Voted the world’s most liveable city in 2015, Australia’s second most populous city is often referred to as the cultural capital of Down Under. With all this in mind, it comes as no surprise that there are many Melbourne art galleries and institutions that contribute to the flourishing of the entire state of Victoria. A vibrant as it is, the city offers numerous festivals, events and happenings happening at almost any moment, through venues scattered across the many lanes and alleys the place became famous for. Once you’ve enjoyed all the incredible works of street art and graffiti by international and artists that can be found on every corner, as well as the stunning architecture and outdoor sculptures, you can take a look at the art exhibited indoors, at renowned spaces that offer a little something for everybody’s taste. Home to both major and boutique galleries, specializing in a diversity of artworks from authentic Aboriginal paintings to cutting edge installations, Melbourne art galleries can be found in numerous laneways and arcades of the city, such as the areas of Fitzroy and Collingwood. With such esteemed reputation, Melbourne stands shoulder to shoulder with Sydney as the art capital of Australia and is home to many renowned art museums in Australia as well..
Below, see the list of Melbourne art galleries you should definitely not miss!
Among the must-visit Melbourne art galleries, there’s Backwoods Gallery, founded in October 2010 by Alexander Mitchell, Ghostparol, James Reka, Rone and Meggs. It grew from being a platform for the development and promotion of emerging Australian street art scene to an international community of some of the world’s leading artists. Focusing on the fields of street art, graffiti and illustration, Backwoods represents renowned names like Clemens Behr, Felipe Pantone, Fintan Magee, Lush, Roa, Mark Bode, Twoone, Shun Kawakami…
Featured images courtesy Backwoods Gallery
Nellie Castan Projects
From the highly successful commercial gallery of fifteen-year-long experience, which closed, in 2013, Nellie Castan Projects became a project-based platform that allowed the gallerist to concentrate on showcasing names through special events. The gallery stockroom also offers a selection of artworks in various genres and styles. Active in the field of fine arts since 1980, Nellie Castan was a partner in the decorative arts-focused Distelfilk Gallery, as well as Flinders Lane Gallery in the 1990s.
Featured images via renatogrome.com and artblart.com
At Gould Galleries, one could only find the finest of quality in Australian and international art: from the most dynamic contemporary names to the important 19th and 20th century artists, including including Howard Arkley, Arthur Boyd, Sir Russell Drysdale, Rosalie Gascoigne, Norman Lindsay, Tom Roberts, Jeffrey Smart, Fred Williams and Brett Whiteley. The experience of gallerist Rob Gould, a renowned figure and a member of numerous boards and foundations, also provides advisory of private, institutional, corporate and international clients, with regard to the formation, development and management of their art collections.
Featured images via lousaxton.com
Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP)
Established 30 years ago, the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) is the leading venue in Australia dedicated to photography, video and related fields. It exhibits and promotes work by local, national and international creatives in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, providing an area where emerging individuals can gain a formative experience in the development and staging of shows, while the practicing ones can find audiences. Core activities of the Centre include the showcase, commissioning, education, and appraisal of modern-day practice as well as advocacy, publishing and print sales.
Featured images courtesy Centre for Contemporary Photography
A non-for-profit gallery and studio complex, Gertrude Contemporary is one of the most renowned Melbourne art galleries that has been supporting creative individuals for over 30 years. Within a strong community of professionals, it fosters them through the studio and shows programs, run across two venues, educational workshops and public events. In 2015, they launched a satellite venue Gertrude Glasshouse on Glasshouse Road, Collingwood, which has enabled an expanded program focusing on solo exhibitions by Gertrude Studio Artists, also offering residential studio for visiting international arts makers, curators and writers for residencies.
Featured images via themelbourneartsclub.com and thisisnofantasy.com
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the oldest and most visited venue of its kind in the whole country, hosting a wide range of local and international creatives, as well as their exhibitions, events and programs. The two buildings, NGV International and NGV Australia, host shows dedicated to contemporary art, architecture, fashion, design, sound and dance, also holding the most significant collection of artworks in the region: more than 70,000 pieces spanning thousands of years. Furthermore, all is free for the visitors to enjoy!
Featured images: The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia at Federation Square. Photo by Brooke Holm; Education Entrance, NGV International. Photo by Brooke Holm; Colonial Galleries, The Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia. Photo by Brooke Holm; Visitors enjoying the Salon Gallery at NGV International. Photo NGV Photographic Services. Courtesy NGA
Maroondah Art Gallery
The Maroondah Art Gallery aims to promote and inspire diversity, innovation and discussion in the visual arts as one of Melbourne art galleries that constantly changes its exhibition program. These shows include newly commissioned work, thematic showcases and survey exhibition of major artists, often accompanied by a diverse range of public programs that provide opportunities for visitors of all ages to further engage with the arts. It is owned and operated by Maroondah City Council, is also home to the R & M McGivern Art Prize, held on a triennial basis.
Featured image via about-australia.com
Mailbox Art Space
Directed by Sigourney Jacks, André Ruggeri and Jake Treacy, Mailbox Art Space is an alternative public art space in the heart of Melbourne’s Flinders Lane arts precinct, on the traditional land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. Formerly known as Mailbox 141, the gallery supports artistic experimentation and the exhibition of fresh work, and invites artists to create site-specific work for a series of restored mailboxes and the surrounding area of the historic Pawson House heritage building.
Featured images courtesy Mailbox Art Space
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is a leading Melbourne venue, established in 1983. It is now situated in an iconic building in the Southbank arts precinct, completed in 2002 and designed by local architects Wood Marsh. The building has become one of Melbourne’s best loved architectural icons. The policy of this facility was to commission artworks and projects, rather than collecting, through the development of exhibitions of significant creatives around the world, as well as curatorial, educational and public programs, talks, lectures, symposia, performances, screenings, music and events.
Featured image via telegraph.co.uk
As part of Melbourne’s RMIT Institute, RMIT Gallery presents fine art, design, craft, fashion, new media, technology and popular culture, with extensive public programs offering a social means of experiencing modern-day culture. It also organizes regular floor talks, lectures, discussion, public events and publications to coincide with exhibitions. It is housed in Storey Hall, an internationally acclaimed example of architectural innovation, located on Swanston Street, at the centre of Melbourne’s key cultural tourism areas. Their collection comprises mainly art from Australia, including Indigenous work. It contains paintings, prints, drawing and sculpture.