Art in Belfast will be covered in full detail for you today and our opening section will discuss the best art galleries and museums near you.
After that we will get into a variety of other topics like local art supply stores, events, festivals, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures and statues, art classes, studios for rent, and the top frame shops in your area.
If you are after any specific section you can jump straight to it using the table of contents on the left and we are also including a Belfast art map with all of the various places we mention throughout the post pinned on it.
The United Kingdom is a country that we have covered often on our site.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Belfast
In our humble opinion the best art galleries and museums in Belfast would be:
- Ulster Museum at Botanic Gardens
- Golden Thread Gallery at 84-94 Great Patrick St
- The Mac Belfast at 10 Exchange St W
- Belfast Exposed Photography at 23 Donegall St
- Catalyst Arts at 5 College Court
- Gormleys Belfast at 471 Lisburn Rd
- Eakin Gallery Belfast at 237 Lisburn Rd
- James Wray & Co at 14 James St S
- Platform Arts at 17-18 Bloomfield Ave
The Ulster Museum was founded all the way back in the 1820’s and today it is the largest museum in Northern Ireland and is home to over 15,000 works of art that you can check out when they are open from 10am to 5pm every day but Monday when they are closed.
The Golden Thread Gallery is always free to enter during their hours of 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Friday and from 11am to 4pm on Saturday. They also sell art and put on different types of education programs throughout the year like lectures, workshops, and more.
One of the more popular exhibitions at The Mac are the great sculptures by Irish artist Mark Garry. It is also a free gallery to enter and they have programs for local visual arts, theatre, and dance plus various workshops.
Catalyst Arts is the host of the FIX events that are held twice a year and are the longest-running performance art festival in the UK in addition to various workshops and smaller events held each month.
At Gormleys Fine Art which is open from from 10am to 5:30pm every day but Sunday you will see works by famous artists like Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Banksy, Damian Hirst, and Keith Haring. They have a sister company called Gormleys Auctions which can help with buying or selling plus they provide services in consultancy and sourcing.
One of the oldest commercial art galleries in Belfast is the Eakin Gallery which is open from 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday and who buys and sells pieces and can also do great custom framing.
Platform Arts is open from 11am to 4pm Wednesday through Saturday and has studio space to rent.
Materials & Supplies Near You
These art stores in your area should have all of the materials and supplies you desire:
- Proctors Art Supplies at 201 – 213 Castlereagh Rd
- Bradbury Art Store at 4 Callender St
- Ormonde Art at 195 Upper Lisburn Rd
- Ink Monkey Art at 17 North St
- The Works at 36 Castlecourt Shopping Centre Royal Ave
- Hobbycraft at 5B Longwood Retail Park
Bradbury Art Store is one of the more popular stores to buy branded art materials near you.
Ormonde Art can provide quality framing services and they have a wide range of Winsor & Newton and Dalor Rowney supplies available.
You probably know what chain stores like The Works and Hobbycraft have to offer.
Shows & Events
Some of the top annual art shows and events in Northern Ireland are:
- Belfast International Arts Festival in October
- Young at Art in March
- Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in September
- Hit the North Street Art Festival in September
- FIX held twice a year
The largest contemporary arts festival in Northern Ireland is the Belfast International Arts Festival where you will see theatrical performances, music, dancing, and of course all kinds of art media when the event goes down every October.
As the name suggests Young at Art is an international festival near you for kids up to age 17 and the adults who want to accompany them that takes place each March.
A few months later head to the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival where over 60,000 people gather to enjoy music, theatre, literature, comedy, and plenty of art.
North Street is home to the Hit the North Street Art Festival every September.
Earlier we mentioned FIX which was founded by Catalyst Arts and is one of the longest-running live arts festivals in all of Europe.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
To find a new unique piece for your collection or to figure out the true value of something visit art dealers and appraisers in your area like:
- Charles Gilmore Gallery at 1 Lanyon Quay Oxford St
- Gormleys Auctions at 471 Lisburn Rd
- Original Irish Art at 6 Duncrue Crescent
- Ross’s Auctioneers & Valuers at 37 Montgomery St
- Whalley Fine Art at 378 Belmont Rd
The Charles Gilmore Gallery represents some of the best contemporary and 20th Century Irish and International artists including works ranging from Andy Warhol to the Northern Ireland street artist Bambi that are for sale.
We mentioned earlier how Gormley Auctions is affiliated with Gormley Fine Art and in addition to auctions they can also do private sales and valuation services.
Every month you can find an auction at Ross’s Auctioneers & Valuers who will provide free collection of your auction items from anywhere in the UK.
