If you would love to spend your weekend gazing at art-adored walls with a quizzical look on your face thinking ‘what the heck is that!?’ or ‘I could do a better job than that’ then we have found the best places for you.
Auckland is filled with galleries of talented local and international artists that will give you all the cultured feels, feed your mind and provide that life inspo you’ve been so desperately craving.
Without further ado, here is where to find Auckland’s best art galleries.
It’s art. It’s fine.
Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki
It’s a no-brainer that our list kicks off with the Auckland Art Gallery. Founded in 1888, it is the most well known, and for good reason. The CBD space is a fusion of historical and contemporary, expressed even in its architecture—two buildings combine the old and the new. With 16,000 pieces from the 11th century to today, Auckland Art Gallery showcases works that you won’t see anywhere else. With this much art you’ll have to make a day of it, so grab a bite at the café and make your way through the centuries. While they have permanent exhibitions, they often have top international exhibitions visiting our shores, so keep an eye on their website to keep up to date.
Gow Langsford Gallery
Celebrating its 30th year in business, Gow Langsford, John Gow and Gary Langsford have made a name for themselves despite being right across the road from Auckland’s largest art gallery. Two complimentary galleries allow for a range of large-scale installations and more curated exhibitions. Committed to fostering contemporary art, Gow Langsford has hosted some of New Zealand—and the world—most acclaimed artists. This includes the likes of Dick Frizzell, Max Gimblett, Judy Millar, pop artist Andy Warhol and the man so famous that you only need to mention his last name—Picasso.
A beautiful historic building, Pah Homestead is the perfect spot to house a gallery. Stroll through the sculpture garden, peruse the paintings and explore the exhibitions curated from the James Wallace Arts Trust Collection. With 8,500 works to look at, you are sure to get peckish. Luckily, there’s an on-site café to satisfy your stomach so you can enchant your eyes.
Melanie Roger Gallery
Recently Melanie Roger Gallery relocated from their space in Herne Bay to Auckland’s creative hub, K’ Road. Enjoy the works of established artists and encounter emerging talents. Concentrating on the contemporary from New Zealand and abroad, Melanie Rogers Gallery has showcased names such as Billy Apple, Tame Iti, Stanley Palmer, Henrietta Harris and many, many more.
Parnell Gallery knows its art, having displayed since ‘76. It is perfectly placed to exhibit both art and Auckland’s fabulous scenery. Overlooking the city, with Rangitoto in the distance and art on every wall, you can’t help but feel inspired. The gallery holds monthly shows in their dedicated exhibition space centering on paintings, sculpture and prints from predominantly NZ artists. Dick Frizzell, Otis Frizzell, Shane Hansen and Gretchen Albrecht are just a few of the big names that have been displayed here.
Artspace is a gallery that challenges your perception of art and the world. It is a forward thinking kind of space, bringing together contemporary art, exhibition making and critical thinking. Artspace aims to challenge societal norms, present new ideas, stimulate reactions and debate and take risks. In effort to educate, they also hold free talks covering topics such as social context, institutional programming, creative commons and audience development.
Situated in Otara, Fresh Gallery centers on community vibes and making art accessible for everyone. The council-funded gallery likes to keep it fresh by providing a platform for emerging New Zealand talent, particularly Pacific artists.
Corban Estate Arts Centre
Corban Estate Arts Centre offers ever-changing exhibitions in their three gallery spaces, art classes, a café and artists’ studios. Nestled amongst winery vines Corban Estate has a rich history and was once the largest vineyard in the country. Today the Arts Centre hosts 32 resident artists, displays even more and has a number of projects which encourage the local youth to use art as an expressive tool. The projects cater to those who have a love of the arts and who have faced challenges.
Te Tuhi Centre For Arts
Te Tuhi’s name, gifted by the local tangata whenua, Nga Tai, references their ancestor and explorer who made his mark (tuhi) on New Zealand using red ochre on pohutakawa tree. Founded by a group of women who initially held meetings in a garden shed in 1975, Te Tuhi has come a long way, but sticks to its roots. It remains engaged with the local community and remaining aware of social, political and environmental issues
Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery
Te Uru sits in the Lopdell Precinct in the bushy locale of Titirangi. Strongly associated with the community, Te Uru alludes to a westward wind that carries the message and vision of the community, and pushes for change. Te Uru continues to challenge and change, showcasing contemporary art and design, but keeps the values of manaakitanga, innovation, collaboration, responsiveness, inclusiveness and sustainability at its heart.
Auckland’s latest gallery offering serves up something different for both locals and tourists alike. Set in stunning Matakana, Sculptureum is the brainchild of Anthony and Sandra Grant. The 25-hectare piece of farmland has been transformed into a truly magical space and is filled with colourful and unexpected pieces. It includes sculpture gardens, art galleries, a function centre and a restaurant/bar, Rothko. You’ll find the works of Cezanne and Monet as well as many pieces from New Zealand’s finest creatives.
- New Zealand Fashion Brands We're Loving Right Now
- 50 Things Every New Zealander Remembers From Their Childhood
- 10 Kiwiana Homeware Stores We’re Loving Right Now
Image credit: Sculptureum