About the gallery

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Art that makes you think, all day every day for free.

City Gallery Wellington is the public art gallery for the capital city of New Zealand. Our exhibition programme focuses primarily on contemporary visual arts by local, national and international artists and designers, as well as international exchanges and joint ventures with other art museums. A busy programme of events complements every exhibition season, from artists' talks, debates and guided tours to Gallery Babes, live performances in the exhibition spaces and Tuatara Open Late, the first Thursday of the month.

Established in 1980, City Gallery was the first significant non-collecting exhibition based public gallery in New Zealand. City Gallery's current building in Civic Square is the former Wellington Public Library, transformed into elegant gallery spaces in 1993 by local architects Architecture+. Since then,  City Gallery Wellington has achieved a reputation for innovation and style, inspiring and challenging its audiences with a world-class programme of exhibitions and arts-related projects. This year we celebrate 21 years in Civic Square -  the inaugural exhibition programme launched by Director Paula Savage on 1 August 1993: Rosemarie Trockel showcased a selection of works from this internationally significant German artist as well as a site specific installation; Te Whare Puanga was curated by the late Erenora Puketapu-Hetet and celebrated recent work by Wellington female artists working in traditional Māori and Pacific Island cultures but extending into contemporary forms; Alter/Image assessed recent New Zealand art in relation to contemporary feminism including performance, film and video; and He Tohu was the first major installation by Jacqueline Fraser following her return from France as 1992 Moët et Chandon Fellow. It honoured the past use and history of the gallery’s new building, in particular the New Zealand Room which housed the New Zealand collection and was symbolic of a post-war focus on national identity. Read more  our 21st and our longest serving staff members in the Dominion Post here.