In Arts + Entertainment

Urban Legends: The Secret Adelaide Galleries Only Locals Know About

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Gone are the days when Adelaide’s worth was equated according to how many pubs and churches it had on its street corners. As cutting edge Adelaide galleries and street art nooks continue to explode onto the local scene, the cultural scene in A-town continues to blossom.

As ever, it helps to have a little insider info on where to find all the goods – take our cue with this play-by-play on some of Adelaide’s most hidden, and vaunted, street art and gallery secrets.



Image: FELTspace / Facebook

Founded in 2008 as a support for local talent and early career artists, FELTspace is an artist-led initiative featuring a diverse and ongoing program of emerging and experimental art. Over the course of a decade, it’s become one of the prime HQ’s for the city’s visual artist community, and an institution in its own right – be sure to head down and check out its regular openings on the first Wednesday of each month.

12 Compton St, Adelaide 

ACE Open


Image: Sally Smart, The Violet Ballet, 2018. Photograph by Sam Roberts.

When the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia and the Australian Experimental Art Foundation joined forces in 2017, it birthed ACE Open, the city’s preeminent transformative contemporary art experience. Housed in the den of Adelaide’s Lion Arts Centre, you’ll find a free, year-round program of local, domestic and international exhibitions here, an accessible hub where artists and audiences are invited to fuse ideas and share new experiences.

North Terrace, Adelaide

Muriel Matters


Image: supplied by Adelaide Fringe Festival. Photographer: Trentino Priori

Street artist Claire Foxton’s work was a showpiece in Adelaide Fridge’s recent ‘Street Art Explosion’: a larger than life mural featuring Muriel Matters, South Australian-born suffragette, journalist, lecturer and hot-air balloonist who worked tirelessly for women’s rights through involvement with the Women’s Freedom League (WFL). While perhaps not the most ‘hidden’ work in town, Foxton’s piece is surely one of the most stunning, and important, on the city’s streets.

Dawkins Place, Adelaide

Union Street (Street Art Explosion)


Image: supplied by Adelaide Fringe Festival. Photographer: Fringe staff.

Speaking of the Fringe, Warrnambool street artist Matthew Clarke was another toast of the 2019 festival, after taking out its poster competition with his vibrant self-portrait, which became the face of this year’s visual collateral. Scrawled over trams and festival programs, Clarke’s work was also re-created on a huge mural in the CBD’s Union Street – go check this icon between in the heart of the buzz between Grenfell and Rundle Streets.

Union St, Adelaide

The Mill


Louise Flaherty during her residency at The Mill, ‘Memorial for Forgotten Plants’, 2018 Photographer: Daniel Marks

As a watershed incubator of local talent in recent years, working across a number of media and creative platforms, multi-arts not-for-profit The Mill continues to provide the city with a crucial independent art and gallery space, including on-site residency facilities for over 30 local artists. Offering a program of regular master classes, lectures, performances, and contemporary exhibitions, The Mill continues to thrive as a core and cherished cultural hub for the South Australian artist community.

154 Angas St, Adelaide

Hugo Michell Gallery

secret adelaide galleries

Image: Hugo Michell Gallery / supplied

Having carved out its niche over the past decade, the privately-owned Hugo Michell Gallery is a contemporary art space that delivers a consistent program of local and international art showings (both established and emerging) across diverse media including photography, painting, digital, sculpture, and installation.

260 Portrush Rd, Beulah Park


secret adeladie galleries gagprojects

Installation view of Ariel Hassan’s exhibition ’Translation’ at GAGPROJECTS, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and GAGPROJECTS | Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide.

Local art curator Paul Greenaway converted this Kent Town warehouse into Greenaway Art Gallery back in 1991: a space to promote talented local and upcoming artists, and a select invitation of internationals. In 2014, Greenaway re-branded as GAGPROJECTS, which expanded the gallery’s broader role as a social, educational and international project.

39 Rundle St, Kent Town

Cult & Harper


Image: Cult & Harper / Facebook

More multi-disciplinary co-working hub than gallery space, Cult & Harper is where visual art, journalism, fashion and music collide: a cross-pollination cultural warehouse complex featuring abundant gallery space, a retail store, and ‘vegan junk food’ café.

Level 1/168 St Vincent St E, Port Adelaide 

Southwest Contemporary

secret adelaide galleries southwest contemporary

Image: Southwest Contemporary / Facebook

With its neon-lit frontage and minimalist interior, Southwest Contemporary nails the brief for ‘incognito gallery nook’: a slick, understated space that prefers to let the art speak for itself. Not to be confused with the ill-fated Adelaide Contemporary (which is now set to become the National Gallery for Aboriginal Art and Cultures), head to Southwest for a unique, and very underground, taste of the local flavours.

205 Sturt St, Adelaide

Want to find Adelaide’s best hidden galleries? Jeep Compass can help you create your own everyday adventures. Learn more here. 

(Lead image:Installation view of Ariel Hassan’s exhibition ’Translation’ at GAGPROJECTS, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and GAGPROJECTS | Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide. Supplied)

Published 12 June, 2019