Mission Statement


To provide creative opportunities for the community to enjoy and benefit from the arts in an inclusive and vibrant precinct.


• To provide art as a catalyst for learning, social connectivity, intergenerational opportunities, and community well-being
• To offer a diverse program of activities that reflect the changing interests of the public
• To promote, protect and improve the historical, cultural and environmental importance of the Atwell precinct for future generations
• To be an arts hub providing support to other creative groups
• To provide an attractive and welcoming space for artists to exhibit and promote their art
• To ensure that Melville Community Art Association is well governed, locally connected and financially sustainable

• We believe that art is essential for the wellbeing of the individuals and the community
• We are inclusive and respectful
• We are welcoming and are open to all comers
• We champion access to art for all and foster a love of art
• We value the environment, culture and tradition

What we do

Melville Arts @ Atwell House is a vibrant self-funded not-for-profit community arts centre located in Alfred Cove, situated on the bank of the Swan River. The Precinct offers convenient access from Canning Highway welcoming local residents and the broader community to share in the experience of art and culture in the City of Melville @ Atwell house.

At the centre, we provide a range of classes and workshops for adults, young adults, and children. The centre had its foundation in visual arts and is now expanding into other areas of the arts to become relevant to the communities needs and expectations.

Atwell Gallery is part of the precinct and a vibrant Gallery looking to provide a diverse range of art and cultural exhibitions and activities in a professional gallery environment engaging the community.

We are also the home of the South of the River Potters' Club and the unique Karlup Ceramic Centre which is now under construction. This facility is a fit for purpose ceramic studio which will be offering ceramic classes to children and adults upon completion.

Other groups that meet regularly here are the Atwell Spinners, the Alfred Cove Art Society, Sunday Life Drawing group and Portraiture group.

Part of our support to our members, the community and the arts sector is to also offer a ‘Short Term Artist in Residence program (STAR). This program supports practicing artists, offering the facility for creative expression, community engagement, networking, and mentoring.

Our history

Atwell House was built in 1935 by Walter Atwell with the proceeds from a win on the races.  He established a diary farm on the site.  The cows browsing on the land leading down to the Swan river. It operated successfully for many years but, by the seventies the house had become derelict.  The house was listed on the State Heritage list (now on the Melville Council Heritage list).

A group of Applecross artists were looking for permanent home and took over the house in 1978 with the agreement of Melville Council providing they could run the art studios without cost to the council.

The group expanded and raised the funds to build the gallery in 1982. The office and what is now the shop were added later. The Arts Centre became more community based over the years, with the introduction of classes and workshops eventually becoming the organisation we know today.

Our role in the community

We provide a wonderful venue that welcomes all those interested in art.  We believe that access to the arts at the community level supports mental health, reduces social isolation and keeps our society healthy, creative and connected.

Melville Community Arts Association

Atwell Arts @ Melville House is managed by the Melville Community Arts Association Inc. (MCAA) with the City of Melville providing the buildings.

MCAA is a self-funded not-for-profit incorporated association run by volunteers.


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