contemporary Artspace conduct solo and group shows throughout the year and displays general works in between and during shows. 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace operates as a commercial gallery and is self funded.
19 KAREN is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm.
Our monthly exhibition program is curated by the Gallery Director. We accept artist submissions and portfolios of high standard in contemporary art all year around.

Artists interested in proposing please click here
Our gallery is available for hire for one-night only private functions, fashion shows, photo shoots, product launches, film screenings and art-panels. We encourage proposals that involve unique projects or ideas that combine art with music, fashion, business and design. We are also open to collaborating with arts-related bodies and creative organizations.

For companies and individuals interested in function hire please click here
Our annual gallery calendar is divided into Solo shows, Group Shows and Stock Exhibitions by represented and guest artists. We also conduct artist talks, workshops and special projects with local and international artists. Artists who are invited to exhibit at 19 KAREN are not required to pay space hire fees, however there is a set Artist Fee to assist the gallery staff with paying exhibition expenses (including promotional materials, advertising, gallery maintenance, admin costs etc.) The gallery takes a low 33% commission per sale of work (inclusive of GST on commission only). The staff at 19 KAREN operate on a voluntary basis. 

For clients wishing to know more about purchasing artworks from our gallery please visit our Q&A for Art Buyers section here.
Space & Location
Our warehouse-nouveau style arts facility boasts 380 sq. metres of exhibition wall space divided into five Gallery sections of various sizes. We have the capacity to accommodate large group shows, or be sectioned off to conduct separate exhibitions and events.

19 KAREN is conveniently located at 19 Karen Avenue, off Cronulla Avenue on the Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach.

The gallery is a mere stone's throw from Pacific Fair, Jupiter's Casino and the beach, and is 5 minutes drive from Surfers Paradise. Look for landmarks: Lifeline, Bob Jane, Supa-Cheap Auto and Lonestar Streakhouse.

> View Gallery images

> Download 19 KAREN Floorplan

> View Map
Online Resources
Gallery Director
(L-R) Terri Lew & James Reka
Terri Lew Bio/Statement

I was first introduced to the art world through my marriage to Zelman Lew the Artist.  This was 39 years ago. Zelman was (and still is) a Surrealist and Photo Realist painter. I was his best and worst critic. I mostly loved his work.

At the age of 36 with 2 young children we started a small publishing business in the tourism industry. Zelman was still painting after hours and on weekends whilst I ran the business and the household. We created the most innovative tourist guide for the Gold Coast titled PointOut and later changed to Best Of The Gold Coast.  It was a colorful, creative, sexy and informative high quality magazine with 3D maps, showing the visitors what was available on the Gold Coast and how to find it.  There was no other publication like this in Australia! We took the market by storm and within 4 years we were the market leaders. 7 years into the business Zelman and I separated.  I expanded the business and ran it as the sole director for the next 13 years until I sold it to a publishing company in Sydney in 2004.

This is where I gained my business skills.

17 Years ago and after I separated from Zelman I started collecting and buying art.  I also discovered that I was developing my own taste in art and although I still appreciate and love Surrealism and Photo Realism, my taste in art changed as did my taste in fashion.

My academic background is very basic.  Most things I learnt in life came from hands on experiences and sheer determination to succeed.  I don’t have a university degree in fine art, nor do I pretend to understand art on the intellectual or technical level.   I just follow my instincts!   This is how I buy art. I buy art only when I get a strong emotional response from looking at it. I either like it or I don’t!  I don’t analyze it, I don’t try to find a story behind it and I certainly don’t like to be influenced by reasons to buy it.

Based on these principles is how I choose the collection for my gallery.  The art that surrounds me in the gallery is the art that I would hang on my walls at home.  It is therefore the art that I am happy to recommend to our buyers.

Of course I realize that not everyone shares the same taste in art as me and I guess that’s one of the reasons why we have other galleries with a diverse range of art to suit everyone’s taste.

As taste in fashion changes so is taste in art, as was in my case.

Art is no different, or at least, in my opinion it shouldn’t be.

I have a short story to tell you about one of my own experiences in purchasing art.

About 16 years ago, I bought a painting from a Gold Coast Gallery and it was the only painting that this gallery  had of Robert Ryan. Robert was already working exclusively with Schubert’s and nobody could lay their hands on his work unless they bought it from Schubert’s. This painting must have been one of Robert’s earliest paintings left behind before Robert even contemplated his own success.

I didn’t know much about Robert Ryan then and I certainly didn’t know at the time (nor did Robert himself) that one day his paintings will carry such a high price tag for an Australian Emerging Contemporary Artist. 

My gut feeling told me that I had to buy this painting. The Gallery owner was happy to “get rid” of it. I can tell you that this painting does not resemble any of Robert’s work as we know it today.

The morale to the story is obvious. I bought the painting because I loved it.  I loved it from the moment I saw it as I love it today. What would this painting be worth today? I don’t know and I don’t care. All I care is that I enjoyed the painting all these years and I will enjoy it until the day I die. Was it worth it for this reason alone? Of course it was!

When approaching a decision to buy art, my advice is simple.

First you have to love it!

On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past 22 months under the direction of both myself and Mariam. Mariam helped establish this gallery and as a result we have this great gallery that everyone likes to talk about.

I am committed to continue developing my vision of nurturing strong emerging contemporary artists from all over Australia & the world, to see them grow and prosper into a vibrant & successful industry on the Gold Coast.

I look forward to continue serving you and bringing you art that will inspire you for the rest of your life.

Yours truly,

Tuesdays - Saturdays  10am - 5pm
Ph: 07 555 45 019
Post: PO Box 610,
Mermaid Beach Q 4218.
Represented Artists
Guest Artists


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