While often one of the last items purchased for the home, don’t overlook the power of adding artwork to your walls. From affordable prints to original oil paintings or acrylics, adding art to your home is a great way to communicate your personal taste.
Whether you’re a newbie to collecting art or know what you like, the City of Sails has over 30 dealer galleries and four auction houses to buy from.
Here are our picks for the best places to buy art in Auckland:
You know Toi o Tāmaki as Auckland's largest and most prominent art gallery. Toi o Tāmaki houses an extensive collection of art on show, ranging from historical to contemporary pieces, but if you’ve never checked out the gift shop before you leave, now’s the time. It’s a great place to pick up prints of New Zealand’s most renowned artists. They also have everything from books, jewellery (including hand-carved pounamu) merchandise, gadgets, clothing, puzzles and sunglasses for purchase.
But, back to the art. You’ll find prints from a wide range of artists and styles. Some favourites include contemporary landscapes from Rita Angus, Laura Knight’s The Bathing Pool — a beautiful depiction of summer in 1918, Zena Elliott’s Frequency — a colourful lino print and Richard Lewer’s It’s True Drawing Saved Me — the original scribbled on sandpaper, and a selection of Gordon Walters’s famous Koru paintings, sold as prints.
Adding artwork to your home doesn’t just have to be in the form of a painting. A visit to the Master Works Gallery on Upper Queen Street in Auckland Central shows how you can add and interact with artwork in your home.
The Gallery is home to the works of Ceramic artists Aaron Scythe and Christine Thacker and glass artist Wendy Fairclough. Established in 1986, the Gallery has created glass, textiles, jewellery and ceramic artwork for nearly forty years. You’ll find a range of glass and ceramic bowls, vases, jugs and sculptures that can take pride of place in your home.
Flagstaff Gallery, located in Devonport, is one of Auckland’s oldest contemporary galleries. Started in 1993, they have represented Aotearoa’s best artists for over three decades. They aim to make buying art an easy and enjoyable experience.
Their website features 88 different New Zealand artists, both acclaimed and emerging, offering over 2,000 original artworks for sale, including small prints, large paintings and sculptures, so there’s something to fit everyone’s budget. They also offer interest-free art loans and an affordable framing service! The team at Flagstaff are passionate about art and connecting art buyers (yes you) with artwork. Artworks range from around $150 for a print to $20,000 for select original paintings.
The Aotearoa Art Fair is an annual exhibition that is one of the most significant art events in New Zealand. Showcasing art for purchase from around New Zealand, the Pacific and the globe, it’s held every April at the Viaduct Events Centre.
Whether you plan on buying anything or not, the Aotearoa Art Fair is an excellent opportunity to explore a vast array of contemporary artwork in one place. Around 10,000 visitors attend the Art Fair every year.
The next time you’re visiting the Auckland Art Gallery, pop across to the Gow Langsford Gallery directly across the road. Dedicated to fostering and promoting contemporary art from New Zealand and international artists, the space is one of the most influential dealer galleries in the country.
Their website features artwork for purchase from 44 New Zealand artists and 22 international artists. They also sell a small collection of screenprints from some of their represented artists. They are located in the historic St James Building on Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland. The gallery has been in business for over thirty years, first opening in 1987. The founders John Gow and Gary Langsford, are passionate about helping New Zealand artists reach new audiences, grow their talents and make an income off their artworks.
Melanie Roger Gallery, located on Auckland’s Karangahape Road, is a hub for contemporary art, representing and collaborating with a range of New Zealand's artists, both emerging and established, across various mediums.
With a monthly changing exhibition schedule, there’s always something new to explore in-house, while their online stockroom allows visitors to browse artwork for sale with ease. The gallery welcomes individuals and groups, encouraging personal connections with the exhibited works. The Gallery also hosts regular public events, including artist talks, so that art enthusiasts can delve into the creative processes and inspirations behind each art piece.
While you’re on Karangahape Road, don’t go past Anna Miles Gallery, located nearby on Upper Queen Street. A former art critic, Anna Miles now represents many contemporary artists, including ceramicists, sculptors and painters. They are open from Wednesdays to Saturdays between 11 am — 3 pm or by appointment any time.
The Upstairs Gallery is a community hub for artists and art lovers alike and is located in Lopdell House in West Auckland’s Titirangi Road. They offer a place for people to come together, explore and connect with artwork of all mediums. You’ll find artwork from fibre artists, oil painters, sculptors and ceramicists on display at various times throughout the year. Their focus is on supporting emerging artists. Run by artist Carlos Toalii and Tatiana Harper, the gallery aims to support artists into getting into more advanced settings.
Also located in West Auckland is the Corban Estate Arts Centre, an arts precinct on the historic grounds of the former Corban Estate Winery. It’s one of New Zealand’s largest Art Centres and is the location for many working artists. Described as a ‘bustling space of artistic energy and talent’ this is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates the raw charm of a gritty artists workshop.
Situated on the Corban Estate, there are also large grounds to explore. Once you’ve checked out the exhibitions, head to the Gallery Shop where you explore and purchase artwork from over 22 artists that work on-site, you’ll find artwork including weaving, textiles and contemporary artwork.
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