Destination Sydney is just one example of the calibre of new exhibitions being held on the North Shore and in particular in a revamped and beautiful space at the Mosman Art Gallery.
Featuring works by renowned artists John Olsen, Kevin Connor and Peter Kingston in Mosman, and Lloyd Rees, Brett Whiteley and Elisabeth Cummings at the Manly An Gallery, Destination Sydney demonstrates the influence Sydney and its magnificent harbour has had on some of our greatest Australian painters.
The Mosman Gallery's transformation over the past five years, as domestic and international visitor numbers demonstrate, has now signalled its rise as a leading light among other contemporary rivals and the winner of many state and national awards.
At the helm of this transformation is North Shore local and curator Katrina Cashman, who has worked at the gallery since it was established in 1998.
"It really has been an amazing place to work," Ms Cashman tells North Shore Living. "The projects we have undertaken have evolved over time. In the early years our mission was to embed the gallery into the local community - but now we are one of the major galleries in Sydney and have moved from success to success in the past five years," she acknowledges.
Ms Cashman, has a background in teaching, arts administration and management and joined the Mosman Art Gallery in 1998 as an education and public programs officer. She has a Masters in Arts Administration from UNSW and has previously worked at the Powerhouse Museum and in community education.
The gallery hosts over 20 significant exhibitions each year and is the home of the annual Mosman Art Prize. It also houses the Balnaves gift - $1 million worth of Impressionistic and early 20th century artworks significant to the Mosman area by artists such as Arthur Streeton and Margaret Preston.
"It's been such a privilege to work with so many of our great artists," she says. "My role as curator is a complex one and is ever changing - people have this impression that we are all calm but actually we are juggling 100 things at once,” she laughs.
"It's really a massive job attempting to work with artists, new installations and exhibitions, negotiating loans, overseeing publications and marketing and there never seem to be enough hours in the day.”
She says one of the best aspects of her job is to see the enjoyment that an exhibition brings to visitors and how people respond. During 2015, the Mosman Art Gallery boasted about 900,000 visitors. At the opening night of Destination Sydney, over 500 people came to view the exhibition.
"It's incredibly energising to me to see the work and the ideas that these artists bring to life.
“Unloading paintings for an exhibition is Just like Christmas - it's just so exciting,” she smiles.