Artworx Gallery & Gifts opened in October 2005 in the historic river port of Goolwa, 80 kilometres south of South Australia's capital city of Adelaide.
Within months of opening, it had established itself as a must-see venue and within a year was being hailed as the finest contemporary gallery on the Fleurieu. Its success has been confirmed by the SA Great organisation and the Southern Alexandrina Business Association, who have both made special awards to Artworx owners, Wendy and Stephen Middleton in recognition of the gallery's contribution to the local arts scene and local artists.
Displaying original art, jewellery and sculptures, Artworx is located in the centre of Goolwa's heritage precinct, in an 1850s stone cottage and warehouse near the town's restaurants, hotels and historic wharf and railway station, where paddle steamers and steam rains rule.
Goolwa, an Aboriginal word meaning elbow, describes the bend in the River Murray where the town was settled in the mid-1800s, near the river's mouth and 15 km from Victor Harbor - one of South Australia's premier tourist towns.
The Middletons created Artworx to fill a gap they perceived in the local arts scene and soon began attracting collectors from the region as well as from Adelaide and beyond.
As the gallery's reputation grew, Artworx began shipping works around Australia and overseas.
In mid-2010 Artworx hit the airwaves when members of Channel 7's Discover crew called in to film a segment for the popular lifestyle program.
Seven personality, Chris Dittmar had visited the gallery in late 2009 after hearing repeated positive comments about Artworx and its impact on the South Australian arts scene from a number of sources.
"It was great to have him call in," says Wendy Middleton. "He was most enthusiastic and his report was very positive indeed. We were immediately inundated with people who had seen the segment and liked what they saw."
While many galleries throughout Australia have struggled in recent years - as a result of on-line purchases and general economic difficulty - Artworx continues to thrive, with an established client base and support from a first class list of artists. While the majority of works on display are by South Australian artists, an increasing number of well-known artists from the eastern States have recognised the gallery's enviable reputation and joined the Artworx stable.