The Gold Coast Is Now Home to a Colourful New Six-Level Art Gallery with a Rooftop Bar

Showcasing local art, the city's 4400-piece collection and touring exhibitions, it's the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 07, 2021

In the coming years, the Gold Coast is set to welcome a new man-made surf wave pool, as well as a hotel and resort at Dreamworld. Later in 2021, it'll also boast a cabana-filled oceanside precinct on a rooftop. But before all of that comes to fruition, the popular southeast Queensland tourist destination is set to score another new attraction — with its new $60.5 million, six-level art gallery opening its doors on Saturday, May 8.

First announced back in 2018, and given a launch date earlier this year, the new addition is part of HOTA, Home of the Arts in Surfers Paradise. Simply called the HOTA Gallery, it has been built at the top of the site's concert lawn, overlooking HOTA's outdoor stage. It's now the country's largest art gallery outside of a capital city and, obviously, it's giving art lovers both locally and Australia-wide plenty to get excited about.

Designed by Melbourne-based architects ARM, the multi-floor gallery spans more than 2000 square metres of exhibition space. That includes a main area for touring exhibitions, a permanent collection space across three levels and a children's gallery. There's also an area for storing works that aren't on display, which is pivotal given that the site houses the Gold Coast's $32 million, 4400-piece City Collection.

Back wall: Nicola Moss Local Air 2021; Kirsty Bruce Wonderwall 2021; Aaron Chapman The Towers Project 2021; Back right: Michael Candy, Steal the Sunshine 2021; Front: Ali Bezer I Can Hear Water 2021; SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise, HOTA Gallery. Photo by Paul Harris Photography.

View-wise, there's much to look at already if you're keen on gazing at creative pieces. Running until July 4, Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise, showcases new works by Gold Coast artists, while Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson pays tribute to one of Australia's greatest landscape painters until October 3. There's also Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection, which makes its world premiere until February 27 – and features 70 works from the likes of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Richard Prince and Jeff Koons. In the children's gallery, World Upside Down runs until October 10, and is designed to be interactive for audiences of all ages.

Visitors can also peer at more than just the art gracing the walls. The building's windows offer a stellar view of Surfers Paradise — and, outside, sculptural installations await. Queensland Waanyi artist Judy Watson's addition to the site heroes Indigenous native plants, and includes a pathway that forms a topographical map of Nerang prior to European settlement. It also spans Piccabeen basket and dilly bag sculptures designed with Quandamooka artists Libby Harward and Elisa Jane Carmichael, and features a two-metre-tall feather canopy and snippets of local language sandblasted onto the bleachers. And Sri-Lankan born, Sydney based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran has crafted a six-metre-high, double-sided sculpture made out of bronze, concrete, neon and fibreglass that's designed to reflect the vibrancy of the new building.

Brett Boardman

Back inside the building, a rooftop bar and restaurant is also opening its doors. Called The Exhibitionist Bar, it takes over 233 square metres, and pairs panoramic views with tapas, share plates, cocktails, wine, beer and house-made sodas. Both indoor and outdoor terrace seating are a feature, and you'll get a vantage that sprawls over the Goldie's waterways, Surfers' Paradise skyline and the hinterland.

Plus, in terms of decor, the venue takes its cues from rainforests — as does the immensely colourful building itself, which is inspired by William Robinson's 'The Rainforest'.

HOTA Gallery and The Exhibitionist Bar will both open at HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise on Saturday, May 8. For more information, visit the HOTA website.

Top images: Brett Boardman

Published on May 07, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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