Hello and thanks for checking out this post that is fully dedicated to art in Melbourne. Our opening section will cover the best art galleries and museums near you in great detail.
After that we will get into a variety of other topics like art supply stores, events, festivals, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, local 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. We are also including a Melbourne art map with all of the various places we mention throughout the post pinned on it, and if you are interested you can find our other posts on Australia at that link.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Melbourne
If you want to check out the best art galleries and museums in Melbourne you can head to:
- National Gallery Of Victoria at 180 St Kilda Rd
- Anna Schwartz Gallery at 185 Flinders Ln
- Outré Gallery at 249 Elizabeth St
- City Gallery at 90-120 Swanston St
- Dr Seuss Gallery at 19-18/282 Collins St
- Blindside Gallery at 37 Swanston St
- Original & Authentic Aboriginal Art at 90 Bourke St
- Tolarno Galleries at 104 Exhibition St
- Kings Artist Run at 171 King St
- Rmit Gallery at 344 Swanston St
- The Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square
- Arts House at 521 Queensberry St
- Red Desert Dreamings Gallery at 2 Convention Centre Pl
The National Gallery of Victoria known as NGV for short is Australia’s oldest and largest open-to-the-public art gallery having been established in 1861. The main gallery is open from 10am to 5pm daily located on St Kilda Road in Southbank plus they have a branch in Federation Square.
Anna Schwartz Gallery is available from noon to 5pm Tuesday through Friday and starting at 1pm on Saturday and has been owned and operated by founder Anna Schwartz since opening in 1986.
The archetypal gallery’s conventions are challenged by Outré Gallery who has been exhibiting solo and group exhibitions by international and local artists with a focus on new contemporary art for over two decades. They exhibit original works and limited edition prints while publishing in-house under the name Outré Press and collaborating with their creators to make a range of beautifully designed art books and limited edition prints.
The City Gallery is located at Town Hall and open from 9am to 5pm on weekends hosting free quarterly exhibitions on city life in the past and present as specialist curators who frequently collaborate with artists and filmmakers provide fascinating perspectives on life in your area. The City’s collection includes over 8,000 artworks and artifacts that are frequently featured in these exhibitions and can also be seen in Town Hall and other Council buildings.
Blindside is a leading platform for new and critical dialogues, multidisciplinary practice, and bold ideas as a creator-run initiative at the forefront of contemporary art which you can check out from noon to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday.
Original and Authentic Aboriginal Art is open from 10am to 6pm Monday through Friday and until 5pm on Sunday having been established in 1996 specializing in Aboriginal fine art from the Central Western Desert, the Kimberleys, and Arnhemland.
Tolarno Galleries is regarded as one of the country’s most exciting contemporary art and design galleries and you can see all that they have to offer from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Friday and form 1pm to 4pm on Saturday. It has a long history of presenting innovative and challenging work as well as nurturing artists throughout their careers having been founded in 1967. Modern masters such as Bonnard, Dali, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Pissarro, Renoir, and Vuillard are exhibited alongside contemporary works by Rauschenberg, Johns, Rosenquist, Warhol, LeWitt, and Koons in the early years.
Kings Artist-Run is open from noon to 5pm Thursday through Saturday and is a space dedicated to contemporary works fostering unique experimental initiatives by creators at all phases of their careers. Annie Wilson, Frank Guarino, Marcel Cousins, Brendan Lee, and Brie Trennery founded Kings as a gallery to exhibit experimental video work on King Street in 2003 and it continues to be communally driven by a collection of artists, writers, curators, and academics.
RMIT Gallery is a public gallery near you that hosts a diverse and thought-provoking program of contemporary exhibitions by established and emerging artists and curators. RMIT Gallery opened on March 16, 1977 with an inaugural exhibition of 40 pieces by John Brack and is housed in Storey Hall which is one of the University’s most prominent structures and a major architectural landmark in the city. The public is allowed to enter from 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Friday and starting at 12:30pm on Saturday.
The Ian Potter Centre is located in Federation Square and is the world’s first major gallery dedicated solely to Australian art. The centre is open from 10am to 5pm daily and is named for industrialist and philanthropist Sir Ian Potter while being home to a collection of around 25,000 pieces.
Arts House is Melbourne’s centre for contemporary and experimental performance and interactive artforms serving as a nexus for cultural expression and social engagement in a metropolitan setting. You can see everything on display from 11am to 4pm on weekdays.
The Red Desert Dreamings Gallery specializes in Aboriginal art from the central and western deserts. It is open from 10am to 5pm daily and located on level 4 of the Pan Pacific Hotel at South Wharf in the river area with lots of coffee shops, wonderful shopping, and restaurants nearby.
Materials & Supplies Near You
The best stores to buy art supplies and materials in your area are:
- Melbourne Art Supplies at 7-11 Dawson St
- Melbourne Rd & Canvas Stretching at 332 Melbourne Rd
- Art Shed at 475 Warrigal Rd
- Chapman & Bailey at 350 Johnston St
- Northcote Pottery Supplies at 142-144 Weston St
- Senior Art Supplies at 21 Degraves St
- Victorian Artists Supplies at 715 Main Rd
- Eckersley’s Art & Craft at 463 Swanston St
Since 1985 Melbourne Art Supplies has provided high-quality printmaking and art supplies to all kinds of creators.
