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10 of New Zealand’s Best Indie Galleries and Art Spaces

New Zealand boasts some of the most pristine landscapes and greatest musicians in the world, so it’s only natural they have some pretty magnificent art on display too.

I mean, how could you see those mountain ranges and not want to paint all day?

We have delved beyond the tourist brochures to conjure the greatest indie galleries and art spaces in NZ. These artist-run spaces are promoting grass roots work through various forms of contemporary gallery and exhibition initiatives.

Percy Thomson Gallery

Art Gallery

Percy Thomson Gallery has a huge range of quality work existing in a sleek modern space. Located in Stratford they recently held an amazing exhibition titled I Am Woman commemorating 125 years since the women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

In 1893, after collecting 32,000 votes, New Zealand became the first democracy to grant women the vote. The movement was led by Kate Sheppard. These powerful displays of contemporary history sets Percy Thomson Gallery apart as a premiere art space.

Check out their website here.

Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery

Besides existing in one of the most incredible buildings we have ever seen, Waitakere Contemporary Gallery is locally rooted in West Auckland but globally minded. Through various programmes they create a world stage for art that is relevant and diverse to local audiences and artists.

Even to explore this building for a day would be an incredible experience. To have world-class art thrown in there makes Waitakere Contemporary Gallery an absolute must see if you’re in Auckland.

Check out their website below.

Artspace Aotearoa

Artspace Aotearoa is a sleek contemporary institute located in Auckland and focused on supporting visual art with civic intent. Artspace works within a city, nation and world, knitting together stories that interpret, react, and respond to these permeable borders and the ever-changing societies that exist within them.

As well as quality exhibitions they also hold some amazing events and have a page called the ‘Reading Room’ were they blog various artistic writings and publications.

Check out their website here.

Tauranga Art Gallery

Since opening in 2007, Tauranga Art Gallery has consistently delivered high quality exhibitions within its contemporary gallery space. As well as hosting some seriously amazing collections they hold various educations programs for students and visitors.

Visitor programmes include debates, floor talks, guided tours, seminars, screenings, performances and artist residencies.

Check out their website here.

Melanie Roger Gallery

New Zealand

Melanie Roger Gallery works to represent New Zealand’s emerging and established artists. Thus Melanie Roger’s independent space is a shining beacon of hope for any new artists looking to exhibit their work in the land of the long white cloud. It’s also perfect for any tourists visiting Auckland.

Furthermore, every artist is able to have their work held in the stockroom for later purchasing. Melanie Roger Gallery also hosts many public programmes such as artist talks.

Check out the website here.

The Physics Room

New Zealand

The Physics Room was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to promoting contemporary art and critical discourse in Aotearoa. Based in Central Christchurch, they aim to actively seek links between the arts and other areas of cultural production and to involve art as a contributing voice in wider intellectual, social and political debate.

While involved in many cutting edge contemporary exhibitions, The Physics Room also curate monthly programmes of artist talks, panel discussions, as well as supporting an experimental independent publication called HAMSTER.

Check out their website here.

Blue Oyster Arts Trust (BOAT)

Founded in 1999, the Blue Oyster Arts Trust is a not-for-profit art space located in Dunedin. All exhibitions and events are free to attend and focus on allowing emerging and experimental artists, writers, curators and arts practitioners to work free from commercial restraints.

Aside from frequent exhibitions they also hold various workshops, summer residencies and support several online publications. A true haven for Dunedin artists.

Check out their website here.

Nadene Milne Gallery

New Zealand

“Nadene Milne Gallery places the best and some of the most advanced contemporary practice in Oceania and has a relationship with the fine art community that is informed, passionate and coherent.”
– Hamish Keith O.B.E

This premiere space hosts many quality exhibitions in support of various fine artists as well as a series of lectures to aid and inform art lovers. Located in Arrowtown just north of Queenstown it’s an ideal gallery for anyone looking to see fine art in an intimate space.

Check out their website here.

Meanwhile Gallery

Meanwhile is an artist run space that is home to various galleries and studios. It’s not bound to any one time or place, however it’s main studio is located in Wellington. They also host various online exhibitions, as well as plenty of talks and interactive experiences.

They are currently hosting an online exhibition called Nooscope 2.0 by Anna Tokareva.

Check out their website here.

split/fountain

New Zealand

Located in Auckland, split/fountain (S/F) merges at least three forms of production – art, design, print – through its operation as a design studio, project space, bookshop, curatorial office, niche publishing house and pocket-scaled laboratory.

S/F works with artists as well as designers and architects and has its own publishing imprint, producing publications, newspapers and artists’ editions. With a special emphasis on print, S/F sets itself apart as a creative outlet and space.

Check out the website here.

Happy Mag’s NZ Week is a new initiative spotlighting New Zealand as one of the world’s most exciting cultural hubs.
Find out more about NZ Week here.