The Olive Tree Market was born from the desire of the three organisers to create a community artisans market that provided Newcastle’s contemporary art, craft and design practitioners with an arena to showcase their work. The aim was to create a vibrant culturally diverse atmosphere where artists could interact with their contemporaries and the wider public and sell their work without large overheads.
Within months the idea became a reality and we found the perfect location with the gorgeous sprawling grounds of ‘The Junction Public School’. We launched ‘The Olive Tree Market’ with 60 stalls in October 2008 and 18 months later the market had 100 stalls each month.
Since its inception, ‘The Olive Tree Market’ has gained the reputation of being one of Newcastle’s hidden treasures, wowing people with the high quality of work on offer. It provides visitors to the market with the unique opportunity to meet local artisans, view high quality work, and it allows the wider public to collect, source, and commission one-off works.
The market’s eclectic mix of stalls includes: photography, textile arts, illustration, fashion, home wares, jewellery, printmaking, zines, recycled vintage goods, sustainable design, ceramics, wood and metal work, painting, and handmade children’s clothing and toys. There is also delicious food from around the world and live music and drumming throughout the day.
The Olive Tree Market is held on the first Saturday of the month at ‘The Junction Public School’ and operates Rain, Hail, and Shine.
Since The Olive Tree Market started, the organisers have spread their wings and started new projects, including the hugely popular ‘Red Lantern Night Market’. Held in the centre of Newcastle, the market had the vibe of carnivale and delighted spectators with circus performances, fire twirling, drumming, body art, acoustic performances and an operating rickshaw. The ‘Red Lantern Night Market’ brings back positive life to the city at night.
Bec and Ally have opened their new venture ‘One Penny Black’ in Hunter Street, providing a slice of Melbourne in Newcastle, with great coffee, unique paper goods, and a funky place to hang out in the centre of the city.
‘The Olive Tree Market’ Organisers
‘The Olive Tree Market’ was born from a creative meeting of minds and from the desire to see a high quality artists market in Newcastle. There are three of us, and two of us are sisters…
Ally: Ally has a long history of making and selling her art in markets around Australia. Living in the sunshine coast in Eumundi, with her husband and son, Ally took part in her local markets selling art and craft. After visiting Newcastle, and being inspired by the city’s potential, Ally moved here in 2008 with her family. She hoped to develop her artwork in a setting where there were potentially more opportunities for artists. After attending some markets in the Hunter, Ally and Bec saw the opening to start a high quality artisan market in Newcastle. After a chance meeting with Justine, they discussed their joint love of markets and their shared desire to see such a market in Newcastle. The first seed was planted for ‘The Olive Tree Market’.
Bec: The second half of the dynamic duo of sisters, Bec has a background in Business and Finance, with a love of art and design thrown in. After travelling and living in several Australian cities, she was surprised at the lack of high quality handmade markets in Newcastle. This set her mind ticking and, with Ally and Justine on board, ‘The Olive Tree Market’ was born.
Justine: Justine moved back to Newcastle in 2002 after a twelve-year absence traveling and working in Australia and overseas. In quick succession she met her partner and had a beautiful daughter. In her past life Justine worked as a projectionist in art house cinemas, gained a BA of Communications from UTS, made short films and worked in the film industry and as a press photographer. Cut to the present! The extent of the creativity community that existed in the Newcastle and the lack of real opportunities for this community amazed Justine on her return to the Newcastle. Despite this, there was a real feeling of change and possibility in the air. A fortuitous meeting with Bec and Ally, lots of coffee and a fusion of ideas led to the creation of Newcastle’s first dedicated artisans market.
‘The Olive Tree Market’ is part of a real ‘renaissance’ that is currently taking place in Newcastle!