We may be known as the city of churches to most Aussies, but Adelaide also has a prosperous arts scene. From Adelaide Fringe and SALA, to local music and art, and world-class exhibitions gracing our city at various galleries, it’s easy to find a feast for the senses.
While most of us may be familiar with the Art Gallery of South Australia on North Terrace, there’s plenty of other place you can get your art fix, and we’re here to deliver.
Here’s our ultimate guide to Adelaide’s Art Galleries.
Art Gallery Of South Australia – North Terrace, Adelaide
Of course, we could not begin this article without our Art Gallery of South Australia, which attracts almost one million visitors every year. Our gallery always hosts impressive selections, with more than 40,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, sketches, photographs, textiles and design works from all over the world. Our AGSA has featured Andy Warhol, Robert Hannaford, Diane Arbus, Del Kathryn Barton and Christopher Orchard (just to name a few.) The Art Gallery Of South Australia has exhibited world acclaimed works from Auguste Rodin last year, to Fashion Icons from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2014, and recently the impressionist masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Check out their events here, exhibitions now showing here and exhibitions upcoming here.
GAGPROJECTS – 39 Rundle Street, Kent Town
Once known as the Greenaway Art Gallery, GAGPROJECTS helps to promote local and national talent, as well as connecting promising contemporary artists with institutions and private collectors. Founded by Paul Greenaway, the space is located in a large converted warehouse only a hop, skip and a jump away from our CBD. Greenway’s second gallery however, is much further afield, basing itself in Berlin! Both galleries are interested in art focusing on “conceptual and challenging disciplines.”
FELTspace – 12 Compton Street, Adelaide
FELTspace is an artist-run initiative founded in 2008. It fosters the work of emerging, mid-career and established artists. FELTspace is situated across from the Adelaide Central Markets and Chinatown district, just perfect for a casual day strolling the city eating and enjoying art! FELTspace‘s philosophy is all about developing, exhibiting and discussing new art in SA, and their team knows that creating an enthusiastic arts community means creating room for discussion about art. So spawned their writers’ program which publishes written works of artists, curators and commentators. Not only do they branch out into writing but they also have temporary public art projects including FELTnatural famous for taking over Adelaide’s parklands and FELTmaps which brings art to Port Adelaide.
Hugo Michell Gallery – 260 Portrush Road, Beulah Park
Hugo Michell Gallery exhibits works across the spectrum. From eye-catching to eerie, stunning to confronting, politically charged, and simply hangable work for home. The gallery space exhibits photography, painting, sculpture, quilting, tapestry, digital media and installations. Hugo Michell really showcases some brilliant stuff! Not only are their exhibitions top notch but they support both established and emerging artists. Some of their artists include Ildiko Kovacs, Abdul Abdullah, Trent Park, Richard Lewer, Tony Garifalakis, Stanislava Pinchuk (Miso), Paul Yore, Lucas Grogan and Sally Bourke.
Mark Lobert Gallery – 152 Port Rd, Alberton
When Port Adelaide artist Mark Lobert began painting professionally more than a decade ago, he dreamed his work would become a huge success. Mark’s love for art started from a young age, but it was in the garage of his family home that his passion really came to life. His gallery showcasing his work is now open for the public and paintings are available for sale.
TANDANYA – 253 Grenfell St, Adelaide
Tandanya is the oldest Aboriginal-owned and operated arts centre in Australia, after being founded in 1989! From day dot, Tandanya has been telling the stories of Australia’s First Peoples, an important story to be shared. Tandanya is named after the local Indigenous Kaurna word, which means ‘place of the red kangaroo’. Situated in a grand building right in our CBD, it is in a perfect location for you to access. Drop into Tandanya before or after you enjoy some of the great eateries and shops in our buzzing East End. Tandanya hosts a busy program of community events and interactive exhibits.
Samstag Museum of Art – 55 North Terrace, Adelaide
The Samstag Museum of Art is part of the University of South Australia. The gallery cannot be missed, as it lives in the stunningly modern and architectural Hawke Building in UniSA’s city west campus. Samstag is named after a former UniSA professor, who granted a number of art scholarships to the university following his death in 1991. Samstag’s program is described as envelope-pushing and cutting-edge. The gallery is considered one of the top university art museums in the country. Year round you can expect a fruitful range of contemporary art – from paintings, to film, installations, performance art and more.
