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Ten Brisbane Arts and Cultural Spaces to Check Out This Summer (And Where to Get a Drink Afterwards)

Get your culture fix at one of these leading institutions — then make an afternoon of it at one of these excellent watering holes.
By Cailin Sheppard
January 25, 2022
By Cailin Sheppard
January 25, 2022

in partnership with

While the beach is often the first port of call for us when summer hits, it's not the only activity on offer in the hotter months. When the heat gets too hot to handle — or when those storms roll in — a trip to the shaded, air-conditioned haven of an art gallery is always a good idea.

And while a visit to an art gallery is a noble enough activity on its own, we think it's made that much better by heading to a nearby bar afterwards to discuss what you've just seen. We've teamed up with Bombay Sapphire to showcase nine leading art galleries in Brisbane (and one on the Gold Coast) to head to this summer, and where to go afterwards to really make an evening of it.


'The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT 10) Members Preview GOMA


Many a summer's day has been spent by many a Brisbanite inside QAGOMA, avoiding the heat and taking in whichever exhibition is on at the time. At the moment, the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is holding court in the South Bank precinct, an exhibition featuring 69 artworks from more than 150 Asia Pacific creatives, covering more than 30 countries.

Where to go afterwards: Head down Fish Lane and make a pitstop at The Fox for a cold drink and a quality pub feed. Continue the art talk streetside or head up to the rooftop for city views, cocktail jugs and handmade pizza.



Since 2004, Woolloongabba Art Gallery has showcased works by some of Australia's best emerging and established artists within its three exhibition spaces. Pop in to this heritage-listed building on Stanley Street for its summer group exhibition, which includes contemporary works by 20 Australian artists spanning a range of mediums.

Where to go afterwards: Once you've checked out the gallery, head next door to Can You Keep A Secret. This vintage store-meets-cocktail bar is fitted out like Nan's house, with an old piano, humble chandeliers, antique landscape paintings and knick-knacks galore. There's also a year-round calendar of live music, as well as curated vintage finds available to purchase.



No Brisbane art tour would be complete without a stop at this Fortitude Gallery veteran. Established by renowned Australian art dealer Philip Bacon AO in 1974, the commercial gallery — which boasts five distinct exhibition spaces — is known for representing some of Australia's most influential contemporary artists, as well as its stockroom that houses an expansive range of Australian artworks from the 19th century to today.

Where to go afterwards: Set on the corner of Arthur and James Streets, Sixes and Sevens is a prime al fresco locale for an afternoon bev. Nibble on plates of mushroom arancini, popcorn chicken and burgers while sipping on cocktails made for summer — the Pineapple Gin Fizz is particularly refreshing.


Millie Tang


The Institute of Modern Art's multifaceted performances, workshops and exhibitions make it one of Brisbane's best contemporary arts spaces. This summer, catch artists playing electronic music with handmade instruments and a free exhibition showcasing works by Australian First Nations and diasporic artists exploring the competing forces of cultural preservation and innovation. Keep an eye out for IMA's regular series of evening events — perfect for a pre-nightcap culture fix.

Where to go afterwards: Complement the thought-provoking art you've just seen at IMA with an equally intriguing cocktail at nearby Savile Row. Look for the orange door on Ann Street and take a seat beneath the venue's dazzling chandelier or in a handsome leather-lined booth as you sip on a cocktail made from a selection of the bar's 900-plus bottles of liquor.




If the bright artworks hung behind the glass windows of Edwina Corlette Gallery have ever caught your eye while you've been in New Farm, consider this your sign to go and check out the inside. The Brunswick Street space represents a select group of artists from Australia and the Asia Pacific region who exhibit contemporary works across a range of disciplines.

Where to go afterwards: Just a block down from the gallery is Gerties, a bona fide New Farm institution that has been slinging cocktails on Brunswick Street for nearly 30 years. Here, the extensive cocktail list is paired with Latin-American style eats — think patacones, arepas and tostadas — which you can enjoy from a window seat, the perfect spot to watch the New Farm crowd traverse in and out of the Valley.





Contemporary and fine art lovers alike know to head to Lethbridge Gallery in Paddington for a well-rounded display of works. The renovated cottage shows works by emerging and established artists, with a regular rotation of exhibitions that means there's always something interesting to see.

Where to go afterwards: Amble along Latrobe Terrace post-gallery and settle in the courtyard or within the exposed brick-laden interior of old English-style bar Hope & Anchor for craft beers, cocktails and a menu of pub food favourites. Being a British-inspired watering hole, it should come as no surprise that beer and gin selections here are very impressive. With a dose of historic charm and a laidback atmosphere, Hope & Anchor is an ideal spot for your post-gallery hangs.



As one of the biggest arts organisations in Brisbane, Metro Arts develops, presents and supports contemporary works from artists throughout Queensland working in multiple disciplines including theatre, visual art and music. Its main venue in West End is a purpose-built precinct, ideal for checking out the latest in forward-thinking exhibitions and performances.

Where to go afterwards: A proverbial stone's throw away in the hustle and bustle of Boundary Street is Covent Garden. This laidback oasis is a gin lover's dream, thanks to its selection of over 400 botanical drops on hand (including three different types of Bombay Sapphire) as well as a substantial selection of beer, wine, cocktails and a fully coeliac-friendly food menu.



TW Fine Art's modern industrial-style exterior almost hides in plain sight among the apartments and offices of Newstead. The local and international artists on this gallery's roster represent an eclectic range of styles, with works displayed in a light-filled, airy gallery space. Like what you see? Collectors, enthusiasts and casual browsers alike can feel at home here with gallerists ready to assist with purchasing originals and prints of the often colourful works on display.

Where to go afterwards: Go from fine art to fine wine at intimate wine bar Carl's. Named after one of Brisbane's first winemakers, Carl Gerler, this cosy bistro is a go-to for locals to explore new- and old-world drops alongside a seasonal dining menu of bar snacks, charcuterie and sharing-style plates. If you're meeting a friend post-gallery tell them to bring their dog — our four-legged friends get bottomless treats here.


Installation view of 'Thinking into Being: QUT Alumni Triennial', QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, 9 October 2021 to 27 February 2022. Photo by Louis Lim.


This Gardens Point gallery exhibits QUT's impressive art collection, and is also home to touring exhibitions and commissioned pieces. The gallery takes pride in being inclusive and welcoming to both art lovers and the art curious, with its free exhibitions complemented by a series of community events and education programs. This summer, you can catch works by notable QUT alumni that examine the thought process that brings objects, products and experiences to fruition.

Where to go afterwards: Venture further into the city to find Boom Boom Room, a luxe underground izakaya-inspired bar and eatery. Settle in under the dazzling chandeliers and snack on plates of sashimi and yakitori, and pair your bites with cocktails like Southside of Tokyo, a sharing serve which features Bombay Sapphire, pineapple, mint, chocolate, lime and matcha.



Heading down to the coast this summer? You can get your art fix at Mermaid Beach's 19 Karen Avenue. This art gallery represents over 100 artists across a huge range of styles. Six different exhibition spaces feature a year-round program of solo and group shows, each curated by gallery director Terri Lew. There's also a private gallery, in which Lew displays some of her impressive private collection.

Where to go afterwards: If it's beer, cocktails and hearty food you're after when you leave 19 Karen, drop anchor at The Cambus Wallace. This old-world nautical-themed haunt is a five-minute drive down the Gold Coast Highway and is known for live music and easy-going vibes, as well as its extensive selection of rum and whisky.


For more summer inspo, head to the Bombay Sapphire website.

Top image: QAGOMA

Published on January 25, 2022 by Cailin Sheppard

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