August 11, 2020 | 4 minute read
Melbourne has long been home to many art galleries packed with important pieces of Australia’s artistic and cultural heritage. However, in years spent exploring regional Victoria, we’ve discovered that some of the truly sparkling gems in Victoria’s creative crown are to be found outside the city limits. Here are a few of our favourites among Victoria’s many regional art galleries, all worth visiting the next time you’re out exploring.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
Mitchelton Gallery of Aboriginal Art, Nagambie
An artistic wonder tucked away inside the Mitchelton Winery, this gallery is a collection of Aboriginal art of phenomenal proportions. Inside you’ll find drawings, paintings and sculptures representing a journey through more than 15 remote communities. One of the largest collections in Australia, this is a must-visit for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous art enthusiasts.
Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell
One of the largest public galleries in Eastern Victoria, the Latrobe Regional Gallery was opened in 1971 and spans seven in-house gallery spaces. Inside, art lovers will find everything from contemporary art and design to curated collections, both experimental and traditional, from many regional and international artists. The Latrobe Regional Gallery also hosts national touring exhibitions across the year, alongside public education programs, masterclasses, artist talks and more.
Bendigo Art Gallery
The Bendigo Art Gallery has been around a while (since 1887 in fact), but it’s more than kept up with modern times thanks to an extension designed by Karl Fender. Don’t let the location in Bendigo fool you either, the gallery is often host to high talent travelling exhibits that will seriously impress. The Bendigo Art Gallery is located inside the View Street Arts Precinct, so it’s definitely worth a trip out of town.
TarraWarra Museum of Art
Perfect for Melbourne city-dwellers wanting to experience country art and architecture without travelling too far, the TarraWarra Museum of Art is located in the Yarra Valley. A philanthropic gift to the public, the gallery is situated inside a stunning building with a view over the vineyards and hills that is art in itself. There are works by noted Australian artists, with regularly changing exhibitions, including playing host to the Archibald Prize in 2019.
Shepparton Art Museum
For those with an interest in the production and art of ceramics, you can't miss the Shepparton Art Museum, home to the largest collection of ceramics in Australia. Their collection increases every year thanks to the winners of the acquisitive Indigenous Ceramic Award and the Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. There are also a wide variety of Australian arts and some stellar temporary exhibits on site.
Art Gallery of Ballarat
More than Australia’s oldest regional art gallery, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is also one of our favourite regional art centres. It’s located right in the middle of Ballarat’s cultural heritage precinct and home to a fantastic collection of Australian artworks. Spanning from colonial to contemporary Australia, there’s a real sense in the gallery of getting a look into the key moments in the history of Australian art.
Metropolis Gallery, Geelong
A contemporary art gallery that is home to a superb range of Australian paintings, mixed media and limited edition prints by artists both local and national, the Metropolis Gallery is worth visiting next time you’re in Geelong. Visitors will find there's an exciting calendar of exhibitions through the year, as well as Indigenous art presented in partnership with a number of Aboriginal art centres.
Convent Gallery Daylesford
Winner of an Australian Tourism Award, there’s a lot on offer at the Convent Art Gallery, originally a 19th-century Victorian mansion that was converted into a convent and boarding school before being reimagined as a gallery. Within the seven gallery spaces, visitors will find works by more than 100 local, national and international artists, spanning all mediums and changing every few months to ensure a diverse and different experience with each visit.
Which of these regional galleries have you visited? And which is your favourite?