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words by niall roeder
Wellington is said to be the creative capital of New Zealand. And with that tag comes a responsibility to put on shows and festivals, throw parties and exhibitions, and to offer a wealth of art galleries. When it comes to this, especially the latter, Ol’ Welly does pretty… errr, well.
By all means, this is not a list of all the art galleries in Wellington. Nor is it a list of the four best. It is, however, a list of four acclaimed and worthy art galleries that can be enjoyed by everyone, from your dainty old nan to your smug flatmate. Whether you’re an art lover or art novice, these are galleries are well worth a gander.
The New Zealand Portrait Gallery
The open and airy New Zealand Portrait Gallery proudly presents the people and cultural heritage of NZ to whoever walks through the historic doors. Their growing collection of donated and sponsored portraits depict the people that have helped shape the country in some way, painted by artists like Leo Bensemann. Furthermore, it’s free, well-spaced and far from overwhelming.
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The Dowse Art Museum
With over 2000 items, the Dowse Art Museum is one of New Zealand’s largest public art collections. This free and kid-friendly gallery has built its reputation on consistently presenting quality exhibitions by national and international contemporary artists. Past exhibitions include Liu Jianhua, Ruth Meier and Lonnie Hutchinson.
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Bartley + Company Art
This crew lives by the notion that any gallery is only as good as the company it keeps – if it ain’t up to scratch in their books, they ain’t showing it. Bartley + Company promotes emerging and established contemporary artists that stir the curators’ arty loins, so if you have a question, feel free to spark up a conversation with someone there.
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City Gallery Wellington
Art that makes you think – that’s what these guys are going for. And as the big dog on the art scene and with a lot of pull to get the big names, that’s what they provide. City Gallery Wellington has shown heavyweights like Yayoi Kusama, Tracey Emin, and Frida Kahlo; as well locals like Bill Hammond, Ralph Hotere and Shane Cotton.
Beautiful digital paintings by LA artist Petra Cortright are now on show at City Gallery as part of the artist's first NZ exhibition RUNNING NEO-GEO GAMES UNDER MAME #freeentry @petcortright #digitalpainting
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