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Artwork on display at the Gallery of Small Things.

Unique galleries and museums in Canberra beyond the national collections

Updated 28 Mar 2024

Tuck away into Canberra's best local galleries and museums, each revealing a glimpse into the city's distinct character and charm.

While it is no secret that Canberra boasts some of the country’s most iconic galleries and museums such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, and National Museum of Australia, one of the city's best kept secrets is the thriving local art and culture scene.

Canberra is home to more than 30 galleries that support local, national, and international artists - there is no shortage of art in sight. Scattered through the suburbs, these local galleries, and museums, which specialise in different mediums, offer intimate experiences. You’ll often be able to meet the curators, allowing you to engage with the art and the exhibitions on a personal level. 

From a tiny gallery that’s less than six square metres in size, to comprehensive Aboriginal art galleries showcasing stunning Australian Indigenous artworks with paintings sourced from the 1970s, you'll quickly discover why Canberra is known as Australia's cultural capital. 

Experience art in the suburbs at

Gallery of Small Things

Canberra's tiniest gallery, aptly named the  Gallery of Small Things, showcases emerging and established visual artists. It is less than six metres square and brings international, interstate, and local artists to a Canberra backyard.

The Gallery of Small Things is all about the makers and designers who love texture and form on a miniature scale.

Craft ACT's selection of its maker's wares available for purchase.

Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre

Neighbouring the Canberra Museum and Gallery, the Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre shines a spotlight on local designers and makers, and celebrates excellence in all types of craft.

The shopfront is just as stunning as the neighbouring exhibition space, full of bespoke goods including ceramics, glassware, and textiles. Craft ACT also runs the popular annual DESIGN Canberra festival in November.

The front facade of the Ainslie Arts Centre, lit up with projected lights and shapes.

Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres

Twin arts centres, Ainslie and Gorman, host a large collective of professional artists and arts companies a stone's throw from the city centre. Check what’s on at the centres to explore exhibitions, talks, dance performances, and much more. If it takes a village to raise an artist, this is the village.

Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres are located just 400 metres apart from one another in the humming neighbourhood of Braddon.

Guests viewing artwork at Grainger Gallery.

Grainger Gallery 

Established by an artist as a space for experiencing, making and processing art,  Grainger Gallery has revolving exhibitions and studio workshops throughout the year  to inspire and delight creative minds.

Nestled in the popular Dairy Road Precinct, you can also enjoy an afternoon at the nearby brewery, gin distillery, chocolaterie, or bouldering gym.

A wall filled with artworks from Aarwun Gallery.

Aarwun Gallery

Heritage treasures from Australian artist Norman Lindsay sit alongside exquisite Indigenous artworks that celebrate the land at this inspiring gallery in Gold Creek Village.

Afterwards, explore the area and wander through the miniature world models at Cockington Green Gardens or learn about prehistoric creatures at the National Dinosaur Museum.

A small white building known as Strathnairn Homesteadwhich dates from the 1920s.

Strathnairn Arts

Nestled on the Western fringe of Belconnen overlooking the Brindabellas, you’ll find a 1920’s homestead on 9.5 hectares known as Strathnairn Arts. What makes this locale unique is it is home to a range of artists, crafts people and community groups who use the facilities as working spaces and studios. Take in their works on the walls, before enjoying a bite to eat at Café Stepping Stone, or perusing their curated shopfront.

Visitors in an art gallery
In the heart of the city find

Canberra Museum and Gallery

This museum and gallery tells Australian stories through both historic objects and art. Follow artist Sidney Nolan’s creative journey or explore four key periods of Canberra’s development.

A couple looking at a blue vase at a shop full of glassworks.
Near the Parliamentary Triangle find

Canberra Glassworks

Canberra Glassworks is Australia’s leading centre for contemporary glass art, craft and design, celebrating the beauty and versatility of glass in a new light and housed in the historic Kingston Power House. Take a self-guided tour and discover some of Canberra's heritage at this contemporary glass centre, the only one of its kind in Australia.

Large, contemporary Aboriginal art paintings and artworks in the Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery.
Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery
See First Nations art at

Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery

Located in Gold Creek Village with a sister gallery in the city centre, the Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery is a must-see destination for Aboriginal art collectors. Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery has been bringing Aboriginal art to Canberra since 1989.

Ethical practices are at the heart of the Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery which works with Indigenous artists from across Australia to protect artists’ rights and source beautiful paintings and crafts available for purchase.

Burrunju Art Gallery 

At this gallery, every wall is filled with inspiring pieces. Specialising in boomerangs, didgeridoos, and paintings, this space was established to provide local Indigenous people with an opportunity to realise their dream of self-determination through the creation of artworks and music. Purchase your favourite piece to support great artists local to the region and from all around Australia.

Visitors standing in an art gallery

M16 Artspace

With three galleries that change exhibitions every three weeks, there’s always something new to see at M16 Artspace. The space, located in the inner south suburb of Griffith exudes a contagious, artistic energy managing 25-plus artist studios and housing five arts organisations that offer art classes.

Two visitors observing art at the ANU School of Art and Design.

ANU and Kambri Precinct Galleries

A short stroll through the Australian National University campus and Kambri precinct will reveal two galleries. Head to the School of Art & Design Gallery to see graduate and post-graduate work, and Drill Hall Gallery for contemporary visual art.

A woman looks at colourful art hanging on the wall at a gallery

Belconnen Arts Centre 

Belco Arts, as the locals call it, is a place to undertake creative journeys, share stories and celebrate talented Canberrans. Showcasing local creatives that specialise in everything from dancing to painting, this centre champions many emerging artists.

Artwork on display at the Scott Leggo gallery.

Scott Leggo Gallery 

Located in Kingston, Scott Leggo Gallery is Canberra's only permanent landscape photography gallery.

The gallery features a selection of Scott's photos available as framed prints, unframed prints, acrylic wall mounts and gifts including acrylic desk blocks, small framed prints, and jigsaw puzzles.

Humble House

A two-storey gallery, downstairs showcases restored antique furniture whilst upstairs is devoted to Chinese  furniture from the 18th to early 20th century. Admire the intricate handmade joinery and marvel at the skills of traditional craftsmen before exploring the upper-level art gallery which hosts local, emerging artists' exhibitions.

Learn about the symbolism built into antiques as well as the influence of western furniture. Located in Fyshwick, after you've marvelled at Humble House explore the nearby marketplace of local crafters and antique sellers at Dirty Janes Canberra.

A woman sits down and listens to a video on a TV screen with headphones on.

Tuggeranong Arts Centre

Located in Canberra's south, Tuggeranong Arts Centre is a creative hub and gathering place which connects people, creates new experiences and celebrates the arts.

Their creative program offers free exhibitions across three gallery spaces, a live performance program, community engagement activities and a range of workshops and classes and focuses on building audiences to engage and participate in the arts. 

A woman is holding a vase at Beaver Galleries.

Beaver Galleries

Found in the heart of Deakin, Beaver Galleries is Canberra’s largest and longest-established privately owned commercial art gallery. 

Three spacious galleries and a dedicated print room feature work in a range of disciplines including painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and glass. There is also a courtyard sculpture garden and a gallery shop with products from selected Australian designers and makers.

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