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Culture Fix: The Best Art Galleries in Canberra

From hidden gems to historic treasures, discover the best art galleries that Canberra has to offer.

Beaver Galleries

Nothing feels more luxurious than spending the day wandering through art galleries and Canberra is home to some of the country's best

What makes Canberra truly special, however, is its dedication to nurturing emerging talents. Many smaller, lesser-known spaces provide a platform for new artists to shine. Whether you're captivated by the intimacy of portraits or the allure of sculptures, Canberra's gallery scene has something for everyone. And, if the artistic muse strikes, you can even roll up your sleeves and create your own masterpiece. Read on for the best art galleries in Canberra to enjoy on your next trip...

Strathnairn Arts

Strathnairn Arts

Strathnairn Arts, nestled on the outskirts of Canberra, is the city's best-kept artistic secret. Occupying a charming 1920s homestead with the picturesque Brindabella Mountains as a backdrop, it serves as a thriving hub for artists of all disciplines. Here, you'll find painters, sculptors, potters, printmakers, and more, all immersed in their creative pursuits. With an Artist in Residence program, a lineup of engaging workshops, and a calendar full of exhibitions, it's a dynamic centre for artistic expression. The on-site shop is a treasure trove of unique creations by local artists. 

90 Stockdill Drive, Holt

Drill Hall

Drill Hall Gallery

The Drill Hall, once a training ground for soldiers, now stands tall as one of Canberra's best art galleries. This beautifully transformed venue houses a collection of remarkable national and international art, showcasing the creative spirit of Australia. With its rich history and heritage status, it offers four unique exhibition spaces where contemporary artists, curators, and collectors converge. A visit here immerses you in a tapestry of meticulously presented exhibitions, often accompanied by insightful publications. Don't miss the iconic Sidney Nolan's Riverbend panorama, a must-see treasure in Canberra. 

Kingsley Street, Acton

National Gallery of Australia (Image Credit: Visit Canberra)

National Gallery of Australia

The National Gallery of Australia has a stellar reputation that stretches far beyond the city limits - this gallery draws art enthusiasts from across the nation. Featuring both home-grown artists and captivating international exhibitions, it's a space that will keep you engrossed for hours. This creative sanctuary celebrates not only Australia's rich art heritage but also showcases masterpieces from around the globe. You'll be inspired by the world's largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, alongside stunning examples of French Impressionism and much more. 

Parkes Place East, Parkes

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

For those eager to explore Australia's prominent figures, a visit to the National Portrait Gallery is a must on the list of the best art galleries in Canberra. It's a cool way to delve into the stories of individuals who've left their mark on this vast land. The gallery has a simple yet captivating approach, with exhibitions that shed light on the rich tapestry of Australian history and culture. Couple that experience with the striking architecture, designed by Johnson Pilton Walker and you’ll have an ideal atmosphere for art appreciation. So, go ahead, soak up the portraits of those who've shaped our national identity—it's both informative and inspiring.

King Edward Terrace, Parkes 

National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia isn't your typical art gallery – it's where history comes to life. Among the city's best art galleries in Canberra, this unique gem is more than just about paintings and sculptures; it's about exploring the rich and diverse stories that have shaped Australia. From the Ngunnawal, Ngunawal, and Ngambri lands it's built on, to the fascinating exhibits, this place is a blend of architecture, design, and intellectual exploration. Step into a postmodern structure that tells a story as vibrant as the crimson, orange, bronze, gold, and black hues on its exterior. 

Lawson Cres, Acton

Canberra Glassworks

Canberra Glassworks

For a truly unique experience one can't miss Canberra Glassworks. Tucked inside the historic Kingston Power House, the gallery is a hub where art meets glass, and everyone's invited to explore. Swing by on weekends and watch glass artists perform their mesmerising craft. Or better yet, round up your best mates and book a glassworks session yourself. Bonus: There's a market stall just next door for weekend strolls and a burger joint around the corner for the ultimate post-art munchies.

11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston 

Beaver Galleries

Beaver Galleries in Deakin

Beaver Galleries isCanberra's largest privately owned art gallery, and it's among the best art galleries in Canberra for a reason. With three distinct art spaces to meander through, whether your heart beats for painting, sculpture, ceramics, or glass, there's an array of artistic treasures and exhibitions waiting to be explored.

The gallery is where the nation's contemporary artists find their home, and it's a special place for art aficionados to check out. Under the guidance of owners Martin and Susie Beaver, along with their experienced team, the gallery has carved a national presence, boasting a dynamic exhibition program and regular appearances at Australian art fairs.

81 Denison Street, Deakin

Belconnen Arts Centre

Belconnen Arts Centre

For a dose of local creativity that goes beyond the usual gallery experience, Belconnen Arts Centre is where it's at. Independently managed and owned by the ACT Government, this place is an all-in-one package – you've got exhibitions, workshops, and even dance classes and programs. So it's perfect if you already live in the community and are looking for a fun way to entertain the kids. Located on Emu Bank and conveniently close to Belco's restaurants and mall, there's plenty to explore in the area after you've had your artsy fix. 

118 Emu Bank, Belconnen

Gallery of Small Things

Gallery of Small Things

The Gallery of Small Things is like a secret rendezvous of the creative minds in Canberra, where artists, designers, and visionaries unite under one cosy roof. Although it is known as the city's tiniest walk-through art gallery, its charm knows no bounds, winning the hearts of locals and visitors alike. The essence of the place lies in its knack for spotlighting both emerging and established artists from the region, creating a vibrant tapestry of artistry. It is the epitome of a supportive network for the Nation’s Capital and one worth the support. The Gallery of Small Things doesn't stop at displaying art; it invites you to join the creative journey with their workshops. Don't miss out on this quaint haven of creativity in the heart of Canberra.

Once you've explored all the best galleries around Canberra, tour a little more of the wonderful city! Check out the best accommodation around Canberra, or if you're after a glass or two, check out the best wine bars in Canberra.

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