Melbourne Rd Art & Canvas Stretching knows that stretching paintings on to stretcher bars takes more than just stapling as it also necessitates an artistic aesthetic and a strong sense of balance and composition.
Art Shed has been a good place to buy art supplies near you for over 13 years.
From framing to fine art materials, Chapman & Bailey has you covered with over 25 years of expertise supporting artists through collaborating with top local creators, galleries, collectors, and museums.
Quality pottery materials including clay, glaze, tools, and kiln goods are available from Northcote Pottery Supplies who also provides a variety of short courses and seminars for people interested in learning more about ceramics.
Senior Art Supplies provides high-quality goods for both professionals and amateurs including acrylics, oils, watercolors, gouache, easels, brushes, print supplies, markers, pencils, papers, canvas, and more.
Victorian Artists Supplies specializes in high-quality artist supplies and is dedicated to providing excellent value, sound advice, and the appropriate materials for the project.
Eckersley’s is one of Australia’s largest fine art, craft, and design supply stores having something for everyone whether you’re a budding artist, a dabbler in crafts, a bride-to-be looking for invitation ideas, an architect in need of technical drawing equipment, or even a teacher.
Shows & Events
Some of the top art shows and events held here in this city would be:
- Melbourne Art Fair in February
- Affordable Art Fair in March
- Rising Art Festival from May to June
- Melbourne International Arts Festival in October
For almost 30 years the Melbourne Art Fair has been a key event on the Australasian cultural calendar attracting critical and economic attention to galleries and their artists. The biennial fair promotes and supports living Australian artists by presenting a world-class platform for contemporary works featuring famous and new works by creators from the region’s most prestigious galleries.
The Affordable Art Fair is held annually in March with galleries from all over the country showing a wide range of original and modern artworks.
Rising is a surge of art, music, performance, and ceremony as a broad team of local, national, and international artists and curators collaborated to create this major cultural event for the Asia Pacific Region.
Melbourne International Arts Festival is a celebration of dance, theatre, music, circus, visual arts, multimedia, outdoor, and free performances hosted in a number of venues every October.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
Add a new piece for your collection or find out how much a piece is worth by heading to art dealers and appraisers near you like:
- Sebra Prints at 37 Swanston St
- Port Art at 384 Bay St
- ColourSpace at 104/673 La Trobe St
- Corporate Art Rentals at 2 Kent St
- Art to Art at 130 Bulleen Rd
Sebra Prints was founded in August 2003 as a result of a passion for antique prints and a desire to provide high-quality unique prints on a variety of subjects. Antique engravings and lithographs from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as well as some early 20th century pieces are their specialty.
Port Art is a modern art facility featuring art rooms, frame studios, and teaching art studios in the Port area.
ColourSpace is Australia’s first art social company and is revolutionizing the way businesses interact with art by offering it as a service to your workplace.
Corporate Art Rentals specializes in renting authentic Australian artworks to businesses for long or short periods of time.
Art To Art carries a wide range of high-quality goods from leading local and worldwide brands. You will be able to buy paints, brushes, canvases, pastels, charcoals, pencils, markers, equipment, and accessories among other things at their supply store plus they have some great exhibitions which is why they are listed here.
What is better than walking around outside on a beautiful day and seeing some cool art near you:
- Walk To Art at 53 Langridge St
- Laneway Art at Higson Ln
- Fitzroy Art Spaces Tour at 404 George St
- Union Lane Graffiti at Union Ln
- Art Tours St Kilda at 245 St Kilda Rd
Walk To Art is an intimate behind-the-scenes tour that takes small groups to street art, creator-run spaces, and galleries and it is all hosted by visual arts specialist Bernadette Alibrando.
Fitzroy’s cultural landscape is diversified including major contemporary public galleries, commercial art galleries, artist-run spaces, and studios that are all distinct and cater to a specific audience. Fitzroy Art Spaces Walking Tours are held on Fridays on a regular basis from May to September.
Union Lane Graffiti offers a tour that runs between Little Colins St and Bourke St and features 540 meters of vivid and lively artwork painted by 70 creators over the course of five months.
Art Tours St Kilda give the ideal setting for meeting like-minded people while also providing plenty of entertainment. Each trip takes you to five unique studios and galleries where you’ll meet the artists or curators in their space and become absorbed in their narrative forming a physical link between yourself and the work.
Sculptures & Statues
There are some really nice sculptures and statues in your area like:
- Larry La Trobe at 90-130 Swanston St
- Angel at Birrarung Marr Batman Ave
- Mr Lizard & Gumnut Baby at 179 La Trobe St
- Cow Up a Tree Sculpture at 131 Harbour Esplanade
- Three Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch at 173 Swanston St
Larry La Trobe is a bronze sculpture located in Melbourne’s City Square that was put in place in 1992.
