Spoilt for choice, Canberra’s galleries are among the best in the nation. When in town, make sure to add the three below to your gallery trail.
National Portrait Gallery
A visit to the National Portrait Gallery will enhance your understanding of Australian people. Its exhibitions bring us face to face with identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity and through them you can track the development of portraiture from oil painting to digital media.
While you’re there, admire the building by architect Richard Johnson. It is the most significant to be constructed in the parliamentary triangle for the past 20 years. Each of the galleries has controlled natural light from translucent glazed clerestory windows and views to the outside. The external form of the building has five 70-metre-long bays arranged perpendicular to the land axis, a reference to Walter Burley Griffin’s early concepts for the national capital.
The collection includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement. Don’t forget to visit the Curatoreum shop before you leave – it’s filled with objects by local and national makers and stocks books for all ages and interests – and the popular Portrait Café, which has a menu made up of fresh, seasonal and locally sourced, sustainable produce.
Belconnen Arts Centre
On the foreshore of Lake Ginninderra, the Belconnen Arts Centre is the creative hub of north-west Canberra. Its philosophy is to fuel visitors, and local residents love of and engagement with the arts by nurturing and presenting a wide range of exhibitions and events that explore dance, music, visual arts, theatre and more.
You can celebrate with the local community a new chapter of the arts centre with In Transit Unframed, an exhibition that explores change, growth, journey and evolution and marks 2018 as the year that will see the completion of the Belconnen Arts Centre building.
Canberra Contemporary Art Space
Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s small galleries in Manuka and Braddon provide emerging and established contemporary artists and curators with opportunities to develop daring new work and exhibit.
Its exhibitions local, national and international artists introduce audiences to exciting new ideas and media. From March to August, view works by Solo-mon Grainger, Rachel Powell, Romany Fairall, Gerald Jones, Annika Harding and others.
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