About the Gallery


Art that makes you think

City Gallery Wellington showcases contemporary art from New Zealand and around the world. The public art gallery for the capital city, our changing exhibition programme is complemented by a busy calendar of events, from artists' talks, debates and guided tours to live performances and Gallery Babes. We're open daily 10am-5pm and open late until 10pm on the first Thursday of every month for Tuatara Open Late.

Established in 1980, City Gallery was the first significant non-collecting exhibition based public gallery in New Zealand. City Gallery's current building in Civic Square is the former Wellington Public Library, transformed into elegant gallery spaces in 1993 by local architects Architecture+. Since then, City Gallery Wellington has achieved a reputation for innovation and style, inspiring and challenging its audiences with a world-class programme of exhibitions and arts-related projects.

2014 celebrated 21 years in Civic Square. The inaugural exhibition programme launched by Director Paula Savage on 1 August 1993: Rosemarie Trockel showcased a selection of works from this internationally significant German artist as well as a site specific installation; Te Whare Puanga was curated by the late Erenora Puketapu-Hetet and celebrated recent work by Wellington female artists working in traditional Māori and Pacific Island cultures but extending into contemporary forms; Alter/Image assessed recent New Zealand art in relation to contemporary feminism including performance, film and video; and He Tohu was the first major installation by Jacqueline Fraser following her return from France as 1992 Moët et Chandon Fellow. It honoured the past use and history of the gallery’s new building, in particular the New Zealand Room which housed the New Zealand collection and was symbolic of a post-war focus on national identity. Read more our 21st and our longest serving staff members in the Dominion Post here.