Flinders Art Museum – Two locations: State Library of South Australia, North Terrace and one on campus in Bedford Park
Another brilliant university gallery of ours is the Flinders Art Museum. With two locations one on campus and one in our State Library, (so we don’t have to trek to Flinders) means double the art! The location on campus is an appointment-only art museum. The gallery maintains the university’s extensive collection of historic and contemporary art, curating a dynamic program of eight exhibitions per year. The gallery exhibits fresh and contemporary art with messages which challenge society. For example, they recently exhibited the one and only @peterdrewarts, whose work we guarantee most Adelaideans have seen around our city. Peter Drew plasters posters on the walls of our city, striking yet simple portraits of immigrants with the words ‘AUSSIE’ just beneath their shoulders.
Jam Factory – Two locations: 19 Morphett Street, Adelaide and 730 Seppeltsfield Rd in the Barossa Valley
Jam Factory – possibly Adelaide’s best-known art centre – is a not-for-profit and custom-built art gallery and studio. The Jam Factory focuses on ceramics, glass, furniture, jewellery and metalwork. Their in-house training program is designed to educate some of Australia’s most promising up-and-coming designers. Their oh so stylish exhibition space showcases the finest creations from our Aussie artisans. Jam Factory’s store allows us to buy local and give back to our artists who create one of a kind works. The two locations are in optimal areas, our city west and our Barossa, both infamous places which cultivate South Australia’s creativity and creation.
Lion Arts Centre – Corner of North Terrace and Morphett Street, Adelaide
The Lion Arts Centre is definitely unmissable – the gorgeously old and industrial brick building is adorned by massive drips of oozing yellow paint. This historic and majestic Adelaide icon is home to Nexus Art and ACE. Situated near the independent Mercury Cinema, the Media Resource Centre, the Jam Factory and a university campus, this area is truly a hive of buzzing artistic energy and activity. The Lion Arts Centre embraces emerging and established contemporary artists and creatives, and displays a diverse array of art. From performance art to artist talks they’ve got it all.
Nexus Arts – Lion Arts Centre
Nexus Arts describe themselves as pioneers in diversity, which is true when looking back at their history. Founded by the Multicultural Arts Workers Committee, today Nexus Arts continue the ethos of their past, by advocating for the inclusion of culturally and linguistically diverse art and artists. They also provide community groups with opportunities to present visual arts, performances and special programs and projects. Nexus’ programs challenge and question cultural stereotypes and generate critical debate. At Nexus Arts you can expect all sorts of art, from visual art exhibitions, artist talks, performances, music, workshops, events and more!
ACE Open Art – Lion Arts Centre
ACE Open is fresh on our scene but a familiar face. In 2017 ACE Open established by absorbing the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA) and the Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF) under one umbrella, being ACE Open. ACE Open continues the 116-year history of its predecessors by being trailblazers in contemporary art, messages and concepts. As South Australia’s flagship contemporary art gallery, ACE Open presents a year-round program of free “transformative contemporary art experiences for artists and audiences.” Expect unique exhibitions, talks and events. Exhibitions at ACE Open include both South Australian, Australian and international artists – connecting us Adelaideans with the Globe. ACE Open ensure learning and the advocacy of SA artists, curators and writers is at its core, with their regularly published artist monographs, on-site studio programs and mentorship opportunities.
Adelaide Central School Of Art – 7 Mulberry Road, Glenside
This not-for-profit gallery is located within the Adelaide Central School of Art our the beautiful Glenside Cultural Precinct. The school provides our budding artists with valuable courses and classes. The classes allow our students valuable contact with professional artists, writers and curators, helping them integrate into our thriving art scene. In fact, the school has recently been crowned the best art school in the whole of Australia, and we are super proud to call Adelaide home! The Graduate Exhibition is the highlight of the Adelaide Central Gallery’s program, presenting the best pieces produced by all of the school’s graduating Bachelor of Visual Art and Honours students.
Fontanelle – 175 St Vincent St, Port Adelaide
Opening doors in 2012 – thanks to support from Renewal SA – Fontanelle quickly became a breeding place for some of SA’s best-emerging artists, curators and writers. Fontanelle is honestly a striking building. The off-white and old building is confidently standing on Vincent Street and decorated with simple pink and patterned accents. Already we know this place is a quirky hot spot. The gallery welcomes artists at all different career points to exhibit, experiment, debate and collaborate to their hearts’ desires! So yes do expect some envelope-pushing, brilliant and crazy-unique art like their current exhibition, which is pictured on Instagram below. Director Brigid Noone has assembled a top-notch team of artists to run the space as well as workshops and lectures. The Fontanelle crew is huge on community engagement, they run an array of artist-led workshops, teaching everything from terrarium making to digital stop-motion for kids. This place is a bubbling hub of inspiration.
