Whether you’re a budding art student or just like seeing what the city has to offer, there’s something for you in Brisbane’s art scene, and a lot of it will cost you absolutely nothing. Over the last couple of years the city’s laneways have become home to jaw-dropping street art, and the galleries have featured exhibitions from the likes of Marvel, Cindy Sherman and Charles Blackman to name a few.
From walking tours to fine art galleries – here’s the art experiences that should be on your radar.
Actually just a great excuse to get out and properly explore the city, Brisbane Greeters run regular walking tours through the city that start in King George Square and work their way down to QUT Garden’s Point campus. Find out the story behind the soldiers in King George Square, the mechanical kangaroos snacking on George Street, and the giant stainless-steel spheres halted in Reddacliff place, and more.
Queensland University of Technology’s Art Gallery is located at the Garden’s Point campus and shows off a range of modern and contemporary art. The exhibitions are generally technology enabled or in relation to future tech and innovation. It’s open Tuesday-Sunday and admission is always free.
The creme de la creme of Brisbane’s art scene is quite easily secured by Queensland’s modern art hub. Being the largest modern art gallery in Australia, it’s easy to spend a whole morning or afternoon here wandering the multiple floors and exhibitions. There’s always something on, and generally something free. Check the website for details.
For a more traditional art experience the Queensland Art Gallery is just next door and has a whole lot of gems to be discovered. Go often to find well-known exhibitions on show in Brisbane. It’s mostly free.
The appeal here is partly its unsuspecting location and partly the incredible exhibitions. Museum of Brisbane is actually located inside City Hall (in King George Square) and is home to an ongoing exhibition about the city of Brisbane – 100% Brisbane. Discover what makes Brisbane the unique city it is and who makes up the city’s population. You can also take a quiz to find out what percentage of the city you represent. It’s all free.
More of a hidden gem, but definitely worth getting out of the inner-city to discover, Woolloongabba Art Gallery is home to exhibitions by a collection of local and national artists. Take the opportunity to familiarise yourself with some of the local art influences – you might even catch one of the artists in the gallery.
Prefer grunge over traditional art? Get down and dirty (not literally) and soak up the city’s street art offering. Brisbane Greeters run tours specifically around this, showcasing the best street art the city has to offer between Fortitude Valley, the city and West End. Hit them up for a special tour and they’ll piece one together or let you know when the next one is on.
The University of Queensland’s art collection started in 1940 as the result of a generous donation and has grown to what is now a mixture of traditional and modern art exhibitions. The university established a Fine Art Library, which is the UQ Art Museum we know today. It’s open daily and admission is always free.
Institute of Modern Art is a free public art gallery in Fortitude Valley. Its exhibits are often by local, national and international artists with an interactive, contemporary or alternative element. IMA is supported by the federal government and runs workshops and speaking events in line with the exhibitions. Check out the program on the website.