An Art Lover's Guide to Ballarat, Australia
Ballarat, Australia, is rapidly becoming a regional arts hub | © Thomas Cockrem / Alamy Stock Photo
With a thriving cultural community, Ballarat is rapidly becoming a regional arts hub. The town is not only home to a renowned artist whose work you’ll see in Buckingham Palace, UK, but it also maintains Australia
’s oldest and largest regional art gallery. Visit the city’s multiple galleries and exhibition spaces, which are located only 1.5 hours outside of Melbourne’s CBD.
Art Gallery of Ballarat
Art Gallery, Building
Founded in 1884, the Art Gallery of Ballarat
is Australia’s oldest and largest regional gallery. Located in a heritage-listed building, this not-for-profit gallery houses art pieces from colonial to contemporary periods across paintings, sculptures, works on paper and ceramics – all of which showcase the history of Australian art. Organised by era, the collection also features the work of local and regional artists, depicting the growth of Ballarat and indigenous work.
First awarded in 1921, the Archibald Prize
is the most prestigious portraiture award in Australia. Resident Australian artists are invited to paint portrayals of the who’s who in Australian culture, such as men and women distinguished in art, letters, science or politics. Previous winners include Louise Hearman and her portrait of Barry Humphries titled Barry
and Betina Fauvel-Ogden’s George Calombaris.
James Egan Gallery
With artwork that’s been featured at the Buckingham Palace in London, UK, San Francisco Airport, the World Trade Center in New York and the deputy prime ministers office, James Egan
is one of Australia’s most illustrious artists. In his gallery studio, Egan still paints, and on display are collections including landscapes, people, Australian birds and Ned Kelly. A trip to the gallery may even result in an encounter with the artist himself.
The Lost Ones
“A place to find the odd, the amusing and the interesting,” The Lost Ones
is a contemporary art gallery which prides itself on salvaging lost arts and crafts and championing forgotten voices. Located in a Masonic temple, which dates back to the early 1870s, The Lost Ones is a place for exhibitions, performances, art classes and workshops that hope to pass on endangered art skills and techniques, such as lace making, making dyes from plants, bookbinding and more.
Gallery on Sturt
Gallery on Sturt
is a retail art gallery featuring the work of local and regional artists, as well as original and limited edition artwork from distinguished Australian and European
artists. Exhibitions rotate on a monthly basis, and the gallery includes 2D and 3D work. Sturt also provides custom framing and fine-art printing services, all of which is done on-site.
The Post Office Gallery
Post Office, University
As a part of the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, the Post Office Gallery is an educational resource that showcases artwork from the students and staff of FedUni’s Arts Academy, as well as local and emerging Australian artists. Dating back to 1909, the collection includes paintings, graphics, contemporary prints, ceramics and sculptures.
These recommendations were updated on September 16, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.