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Visual arts in Wellington

With a gallery around almost every corner and an ever-changing programme of exhibitions, fans of visual art will find plenty of opportunities to discover the thought-provoking, the contemporary, and the inspirational, in New Zealand's culture capital.

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman CAPTION Untitled 461 2007 08. CREDIT Cindy Sherman and Metro Pictures New York. Cindy Sherman

In a New Zealand exclusive, New York-based Cindy Sherman (19 Nov - 19 Mar), one of the world's most influential contemporary artists, will showcase her renowned, satirical portraits at City Gallery Wellington this summer. The chameleon-like Sherman plays multiple roles of model, stylist and photographer in her photographs which see her cast in a range of personas: actress, society woman, clown, fasion victim. 

Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa

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Housed in our national museum, Ngā Toi is home to an ever-changing line-up from New Zealand's national collection. This summer, explore new works from Te Papa's modern art and design collections, discover remarkable stories of Ngāti Toa Rangatira, and immerse yourself in the wondrous landscapes of New Zealand captured by pioneering artists. 

Simon Denny: Secret Power

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Part of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa's current season, Simon Denny’s acclaimed Venice Biennale exhibition Secret Power explores surveillance, espionage, and New Zealand’s role in the Five Eyes international intelligence alliance.

Must-see WWI exhibitions


Make your pilgrimage to Wellington's incredible WWI exhibitions and pay tribute to the past. The Great War Exhibition, created by Sir Peter Jackson, and Gallipoli: The scale of our war, created by Sir Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop and Te Papa, are not to be missed. 

Galleries galore

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With over 50 galleries to choose from, there's something to suit every artist and admirer. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favourites: Kura Gallery, AVID Gallery, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Page Blackie Gallery, ROAR! Gallery, and New Zealand Portrait Gallery

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa

Our national museum Te Papa is host to a variety of thought-provoking, informative and interactive exhibitions. With six levels to choose from, you might not know where to start. Lucky for you, we've pulled together a list of seven unmissable exhibits to get you started. Best of all, the museum is free.

City Gallery Wellington


Located in the heart of Civic Square, City Gallery Wellington offers world-class exhibitions of contemporary New Zealand and international art. It's ever-changing programme allows diverse audiences to experience art in new and inspiring ways.

PATAKA Art + Museum


A short drive or train trip from the city, PATAKA Art + Museum in Porirua showcases the best in contemporary Maori and Polynesian art from around New Zealand and the world. With five main galleries and over 14 major exhibitions each year, PATAKA makes for a rewarding day trip for art lovers.

The Dowse Art Museum

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Also a short drive from the city, The Dowse Art Museum issure to intrigue with its striking contemporary exhibitions. Be sure to check out Transfer by Liu Jianhua (20 Feb - 11 Jul 2016) which will be the first time works  by the well-known Chinese contemporary artist will be shown in New Zealand.

Like what you see? Browse through more of Wellington's upcoming exhibitions

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