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Five free art exhibitions currently happening in Melbourne

Feed your free art cravings.

NGV International, Melbourne

The National Gallery of Victoria is the oldest gallery in Australia. It’s also the most visited gallery, which isn’t surprising as a significant collection of art is on display for free. Aside from the permanent exhibitions, NGV is currently hosting a free exhibition from Julian Opie, one of Britain's most influential living artists.

Ian Potter Centre, Melbourne

The Ian Potter Centre is part of NGV but has a larger focus on Australian artists and exhibitions. Located within Federation Square, this art gallery is easily accessible. Current free exhibitions include Ken Unsworth’s first major sculptural exhibition Truly, Madly, Polly Borland’s Pollyverse which looks at the unsettling side of the human form and Design Storytellers, a story told through pieces of work by mainly Australian designers.

Backwoods Gallery, Collingwood

In 2010, this gallery opened in the back streets of Collingwood. It promotes the Australian street art scene and has hosted exhibitions, public arts projects, murals and publications. Backwoods Gallery is independent and self-funded while focused on nurturing artists into world-class talent. From Friday November 23 until Sunday December 9, Backwoods is hosting TwoOne’s Object, an exhibition that uses various mediums to show the relationship between objects and their value.

Buxton Contemporary, Southbank

A new player in the art scene, Buxton Contemporary is managed by the Victorian College of the Arts. The gallery is currently hosting The Garden of Forking Paths, a joint showcase by Melbourne-based artist Mira Gojak and Tokyo's Takehito Koganezawa. The Garden of Forking Paths is the first in an annual series of exhibitions at Buxton Contemporary that highlight the relationship between contemporary Australian art and its international context.

BLINDSIDE Gallery, Melbourne

Hidden within the Nicholas Building in Melbourne's CBD, BLINDSIDE hosts a range of experimental contemporary art from local, emerging artists. The gallery is currently exhibiting various artworks, including Stephen Palmer's 12-minute video work Endless Projection and Mia Middleton's Being There, a mixed media exhibit exploring commercialism and the environment. 

Gallery art not your style? Check out Beat's Guide to Melbourne street art.