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Guests viewing artwork at the Gallery of Small Things.

An inside look into arts and culture in Canberra

Updated 23 Apr 2024

Discover the more than rich and diverse arts and culture scene of Canberra, where creativity knows no bounds

Explore below the surface of Canberra’s arts and culture scene where national attractions and blockbuster exhibitions spark curiosity, while local storytellers and community galleries leave you inspired and fulfilled.

In a city packed with cultural institutions and exhibitions, some the largest of their kind in the world, you’d be forgiven (kind of) for forgetting the smaller guys. But you’d be missing out. From a laundry-sized gallery set in a flourishing suburban garden to glassblowing workshops, and tours of significant Ngunnawal sites by Traditional Custodians, culture comes in all shapes and sizes in this city.

Canberra. There's more than they're telling us. 

Hands move around small blue, pink, and white ceramic dishes at the Gallery of Small Things

Uncover Canberra's art scene, local history, and heritage sites

Take time to explore the art galleries like the Gallery of Small Things nestled throughout the suburbs. You'll find local galleries that specialise in everything from photography to screen printing. With exhibitions regularly changing, there's always something new to see. 

From immersive heritage trails to intimate galleries where you can see the makers in action, discovering Canberra's history and creative community is a must on any trip to the capital.

Three people riding bikes past a silver sculpture

Wander through an outdoor sculpture haven

Nestled within the cultural tapestry of Canberra lies the serene oasis of the National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden, where modern sculptures coexist with nature. Visitors can immerse themselves in an outdoor gallery experience unlike any other. The garden offers a tranquil setting, inviting guests to unwind as they explore a collection of contemporary artworks.

Visitors who are planning a trip later in 2024 will be able to be among the first to witness Ouroboros, a commission by Lindy Lee to commemorate the National Gallery’s 40th anniversary.

Group sitting down participating in a weaving activity

Immerse yourself in indigenous art and storytelling

Reconnect with the land and learn about First Nations’ culture with Dhawura Tours and Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. If you're visiting our iconic national attractions, make sure to go on the  Ngala tours at the National Arboretum Canberra or the Yeribee Tour at the Australian Parliament House.

Take something special home with you from Art Mark Gallery in Red Hill, specialising in high quality ethically sourced Aboriginal art and design.

Get involved in a glassblowing workshop

Canberra Glassworks is housed in the historic Kingston Power House and is the only one of its kind in the nation.

Visit the hot shop to see glass artists in action before seeing masterpieces in the gallery and shop or try your hand at making a glass tumbler or paperweight at an interactive workshop.

Meet the makers

Not your average market, each week at the Old Bus Depot Markets, you’ll find over 200 stalls of exceptional quality, featuring items all hand-crafted by local and regional creatives.

Here, visitors are treated to a showcase of exceptional quality handcrafted goods and homemade delights, each lovingly crafted by local and regional artisans. From intricately designed jewellery to finely crafted woodwork, the market offers a diverse array of products that celebrate the ingenuity and skill of its makers. Beyond its regular offerings, the market hosts regular themed days each month including Multicultural Sunday, Designer Sunday and Collectable Sunday, so you can delve deeper into unique cultural, design, and collectible showcases.

Historic sites 

A city with a rich heritage, Canberra’s local history is on show at more than just museums.

Discover Strathnairn Arts, a well-kept secret tucked away on the outskirts of Belconnen. Step into the 1920s rural homestead set on 9.5 hectares overlooking the picturesque Brindabellas, where you'll find more than just galleries. Explore the onsite shop and unwind at Café Stepping Stone, a community-driven vegetarian kitchen serving refreshed café classics with locally grown produce.

Take a self-drive tour of historic sights, visit original cottages and homes, and see the city plans come to life with augmented reality

Where every performance, exhibition, and installation tells a unique story...

Detail of scroll depicting four Egyptian  figures with hieroglyphics running along the top section
15 Dec 2023 – 8 Sep 2024

Discovering Ancient Egypt

National Museum of Australia, Acton
Next on today
Vincent Namatjira in his studio in front of paintings
2 Mar – 21 Jul 2024

Vincent Namatjira: Australia in colour

National Gallery of Australia, Parkes
Next on today from 10:00am to 5:00pm
tour guide with tour group looking at cartoon images on a wall
13 Dec 2023 – 30 Nov 2024

Behind the Lines

Museum of Australian Democracy, Parkes
Next on today from 9:00am to 5:00pm
MoAD’s Truth Power and a Free Press exhibition entry with three visitors looking at displays
3 May 2022 – 30 Jun 2025

Truth, Power and a Free Press

Museum of Australian Democracy, Parkes
Next on today
Plate, The Australian War Memoial  c. 1965 Dish, Lake Burley Griffin Canberra ACT 1964 – 1970
5 Jan – 23 Dec 2024

Canberra/Kamberri, Place & People

Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra City
Next on today from 10:00am to 4:00pm
image of AI generated art part of the Friend or Foe
24 Jan 2024 – 23 Jan 2025

Friend or Foe – The Rise of Artificial Intelligence Exhibition

Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, Parkes
Next on today from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Vibrant painting of mountain view in the pacific
29 Jun – 7 Oct 2024

Gauguin’s World: Tōna Iho, Tōna Ao

National Gallery of Australia, Parkes
Next on 29 Jun 2024 from 10:00am to 5:00pm

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