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March 6, 2013 | by  | in Arts Visual Arts | [ssba]

Visual Arts

While the idea of a whole new year of university may be daunting, keep in mind that somewhere nearby is a refreshing art gallery waiting for you to have an amble through. Here are six quick picks for those in search of an art fix. all are free to attend:


Adam art gallery

Between the Student Union Building and Old Kirk, Kelburn Campus, Victoria Uni, open 11am-5pm Tues-Sun
A gallery right on campus! No excuse not to pop in and also probably the least-smelly place to spend a lecture break up at Kelburn. Highlights of this cosy gallery have included a life-size fibreglass seal balancing a chair and bike wheel on its nose, as part of a Duchamp-inspired collection. “21st Century Collecting” is currently showing until the 21st of April and features conceptual, photographic, and new media pieces from Victoria University’s own collection from the past decade.


City Gallery

Civic Square, open 10am-5pm daily

As Wellington’s foremost home for contemporary art and central location, the City Gallery is probably the most unintimidating yet comprehensive art gallery around, perfect for both first-time visitors and self-proclaimed art aficionados. The exhibitions are regularly changing, making for a different experience each time. Previous highlights include a giant head-shaped cave by Rohan Wealleans that allowed viewers to climb inside into a fluffily carpeted cranial space. The City Gallery also hosts film screenings, namely during the International Film Festival period in July-August each year. For casual outings, the gallery’s Nikau Café is also a must-do, with a unique courtyard garden where the café’s own greens are grown.


the dr seuss art gallery

82 Cable St, open 10.30am-4pm Wed-Sun

Oh this is one of the places you should go – recently opened in October 2012, and one of only two Dr Seuss art galleries outside of the
US, this neat little gallery is a must for any Seuss fan. Rare original illustrations and prints are on display, featuring familiar and not so familiar Dr Seuss creations. Hard-to-find Seuss-themed souvenirs are also available for purchase.


National portrait gallery

Shed 11 by the waterfront, open 10.30am-4.30pm daily

Faces, faces, and more faces. Housed in the Shed 11 heritage building, the National Portrait Gallery provides an interesting-assorted of views of New zealanders through their own eyes. Almost wholly consisting of paintings, the variety among the works is pleasantly surprising. The gallery hosts the Adam Portraiture Award biannually (next in 2014) which sets impressive portraits by both amateur and professional artists side-by-side.


Roar! Gallery

189 Vivian Street, open 11-4pm Wed-Sat,11-2pm Sun

The beauty of this little gallery is that you can appreciate the art inside without actually going inside. Whether you’re unfortunate enough to be a first-year Architecture student making the daily commute between Kelburn and Te Aro and/or stumbling past at 2am, the window front display offers all passers-by a clear view of some sort of quirky and usually colourful display. The gallery specialises in outsider art, so diversity always abounds – even if you don’t go inside, at least walk past.


Te Papa

55 Cable St, open 10am-6pm daily

Living in Wellington, you will no doubt find yourself sometime or other in the massive chunk of concrete along the waterfront that is Te Papa. It is well worth wading past the hordes of school  groups to reach the quiet upper floors of the museum, housing a sizeable and varied collection of art by local and international artists, from classic to contemporary in sculptures and paintings. Alongside this staple collection, Te Papa also hosts changing short-term exhibitions – such as last year’s 200 Years of Wedding Fashion, which featured dresses belonging to Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani.


Sharon Lam


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