Some of the available services at Whalley Fine Art include appraisals, insurance, or agent and representation services. They also put on auctions and are known to be very good at custom framing.
Golden Thread Gallery and Eakin Gallery from our initial list also sell art.
Local art walking tours can be a lot of fun when the weather is nice:
- Mural Tours Belfast at 11 Glenalina Rd
- Seedhead Arts at 7-11 Commercial Ct
- Belfast Street Art Walking Tour at 18-22 Hill St
The most famous murals and street art through the Falls Road area and the Shankill neighborhood are at the heart of Mural Tours Belfast.
Every Sunday at noon you can check out the 2 hour Seedhead Arts walk that begins at the red benches on Commercial Court and the people who run Seedhead also run the Hit the North Street Art Festival we mentioned before that takes place every September.
Sculptures & Statues
You might also want to take some photos of these statues and sculptures in your area:
- Rise Sculpture at Broadway Roundabout
- Spirit of Belfast at 1 Arthur Sq
- The Big Fish at Donegall Quay
- Beacon of Hope at Thanksgiving Sq
- Sweet Water Arch at 44 Stranmillis Embankment
- The Searcher at 4 Holywood Rd
Anyone who has been to the Broadway Roundabout has probably already seen the Rise Sculpture which is the biggest public art sculpture near you and it was created back in 2011 by Wolfgang Buttress.
Dan George created Spirit of Belfast which was unveiled back in September of 2009 and today you can find it at Arthur Square near the access point to Victoria Square.
John Kindness constructed The Big Fish back in the late 1990’s which is located found near the Lagan Lookout and Custom House.
Andy Scott created the giant 15 meter Beacon of Hope that towers over Queen’s Bridge.
Sweet Water Arch was designed by Denis O’Connor.
CS Lewis Square is home to The Searcher which was sculpted by local North Irish artist Ross Wilson.
Belfast Art Classes
You might be interested in private lessons or group classes for kids, teens, or adults but either way the best art schools in Belfast would be:
- Art & Design Factory at 27D Annadale Ave
- Royal Ulster Academy at 59 North St
- Crescent Arts Centre at 2-4 University Rd
- Belfast School of Art at York St
- Julie Douglas Art Courses at Kings Rd
There are classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels available at Art & Design Factory. Kids can get a lot out of their seasonal art camps, after-school classes, and weekly art lessons in your area.
Royal Ulster Academy started up all the way back in 1879 making it the oldest visual art school in Northern Ireland and they routinely hold one of the largest annual open art exhibitions in the country each year.
There are more than 200 different courses available at Crescent Arts Centre for all ages and skill levels plus they rent out studio or workshop space.
For university level classes you can get undergraduate and post graduate degrees from the Belfast School of Art who also has shorter courses and their instructors can even do part time lessons if you aren’t chasing a degree.
Studios For Rent Near You
If you are ready to rent out art studio space you can contact:
- Queen Street Studio at 11-13 Bloomfield Ave
- Artists at the Mill at 5-7 Conway St
- Flax Art Studios at Havelock House, Ormeau Rd
- Creative Exchange Artists Studios at 310 Newtownards Rd
- Vault Artist Studios at 4-84 Tower St
- Digital Arts Studios at 64 Donegall St
Platform Arts and Crescent Arts Centre also rent out studio space.
When you need art framing in Belfast head to:
- Town House Framing at 125 Great Victoria St
- Nickel Art at 2 Ethel St
- Frame of Mine at 164 Ormeau Rd
- Tom West Picture Framing at 264 Woodstock Rd
- Turner Framing at 45-47 Ravenhill Rd
- Framewerk at 10 Upper Newtownards Rd
Not only will Town House Framing do custom framing in your area but they also provide instructors to do 1 on 1 picture framing training.
At Nickel Art you can get old or damaged frames and mouldings repaired plus they can do reglazing services to protect highly valued works.
At Turner Framing they provide stretchers and canvases to fit all sizes plus they do consultancy work.
Other places we have listed throughout the post that can do local custom framing are Eakin Gallery, Ormonde Art, and Whalley Fine Art.
In the past we have also discussed:
- Dublin Art Galleries & Dealers
- Glasgow Art Galleries & Dealers
- Edinburgh Art Galleries & Dealers
- Birmingham Art Galleries & Dealers
Have Fun Enjoying The Belfast Art Scene
The full art scene near you was just broken down to the best of our abilities. We listed the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers that you may want to check out.
If you made it this far you might just know quite a bit about the local art scene yourself. Feel free to share your own tips, or to let us know if we may have gotten anything wrong in the comments.
We hope you enjoy your time at the best Belfast art galleries, museums, supply stores, or doing whatever else you plan to do with the info.