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While it is no secret that Canberra boasts some of the country’s most iconic galleries and museums such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, and National Museum of Australia, one of the city’s best kept secrets is the thriving local art and culture scene.

Canberra is home to more than 30 galleries that support local, national, and international artists, there is no shortage of art in sight. Scattered through the suburbs, these local galleries, and museums, which specialise in different styles and mediums, offer intimate experiences. You’ll often be able to meet the curators and owners, allowing you to engage with the art and the exhibitions on a personal level.

From a tiny gallery that’s less than six square metres in size, to comprehensive Aboriginal art galleries showcasing Australian Indigenous art with paintings sourced from the 1970s, you’ll quickly discover why Canberra is known as Australia’s cultural capital.

Gallery of Small Things
Canberra’s tiniest gallery, aptly named Gallery of Small Things showcases emerging and established artists in the visual Arts. It is less than six metres square and brings international, interstate and local artists to a Canberra backyard. The Gallery of Small Things is all about the makers and designers who love texture and form on a miniature scale.

Grainger Gallery
Established by an artist as a space for experiencing, making and processing art,  Grainger Gallery has revolving exhibitions and studio workshops throughout the year  to inspire and delight creative minds.

Nestled in the popular Dairy Road Precinct, you can also enjoy an afternoon at the nearby brewery, gin distillery, chocolaterie, urban winery, or bouldering gym.

Aarwun Gallery
Heritage treasures from Australian artist Norman Lindsay sit alongside exquisite Indigenous artworks that celebrate the land at this inspiring gallery in Gold Creek Village.

Afterwards, explore the area and wander through the miniature village at Cockington Green Gardens or learn about prehistoric creatures at the National Dinosaur Museum.

Strathnairn Arts
Nestled on the Western fringe of Belconnen overlooking the Brindabella Ranges, you’ll find a 1920’s homestead on 9.5 hectares known as Strathnairn Arts. What makes this locale unique is it is home to a range of artists, crafts people and community groups who use the facilities as working spaces and studios. Take in their works on the walls, before enjoying a bite to eat at Café Stepping Stone, or perusing their curated shopfront.

Canberra Glassworks
Housed in the historic Kingston Power House, Canberra Glassworks is the only one of its kind in the nation. Visit the hot shop to see glass artists in action before seeing masterpieces in the gallery and shop or try your hand at making a small glass tumbler or vase at an interactive workshop.

M16 Artspace
With three galleries that change exhibitions every three weeks, there’s always something new to see at M16 Artspace. The space, located in the inner south suburb of Griffith exudes a contagious, artistic energy managing 25-plus artist studios and housing five arts organisations that offer art classes.

ANU and Kambri Precinct Galleries
A short stroll through the Australian National University campus and Kambri precinct will reveal two galleries. Head to the School of Art & Design Gallery to see graduate and post-graduate work, and Drill Hall Gallery for contemporary visual art.

Canberra Museum and Gallery
This museum and gallery tells Australian stories through both historic objects and art. Follow artist Sidney Nolan’s creative journey or explore four key periods of Canberra’s development.

Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre
Neighbouring the Canberra Museum and Gallery, the Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre shines a spotlight on local designers and makers, and celebrates excellence in all types of craft.

The shopfront is just as stunning as the neighbouring exhibition space, full of bespoke goods including ceramics, glassware, and textiles. Craft ACT also runs the popular annual DESIGN Canberra festival in November.

Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres
Twin arts centres, Ainslie and Gorman, host a large collective of professional artists and arts companies a stone’s throw from the city centre. Check what’s on at the centres to explore exhibitions, talks, dance performances, and much more. If it takes a village to raise an artist, this is the village.

Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres are located just 400 metres apart from one another in the humming neighbourhood of Braddon.


Note to editors: For more information on any of these experiences please contact VisitCanberra’s media team at tourism.media@act.gov.au.

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