The Australian art community received a sad notice this week with the news that legendary artist Margaret Olley had passed away. The depth and quality of her expressive still life paintings added a new dimension of beauty to seemingly plain items like a jug or a yellow pear. Olley, who was also a noted supporter of emerging artists, passed away at age 88.

Some fantastic exhibitions are kicking off this week and we’ve got all the details for you below, but first check this footage containing three of Australia’s biggest names in street art, Meggs, Lister and Kid Zoom. Very Nearly Almost got the three together and captured them doing their thing using a London brick stack for a canvas.

MEGGS x LISTER x KID-ZOOM from itdrewitself on Vimeo.

What “Sundial” is a collection of new works by New Zealand artist Mark Alsweiler. His Balsa wood sculptures, and acrylic paintings have been influenced heavily by South American folk art, and a personal recognition of contrast.
When Opens Friday 29 July 6PM and runs til 7 August 2011.
Where China Heights Gallery – 3, 16-28 Foster St, Surry Hills NSW
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What Edwina Corlette gallery is hosting an exhibition of works by acclaimed Brisbane painter Stefan Dunlop to coincide with the launch of his book “Ten Years”. His abstract landscapes, with vivid use of colour, evoke the work of the Die Brücke expressionists.
When Opens 25 July and runs til 13 August 2011.
Where Edwina Corlette Gallery – 2/555 Brunswick St, New Farm QLD
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What Perth artist Valdene Buckley’s first solo exhibition called “time … tide …” is a collection of charcoal frottages, ink drawings and intaglio prints that explores interactions between the natural world and man-made structures that occur over time.
When Opens Friday 29 July 6-8pm and runs til Aug 6 2011
Where Free Range Gallery 339 Wellington Street, Perth WA
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What Get up close and personal to the wonderful Pop Art influenced portraits by NZ artist Gavin Hurley at Boutwell Draper Gallery over the next couple of weeks. He mixes painting and paper collage to produce colourful works that really do “pop” at the viewer.
When Open 21 July – 13 August 2011
Where Boutwell Draper Gallery – 82 – 84 George Street, Redfern NSW
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What GoMA is the exclusive Australian venue for “Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams”, a landmark exhibition of surrealist works direct from the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris. Modern art enthusiasts, book your tickets to Brisbane now. This landmark exhibition features works by Giorgio De Chirico, Max Ernst; Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, André Breton, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Victor Brauner, Joan Miró, Luis Buñuel and René Clair, Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky and more.
When Open til 2 October 2011
Where GoMA – Stanley Place, South Bank, QLD
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What Art/design/business team Sonny and Biddy of the increasingly prolific We Buy Your Kids are heading to Brisbane for the Semi-Permanent Design Conference (buy tickets here) and while there they’re also showing at Nine Lives. Jackpot.
When Opens Friday August 5 2011
Where Nine Lives Gallery – Shop 5F Winn Street, Fortitude Valley QLD
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What Look Hear is quickly gaining a rep as Newcastle’s best art and design event on the calendar. Part conference, part club house, part playground it’s dedicated to showing off fresh faces and alt perspectives in design land. Speakers include Beastman, Toby Burrows, Brendan McKnight from Desktop Magazine and Beci Orpin. Look See is the exhibition that runs in collaboration with the event.
When Runs over 3, 10, 17 & 24 August 2011
Where Newcastle Region Art Gallery Newcastle
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What Sydney’s Lo-Fi Collective presents “Quit Your Day Job” by Joel Birch, an exhibition of new drawings and photographs by the globe roaming chiller. Also features a collaborative mural with letterform legend Roach.
When Opens Friday August 5 2011
Where Lo-Fi Gallery – 383 Bourke Street, Surry Hills NSW
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What “Searching With My Good Eye Open” is the first solo exhibition for Australian music photographer, Kane Hibberd. His focus is captivating, inventive and emotive images – as well as capturing those one-off moments that sometimes happen in rock and roll. where it will be opening September 1st at Mart Gallery in Surry Hills.
When 1st – 20th September 2011
Where Mart Gallery – 3156 Commonwealth Street Surry Hills NSW
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

What National Grid in Brookvale, Sydney, is playing host to an oestrogen-charged group show featuring works by some of Australia’s most talented female artists: Shannon Crees, Carly Casey, Mia Tanninaka, Bec Winnel, Kareena Zerefos, Lara Allport and Erin Forsyth.
When Opens Friday 5th August 2011 – 6:30pm
Where National Grid Gallery 24 Chard Rd, Brookvale NSW
Art Exhibitions & Shows Opening This Week

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Main image by Joel Birch