Our Story

The Corner Store Gallery - Orange NSW

The Corner Store Gallery - Orange NSW

Our Story

The Corner Store Gallery is very much a family run business. My parents, sister and husband are a major part of my operations here at the gallery and there’s no way I’d be here without them. I’ve been asked a lot recently how I came to open an art gallery, so I thought I’d write a blog post to tell you our story. This article will also give you a look into our new home because I know a lot of you sticky beaks would like to see the inside of the house…….


How I Came to Open a Gallery

I grew up in Orange, I lived just around the corner from the gallery actually, I used to buy lollies here in the 90’s when it was Thommo’s Corner Store. I travelled for a couple of years after high school in the US teaching art and jewellery classes at summer camps, and then completed a degree in Fine Arts at The University of Newcastle in 2009.

The Corner Store in the 50's or 60's when it was Flynn's Store

The Corner Store in the 50's or 60's when it was Flynn's Store

I returned to Orange in 2011 to work as the Artist in Residence at Kinross Wolaroi School for 4 years, the best job I’ve ever had! At the time there were no galleries or exhibition spaces in Orange apart from the Regional Gallery, so it was hard to exhibit my work as an emerging artist. I used to joke that I’d open a gallery of my own one day to fill the gap in the market, little did I know this would come true……

in 2014 we came across a little corner store for sale just down the street from where Erick (my now husband) and I were living, it was a hairdressers at the time and was the very same corner store I bought lollies from as a child. My parents were looking for a little “fixer-upper” and it was my mum’s idea, Suellen Young, to start a gallery - we could live out the back of the shop so it could work financially. Suddenly the dream I never knew I had was a possibility.

Erick and Madi Holborow

Erick and Madi Holborow

We bought the shop! My dad, Rob Young, worked very hard for 6 months on the renovations, patching up holes and replacing windows, removing walls and hair washing basins, demolishing a floating panelled ceiling and cleaning up the original, rusty tin ceiling underneath giving the gallery more height and space. We took the bars and blinds off the large windows, painted it all white, installed proper lighting and a hanging system and suddenly we had an art gallery.

The Corner Store Gallery used to be a hairdressers, 2014.

The Corner Store Gallery used to be a hairdressers, 2014.

Our building before it became The Corner Store Gallery, 2014.

Our building before it became The Corner Store Gallery, 2014.

The gallery space, before and after renovations in 2014.

The gallery space, before and after renovations in 2014.

We had our first exhibition by Nicole Chaffey in August of 2014 with over 200 people attending the Grand Opening Night, it was clear that the community was supportive of our venture.

Our little one-bedroom studio apartment out the back of the gallery was home for 3 years and we loved it! However, after my dad retired in 2016 he got to work building a new home for Erick and I that was detached from the gallery.

Our little studio apartment at the back of the gallery, 2014.

Our little studio apartment at the back of the gallery, 2014.

Our brilliant architect Casey Bryant of Trias Studio designed a beautiful, practical and incredibly spacious home for us that we couldn’t be happier with! Casey’s design recently won the best new Infill Development award for the Orange City Council Cultural Heritage Awards.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.

Dad got together with a new local company Hype Building and Construction and together they worked away at our new home throughout 2017. The building process was so enjoyable that dad has come out of retirement to work for the boys at Hype!

This is the only photo I could find with dad in it….. 2017

This is the only photo I could find with dad in it….. 2017

Madi Holborow, a little bit pregnant painting the new house, 2017.

Madi Holborow, a little bit pregnant painting the new house, 2017.

The Corner Store Gallery house under construction, 2017.

The Corner Store Gallery house under construction, 2017.

The Corner Store Gallery house under construction, 2017.

The Corner Store Gallery house under construction, 2017.

The Corner Store Gallery house under construction, 2017.

The Corner Store Gallery house under construction, 2017.

Erick building the new fence, 2017.

Erick building the new fence, 2017.

The kitchen almost complete, 2017.

The kitchen almost complete, 2017.

During the build I became pregnant (of course) so our little family had begun. Magnus was born in March 2018, so I took some time off. Suddenly I had to become more flexible with how the gallery was run. We now have lots of flexible rental options for artists, designers and teachers to make the space their own. You can rent the gallery for 1, 2 or 3 week blocks, manage the event yourself or have me staff the show for you. The gallery is a blank canvas, we aim to provide high quality facilities, support and promotion to our creatives and provide the best possible platform to facilitate their ideas. We hold exhibitions, popups and workshops regularly at the gallery, showcasing a diverse range of work and events. We represent many talented locals, as well as artists and designers from all over Australia. The gallery also holds 2 to 3 group exhibitions each year providing artists with opportunities to get involved without the pressure of a solo exhibition. These are often our most popular events and are a fantastic way for emerging artists to be discovered.

BLUE Group Exhibition 2018 - The Corner Store Gallery.

BLUE Group Exhibition 2018 - The Corner Store Gallery.

8x10 Group Exhibition, 2019 - The Corner Store Gallery

8x10 Group Exhibition, 2019 - The Corner Store Gallery

Fiona Schofield Millinery  Popup at the gallery, 2018.

Fiona Schofield Millinery Popup at the gallery, 2018.

The Journey Person  Handmade Popup, Winter 2018.

The Journey Person Handmade Popup, Winter 2018.

Our 5th birthday is coming up this August, I’m a bit chuffed to be honest. We’re celebrating with a fantastic Group Exhibition called AUSTRALIANA which you are all invited to attend on August 15th from 6pm! I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the business over the past 5 years, from my family always helping out, particularly at opening nights, friends who baby sit when I have an event on, visitors who come to every show without fail, my wonderful artists and designers, you’re all amazing and I couldn’t possibly have done it without you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Here’s to the next 5 years……

Our family, Magnus, Madi and Erick, 2018.

Our family, Magnus, Madi and Erick, 2018.


Our New Home

Below are some photographs of our new home out the back of the gallery for those of you who are interested…..

Our living area designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Our living area designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.

Our living area designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction.

Our living area designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.

Bathroom details, designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Bathroom details, designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.

Study nook under the stairs in our entryway, designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Study nook under the stairs in our entryway, designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.

Master bedroom upstairs, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019.

Master bedroom upstairs, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019.

Kitchen details, designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Kitchen details, designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.

Kitchen details, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019

Kitchen details, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019

Looking into the spare bedroom just off the entryway, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019.

Looking into the spare bedroom just off the entryway, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019.

Our home behind the gallery, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019.

Our home behind the gallery, photograph by Madeline Young-Holborow, 2019.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of  Trias Studio , photograph by  Kyle Manning  for  Hype Building and Construction , 2018.

Our home behind the gallery, designed by Casey Bryant of Trias Studio, photograph by Kyle Manning for Hype Building and Construction, 2018.