Art galleries are a great way of learning more about the culture of the place you are staying. Auckland has many art galleries and most of these are free to get in. Here are some you might like to have a look at.
Auckland Art Gallery
This is Auckland's oldest and largest art gallery, located on the corner of Kitchener St and Wellesley St. As well as having a great deal of New Zealand art, it also has a lot of historic and international art. The original gallery (called the Main Gallery) was built in 1887, making it one of Auckland's oldest buildings. From 2008 to 2011, the Main Gallery was closed to the public so that the new extensions could be built. This cost over $121 million! The Auckland Art Gallery often has special exhibitions showing, as well as the permanent collections. Currently, an exhibit called "Who Shot Rock 'n' Roll" is being shown, and will remain open until the 3rd of March. To find out more about Auckland Art Gallery, go to http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/.
Gow Langsford Gallery
Unlike the Auckland Art Gallery, the Gow Langsford Gallery does not have a permanent collection, but has different exhibits every month or so. It was opened in 1987 and now has two different locations. One gallery is located on 26 Lorne St and from the 27th of February will be exhibiting Alex Monteith's Temporary Mechanisms. The other gallery is on the corner of Kitchener St and Wellesley St, opposite the Auckland Art Gallery. After the 27th of February, this gallery will showing Tony Fomison: A Portrait. For more information, visit http://www.gowlangsfordgallery.co.nz/.
Located at Upper Khartoum Place, 2 Kitchener St, FHE Galleries mostly show artworks from New Zealand and Pacific artists, as well as art from other cultures. It is made up of two galleries which are next to each other. The Main Gallery is larger, while the FHE Project is smaller and often only holds one exhibition at a time. This is a really good place to learn more about NZ and Pacific culture. For more information, go to http://www.fhegalleries.com/.
Fingers Contemporary New Zealand Jewellery
Although there are no paintings, the jewellery at Fingers can definitely be called art. It is all made by current New Zealand jewellers and all of the pieces aim to reflect NZ culture and tradition. Most of the items are for sale and you will not want to leave empty-handed! Fingers is found at 2 Kitchener St, on Upper Khartoum Place. For more information including stock and prices, visit http://www.fingers.co.nz/index.html.
Gus Fisher Gallery
The Gus Fisher Gallery is unlike the others on this list, as it focuses mainly on historic art from New Zealand, as well as the Pacific area. As it is part of the University of Auckland, the gallery is also connected with a lot of research about NZ art. It is located at 74 Shortland St and currently is showing an exhibition about nanotechnology, as well as one about the works of Renee Bevan. More information can be found at http://www.biglittlecity.co.nz/Arts/Galleries/Gus_Fisher_Gallery.
This gallery is dedicated to Maori and New Zealand art and design. A lot of the art here reflects traditional Maori art, which is interesting if you want to learn more about Maori culture. The Kura Gallery's address is 188 Quay St, in the PWC Tower. For more information, visit http://www.kuragallery.co.nz/.
Saint Paul St Gallery
The Saint Paul St Gallery is run by the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and is located in the heart of its campus, at 40 Saint Paul St. It is dedicated to displaying works from new artists, both from NZ and overseas. Often there are also exhibits from students or graduates of AUT. From the 1st of March to the 12th of April, there will be two exhibitions on manga and graphic novels, one focusing on New Zealand and the other on Germany. Don't miss out! For more information, go to http://www.stpaulst.aut.ac.nz/.