The Mill – 154 Angas Street, Adelaide
Established in 2013, by Amber Cronin and Erin Fowler, The Mill was initially imagined as a junction between visual art, movement, dance and theatre. This is because dance and visual art are the young entrepreneurs’ common areas of practice. The Mill consists of a gallery, studio space and a rehearsal space for performers, all available for hire. The Mill is all about nurturing our south Australian creatives. The Mill serves up residencies, masterclasses, workshops, professional development opportunities, awards, curated public events and also accommodates 30 in-house artists.
Hill Smith Gallery – 113 Pirie St, Adelaide
Made up of two separate exhibiting spaces – the light-filled ground floor and the upstairs gallery – the Hill Smith is an elegant establishment since its birth in 1982. Founded by Sam Hill-Smith, HSG’s programme comprises of 12 curated exhibitions per calendar year, in addition to an ‘emerging artist program’. Check out the 3rd year students from the Adelaide College of the Arts which opened July 19. HSG has been linking their represented artist to discerning collectors from day dot. When entering this airy gallery expect painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics, works on paper, jewellery and 3D printed objects.
Peter Walker Fine Art – 101 Walkerville Terrace, Walkerville
Although specialising in the sale of early Australian paintings and items of historical interest, Peter Walker Fine Art also showcases contemporary art. With clients from major regional and state galleries, libraries and private collectors from around Australia and overseas – you can truly expect a fine curation of unique and classic art.
Gallery – 30 Waymouth St, Adelaide
There is more to this establishment that meets the name. Yes, it is an art gallery, but more so is a rooftop drink and food place plus a venue for function hire! All three levels are decorated with art. The walls of level one and two are adorned by artist Alysha Sparks, whose colourful and abstract works are beautiful enough to buy. On the roofotop, you can witness the works of Steve O’Connor, who specialises in sculptures. Gallery combines heritage charm with modern sophistication, and seamlessly transitions from the traditional facade to the modern interior. It is the perfect place to combine food, drink and art, all at once – a truly sensory experience!
Light Square Gallery – 39 Light Square, Adelaide
In our city’s already arty west end, Light Square promotes our SA contemporary artists and emerging artists. Some of their regular artists include TAFE SA graduates, their acclaimed lecturing team and a selection of graduated yr 12 Art students. The building – with that large silver shape jutting out of it – is now more eye-catching than ever, with the recent addition of the rainbow walk recognising LGBTQIA in SA.
Carclew – 11 Jeffcott St, North Adelaide
Carclew is South Australia’s only multi-art form and cultural organisation dedicated to our youths, aged 26 and under, as well as those with disadvantaged backgrounds. In 1971 Don Dunstan announced that Carclew House would become the creative centre it is today. Carclew’s program consists of exhibitions, workshops, events, arts projects, funding programs, and skill development.
Art Images Gallery – 32 The Parade, Norwood
At Art Images Gallery stock you can expect an exciting range of contemporary art, from paintings, sculpture, prints, glass, ceramic and jewellery. The gallery offers many services including picture framing, picture hanging systems and installation, Australia wide delivery as well as art rental, ideal for businesses or those selling homes. Limited edition prints from Janet Ayliffe, Christina Cordero and David Bromley are on display now. You can see their current and upcoming exhibitions here.
BMG Art – 444 South Road, Marleston
BMGART specialise in contemporary Australian art, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass and prints. You can expect stunning contemporary art, from Christopher Orchard, Jasper Knight, Jason Cordero, Marijana Tadic, Daniel Connell, Kari Bienert, Bundit Puangthong and Margaret Ambridge. This gallery has a beautiful industrial and airy feel, and when entering you immediately feel at ease. The gallery is also very close to some very cool Adelaide eateries including Karma and Crow or Froth and Fodder. You can see Frank Callen, Zoe Woods and Michelle Jones soon for their SALA exhibitions. You can see the rest of their exhibitions here.
Indigenu Art Of Australia – 131 Sturt Street, Adelaide
Indigenu specialises in Australian Indigenous art and they also provide services beyond just exhibiting art. Their services include: gallery and online sales and store, Indigenous art event hosting, cultural consultancy, NAIDOC events and celebrations, corporate cocktails, catering, art installations and didgeridoo performances.
Did we miss any galleries that you think should be included? Feel free to shoot through any recommendations to our editor here.