Art trail through Fortitude Valley and New Farm - Visit Brisbane

Art trail through Fortitude Valley and New Farm

Art can feel inaccessible at the best of times but, just between us, good art is only as good as the people seeing it – and we think you’re pretty sweet. Below is a guide to the galleries of Fortitude Valley and New Farm so you can spend a day getting your culture on. Just be sure to plan ahead – most of these galleries are closed Sundays and Mondays.

Getting there

If you’re driving in, park around the Brunswick end of Wickham St and if you’re catching the train in, exit onto Brunswick St. There are a few buses that’ll get you into the Valley. Check out TransLink for public transport help.

Explore the gallery trail

Once you’re in the Valley, orient yourself at the top of the Brunswick Street Mall, then wander up for about 10 minutes to Jugglers Art Space. Jugglers is a government-funded art space dedicated to supporting new local artists. It’s not as polished as some of the commercial galleries further up towards New Farm, but perhaps that makes it more exciting. Besides, the best place to start an art tour is with the up-and-comers. Jugglers is closed on weekends.

Make you deeper into the Valley to the Institute of Modern Art located below the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. This gallery space presents an ambitious program of free exhibitions and events by Australian and international artists. The IMA is the oldest contemporary art organisation of its kind in Australia and encourages research and experimentation, offering artists a platform to share their work with a wide range of audience.  In the evening make your way back to “The Judy” for a show where you can see cabaret, circus, dance, music or contemporary performance depending on the line-up.

Lunch in the Valley

If you’re feeling peckish, grab some lunch around here. Just up the road, you’ll find Yard Dogs, Pig ‘n’ Whistle, and Bloodhound for pub-style fare or, if you are in the mood for a bite-sized treat visit Fat Dumpling or Bird’s Nest for an assortment of tasty morsels. 

Into New Farm

Feet to the pavement towards the river again will guide you first to the esteemed Jan Murphy Gallery. Right around the corner on Arthur St is the Philip Bacon Gallery, Brisbane’s leading commercial gallery. If you’re looking for an art experience like you’ve seen in European cinema, this is where you’ll get it. Our last stop on Brunswick St, Edwina Corlette Gallery, is a sparse, straightforward gallery that focuses on what’s displayed on its wall. All three are shut Sundays and Mondays. Days of rest, we get it.

From here, meander down leafy Kent St for a while before you hit James St. Chat art and hold hands (if it’s a date) as you make your way down this quaint street. Keep an eye out for some genuinely eccentric houses – you can’t miss the Angels place. Welcome to New Farm.

The turn

At the roundabout on James, head left to hit Suzanne O’Connell Gallery about 100m up. Suzanne specialises in Aboriginal Australian art so, there’s no better place to create a connection to ancient cultures. Gallery open 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesday through Saturday.

Keep walking towards the Valley, turn left up Arthur St and almost halfway up, you’ll find Mitchell Fine Art. The gallery is a converted industrial space showcasing a selection of Aboriginal and contemporary artworks. Mitchell is closed Sundays.

Break at James St

From the last gallery, you are super close to the trendy and fashionable area of James Street. Phew. If you haven’t eaten yet, now’s also a great time. Tinderbox Kitchen, Ribs & Burgers, Cru Bar + Cellar, Harveys, Gerard’s Bistro, and Bucci Restaurant & Bar are all so close. While you’re there, James St is also home to a first-class selection of local designer boutique stores selling all the fashion and accessories you can imagine – art you can wear.

Continue to Newstead

Make your way to Masters Street, Newstead. Here you will find TWFINEART. This gallery and exhibition space features the only online exhibition of its kind. Match your style to its portfolio without breaking the bank. Pieces you order are even couriered to you. Closed Mondays. 
Home stretch

Home stretch

Turn down Ann St towards the city centre. Take your second right down Constance St and cross over Wickham before you arrive at MAAP Space. The Media Art Asia Pacific Space basically hosts what it says on the tin – multimedia artwork from the Oceanic and Asian regions. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm or by appointment. And with that, you've made it!

The Mill on Constance

So, you’ve seen more art than you could poke a stick at and walked 1000 miles (or close to it) – you’ll want a drink. Luckily you’re right near Baedeker Bar with an extensive wine and cocktail selection or, you can wander to Alfred Street where you will find an exceptional gin bar, Dutch Courage. Otherwise, circle back to James St to hit Gerard’s Bar for a great cocktail and charcuterie pairing, or while away the afternoon at Cru Bar with wine. Even if you didn’t score a painting, now you have a collection of conversation pieces for drinks tonight - or any other night.

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