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Summer Art Exhibitions in the City

Meld Magazine

Fri Dec 13 2013


FEEL like exploring your artistic side this summer? Joanna Robin looks at what’s on in Melbourne to satisfy even the strongest cravings for art, music and culture.

Rejoice! The sun is shining, SWOTVAC is over and endless, empty summer days lie ahead. To quote the National Galley of Victoria (NGV) website: “Summer is best spent indoors” – well some of it anyway.  So what better place to kick off a summer of art and culture than at the NGV?

NGV Melbourne Now

Spread across The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International and running until March 23, Melbourne Now is a celebration of the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practices Melbourne has to offer.

The collaborative project involves staff from all areas of the NGV, along with guest curators and collaborators. It will feature more than 175 individual and group presentations and special projects to check out and there will even be a chance to hit the dance floor!

The best part about Melbourne Now? It’s completely free! Check out our review of the exhibition.

The full NGV summer program offers everything from exhibitions to outdoor DJ sets. All the details can be found on their website.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

The ACMI also has a jam-packed summer program. Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition is open daily until Sunday February 23.

The exhibition explores the art of music videos, with more than 300 clips spanning nine decades from 1920s jazz legends to Madonna, Lady Gaga and everything in between.

It features the handiwork of some of the word’s most innovative film makers including Michel Gondry, who directed videos for The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk; Spike Jonze, who worked for Björk and Fatboy Slim; and Mark Romanek, who’s directed for Lenny Kravitz and Jay-Z.

Tickets are $15 or $10 concession.

If you’re strapped for cash you can head into Screen Worlds, the ACMI’s permanent exhibition, which tells the story of film, television and digital culture in Australia. There’s plenty of interactive installations and even some video games, all for free!

The ACMI’s calendar has a full list of upcoming film screenings, exhibitions, events and workshops.


If you’ve had enough of being indoors, Melbourne’s street art Mecca, Hosier Lane, is undergoing a makeover.

ALLYOURWALLS is a celebration of the role of street art and graffiti in the city’s cultural life.

With the support of the NGV and Ironlak, Hosier Lane and neighbouring Routledge Lane has been revamped and repainted by more than 50 local street and graffiti artists.

You can check out the new works for free all summer long.

Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 Years of Mushroom

If music is more your thing, Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 Years of Mushroom explores the sounds and sights of four decades of popular music through the songs, posters, costumes, memorabilia and iconic rock venues that have shaped the Melbourne music scene.

The exhibition is held at the RMIT Gallery and is free to enter.

There are also a number of public talks from Melbourne music greats running through to February. They are free to attend, but you do need to book a seat.


Supergraphis Australia’s Contemporary Graphic Art Fair. It is a three-day fiesta of graphic art and design where you can buy art and take part in creative workshops, artist-led masterclasses and much more.

It will run over three days at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building from Friday February 14. Tickets start from $5 for concession and some of the workshops are free.

White Night 2014

If you’re still craving art when February rolls around, White Night is set for its second all-night extravaganza!

From 7pm-7am on Saturday February 22, you can explore the city’s streets, parks, public spaces and iconic buildings as they are once again transformed into a spectacle of light, colour, movement and music.

Still got time to kill?

There are so many great art spaces in Melbourne. Some of the smaller galleries which focus on experimental and contemporary works by lesser known and local artists are well worth checking out.

Fortyfivedownstairs, Neon Parc, No Vacancy, Chapter House Lane and West Space are all in the CBD and definitely worth a look. Happy holidays!