Whether you’re an art connoisseur or simply appreciate the beauty and talent that goes into it, the art scene is a thriving metropolis in Brisbane.
A trip to Brisbane isn’t complete without visiting an art gallery, and luckily there is a multitude of them to immerse yourself in.
One of the best things to do in Brisbane, you’ll find major art galleries, outdoor art and special exhibitions all across the stunning river city that will keep the whole family entertained.
Here, find our guide to exploring the top 11 art galleries in Brisbane.
1. The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
QAGOMA are two riverside galleries sitting a mere 150 metres apart in South Bank’s Queensland Cultural Centre.
The Queensland Art Gallery is the traditional art experience, and the Gallery of Modern Art is, you guessed it, the modern art hub of the Brisbane galleries.
GOMA often features revolutionary exhibitions like Chiharu Shiota’s The Soul Trembles. (Image: Evan Natsis)
Collectively they hold more than 16,000 works of historical, modern, and contemporary art, and also showcase some iconic Indigenous and Australian collections.
Admission: Free, but certain exhibitions and events are ticketed.
Address: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101
QAG showcases more traditional art. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
2. Brisbane City Council’s Outdoor Gallery
Brisbane City Council’s Outdoor Gallery was created to transform traditionally unsafe areas, like laneways and car parks, into imaginative, curious, and engaging spaces.
The artworks liven up laneways and car parks. (Image: Emily Murphy)
The latest gallery is called <play/ground> and it runs until 16 April 2023. <play/ground> celebrates Brisbane’s playfulness and charm all while connecting us to our daily routines.
See more about the Outdoor Gallery on the Brisbane app.
Map your way around the Outdoor Gallery with the Brisbane App.
3. Museum of Brisbane
The Museum of Brisbane is located on the third floor of Brisbane City Hall, and this unsuspecting spot is the ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Don’t be fooled by the name, the Museum of Brisbane is in fact one of Brisbane’s best art galleries, with five exhibitions currently running including Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane, and Artist in Residence: Gordon Hookey.
A trip to City Hall isn’t complete without a tour of the iconic Clock Tower. Make sure you book in advance (it’s free) because spots are limited.
Address: Level 3, Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide St, Brisbane City QLD 4000
The Museum of Brisbane is located on the third floor of City Hall. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
4. Brisbane Powerhouse
The Brisbane Powerhouse is a hub for creativity, art and cultural innovation that overlooks the Brisbane River.
While not exclusively an art gallery, Brisbane Powerhouse is home to a large collection of permanent art and installations that are on display.
The Brisbane Powerhouse holds the annual Brisbane Portrait Prize. (Image: Emily Murphy)
Brisbane Powerhouse also dons a bunch of heritage-listed graffiti from artists including Lister, Blek le Rat, Kasino, Cezary Stulgis and Ben Reeves.
Temporary visual arts exhibitions, including World Press Photo Exhibition and the Brisbane Portrait Prize, are held regularly throughout the year.
Plus, the Brisbane Powerhouse is also home to Bar Alto, one of the best restaurants in Brisbane, so you can’t go wrong.
Treat yourself to a fine meal at Bar Alto while at Brisbane Powerhouse. (Image: Emily Murphy)
Admission: Free but there are ticketed events held here too which vary in price. See what’s on now.
Address: Yagara Country, 119 Lamington St, New Farm QLD 4005
The Brisbane Powerhouse overlooks the Brisbane River. (Image: FalconView Photography)
5. QUT Art Museum
Queensland University of Technology’s Art Museum exhibits more than 2000 objects including paintings and sculptures, predominantly from Australian artists.
The exhibitions are generally contemporary art, technology-enabled or in relation to future tech and innovation.
QUT Art Museum often relates to future tech and innovation. (Image: Louis Lim)
If you want more Aussie landscapes, QUT Art Museum’s sister gallery, the William Robinson Gallery, is proudly dedicated to the display of works by Australia’s pre-eminent landscape artist, William Robinson.
Address: Queensland University of Technology 2, George St, Brisbane City QLD 4000
‘Fiona Foley: Veiled Paradise’ exhibited at the gallery in 2021. (Image: Louis Lim)
6. Woolloongabba Art Gallery
The Woolloongabba Art Gallery (WAG) represents a stylistically varied selection of local and Australasian art.
Their ethos is steeped in cultural appreciation, and sourcing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art for the gallery is only done through 100 per cent owned and operated centres around Brisbane and beyond.
WAG has three exhibition spaces and operates in direct response to the need for continued dialogue in Australia’s multicultural future.
Address: 613 Stanley St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Woolloongabba Art Gallery’s ethos is steeped in cultural appreciation.
7. Judith Wright Arts Centre
Judith Wright Arts Centre is a creative space for visual arts programming, but also for the development and presentation of original and innovative contemporary performance works, including cabaret, circus and dance, among others.
Some of the organisations within the arts centre are the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts, BlakDance, Circa and the Institute of Modern Art.
Address: 420 Brunswick St & Cnr, Berwick St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
8. Institute of Modern Art
The Institute of Modern Art in Fortitude Valley is an alternative and interactive art space, home to some genuinely groundbreaking exhibitions.
You’ll experience art unlike you’ve ever seen before all the while knowing the gallery is giving space to often underrepresented artists.
IMA is an alternative and interactive art space. (Image: Markus Ravik)
Find the latest exhibitions on their website.
Address: Ground Floor Judith Wright Arts Centre, 420 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
IMA gives space to often underrepresented artists. (Image: Marc Pricop)
9. Metro Arts
Metro Arts exhibits both visual art and performance, taking a closer look at experimental boundary-pushing exhibitions and performances.
Throughout the year, Metro Arts plays host to guest artists in residence as they extend and experiment with their practice and create new contemporary work.
There are also a series of exhibitions put on over the year. See what’s on now.
Admission: Free for art exhibitions, live events are ticketed at varying costs.
Address: 97 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
Metro Arts exhibits both visual art and performance.
10. Jan Murphy Gallery
The Jan Murphy Gallery opened in Brisbane in 1995. In that time, it has remained dedicated to the exhibition and sale of contemporary art of the highest calibre.
The large windows facing Brunswick Street showcase the newest exhibitions and give passers-by a taste before they come in and see it in its entirety.
Address: 486 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Jan Murphy Gallery is a Brisbane icon. (Image: Chloe Callistemon)
11. Brisbane Street Art Festival
The Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF) is an annual public art event used as an avenue for artistic expression and to encourage the community to develop positive partnerships through engagement and collaboration.
The BSAF 2023 mural program will welcome artists from around the world and across the country to join significant local artists in revitalising some of Brisbane’s most iconic locations with public art.
Brisbane Street Art Festival returns in May 2023. (Image: @mellumae)
Dates: 6–21 May 2023
Admission: Events varying from free to $45 + BF
Brisbane Street Art Festival is an annual public art event.