Take a stroll through the Birrarung Marr neighborhood along the Yarra River and look at Deborah Halpern’s enormous Angel sculpture that was created in 1988 and is completely coated in colorful hand-painted ceramic tiles.
Smiley Williams’ Mr Lizard and Gumnut Baby are on display outside the State Library of Victoria.
John Kelly erected Cow Up a Tree in the year 2000.
In 1993 the city commissioned Alison Weaver and Paul Quinn to create a striking bronze sculpture entitled Three Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch which you can find on the corner of Bourke and Swanston Streets.
Melbourne Art Classes
Whether you need lessons for kids or are an adult who wants to grow his skills you have some options. Some of the best Melbourne art schools and classes near you can be found at:
- Melbourne School of Art at 477 Glen Huntly Rd
- Victorian College Of The Arts at 234 St Kilda Rd
- School of Clay and Art at 26/28 Ovens St
- Artea at 9A Raglan St
- Little Art Big Art at 20 Lobelia Dr
- Melbourne Studio of Art at 544 Glen Huntly Rd
- Rings Road Art Studio at 1 Lorna St, Cheltenham
Melbourne School of Art offers adult art classes in a variety of mediums are available for students of all ability levels and is the most prestigious private art school in the city.
Dance, cinema and television, music theatre, production, theatre, visual art, and writing are just a few of the creative disciplines represented at the Victorian College Of The Arts. It provides undergraduate and graduate education and research possibilities as well as short-course programs.
The School of Clay and Art is a studio that provides a fruitful environment for learning, making, sketching, and exhibiting. Classes at SoCA are led by practicing artists in a setting that is intentionally geared toward the exploration of ideas and techniques, as well as shared discovery and individual growth.
ARTea is a creative center and art school that celebrates creativity in all forms and for people of all ages offering a variety of adult and children’s programs along with parties and events, mother groups, afterschool, homeschool, and holiday programs.
Little Art Big Art offers a variety of exciting, colorful, and creative art courses, celebrations, events, and other activities for children and adults while also selling high-quality art supplies to artists of all skill levels.
The Melbourne Studio of Art is a drawing, painting, and sculpture school for adults which was founded in 1998 under the wing of their now sister school Art Encounters and it is rapidly growing and gaining a reputation as one of the best places to learn painting and drawing in the country.
Rings Road Art Studio is an art school in your area that offers beginner to intermediate painting, drawing, printing, and sculpture/ceramics workshops. Adults and teenagers can take art classes at the institution, which also includes folio preparation for those interested in pursuing university degrees.
Art classes are also available at Studio 48 who we will be mentioning again next.
Studios For Rent Near You
When you can’t wait to get that next project started rent some space at one of these local art studios:
Pip Edwards founded Art Studio 48 in her home studio in Glen Waverley in 2000 and they have been providing art classes, mosaic workshops, and specialist school holiday programs since then.
Blender Studios is a local urban art and fine art firm that has a rustic warehouse with 22 open art studios as well as a gallery for modern and experimental work.
You might be able to find studio space for rent at some of the places in our local art schools list too.
A frame can transform a regular looking piece or picture to that next level and some of the best places for art framing in Melbourne are:
- Mahoneys Framing at 391 Little Bourke St
- Melbourne Picture Framing at 66 Punt Rd
- The Picture Factory at 639 Waterdale Rd
- Framed by You at 190 Church St
- Mobile Framing at 11/225 Canterbury Rd
- Fantastic Framing at 113 Inkerman St
Mahoneys Framing is one of the most well-known picture framing companies in your area providing a wide choice of bespoke frames and services all of which are backed by a guarantee.
Melbourne Picture Framing can frame anything from photographs and paintings on canvas to souvenirs and other three-dimensional objects. They also have a strong aesthetic sense and can create frames that are unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The Picture Factory is dedicated to providing exceptional custom photo and poster framing and has been doing so since 1991.
Framed By You was founded a year later in 1992 and their skilled team has more than 40 years of framing experience after starting out as a DIY frame company but having since grown to become one of the areas premier custom framing professionals.
Canvas printing and stretching, photo framing, picture frames, collages, jersey framing, oil paintings, block mounting, mirror framing, exhibition cases, memorabilia displays, and more are all available through Mobile Picture Framing.
Fantastic Framing is a low-cost mobile picture framing service that comes to your home to save you time.
Anyone that is interested is welcome to look through our posts on:
- Galleries, Museums, & Art Schools in Sydney
- Galleries, Museums, & Art Schools in Adelaide
- Galleries, Museums, & Art Schools in Perth
- Galleries, Museums, & Art Schools in Gold Coast
Have Fun Enjoying The Melbourne Art Scene
At the moment that is all we have to share about the full art scene near you. After reading about the best local galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers you should be ready to plan your next move.
Those who are still reading this probably love art as much as we do. If so go ahead and use the comments to share your own tips or to let us know if you think we got anything wrong.
We hope you enjoy your time at the best Melbourne Art Galleries, Museums, Supply Stores or doing whatever else you plan to do with the info.