It would be a tragic oversight to believe that the National Art Gallery and neighboring Arts Center on St. Kilda Road are all that Melbourne has to offer in the Arts. Not that these prestigious cultural institutions are in any way lacking; the former offers exciting world class exhibitions while the latter provides an eclectic range of outstanding performances.
It’s just that Melbourne offers more. Way more. Aside from visiting the City’s galleries exhibiting contemporary art, antiques and design, it’s well worth keeping your eyes open to what is happening outside. There are a number of lanes famous for their spectacular graffiti. Even primary school art classes regularly come for tours of the street art.
But art is not restricted to the City’s limits. Melbourne’s suburbs regularly put on some outrageous and cutting edge shows in creatively renovated spaces. Artsy little nooks and crannies seem to be popping up like mushrooms, ready to display the latest VCA graduate work or host the hottest underground fusion band. It’s wild out there in the ‘burbs’!
As if all these cultural venues were not enough to satiate one’s cultural appetite, Melbourne hosts a dizzying number of annual festivals, two of the most widely attended are the Melbourne Arts Festival in April and the Melbourne International Art Festival in October. Here one can gorge on a menu of dance , film, music, opera, visual arts and theatre. The atmosphere is almost carnival-like as artists and performers take to the streets and engage a more-than-willing public.
There is no question that Melbourne rivals any major city in the world in terms of the variety and quality of its arts. The only problem is deciding which event or exhibition to attend from the plethora of choices.