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NZAFA - New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts

Address: 1 Queens Wharf, Wellington
Phone: +64 4 499 8807

The Galleries are open daily 10am - 5pm
Admission is free

"The list of Academy exhibitors is a "who's who" of New Zealand artists and craftspeople and there are few important artists who have not exhibited here at some stage, often remarkably early in their careers. Probably the list also includes artists whose work is not yet as widely known or appreciated as it will come to be..."
-The Right Honourable Allan Highet, Minister of the Arts

The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts was established in 1882 is a charitable organisation. Arguably the oldest and largest art society in New Zealand. Members come from all over New Zealand and have historically included many of our country’s most celebrated artists as well as established and new artists. We are a national body with an award winning purpose-built waterfront gallery in Wellington. Many watercolourists have joined the Academy over the years and they continue to hang on our walls.

The Academy has one paid full time Gallery Manager with two part time employees covering IT, Graphics Exhibitions and Accounts. We have a
band of volunteers who look after everything from hanging of exhibitions, preparing walls, looking after the shop and receiving, dismantling and packaging of artwork. We have an arts exhibition programme in place that goes out to 2020.

Every year we hold a wide range of exhibitions for members and other artists to show and sell their works. The Academy plans four members’ shows a year based seasonally (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring). Opening events are held to celebrate the exhibitions that include refreshments. When opportunities present themselves, such as the peak retail pre-Christmas period, we also hold cash & carry style exhibitions. There are opportunities, either by invitation or private hire of part of the gallery space, to hold Solo or group exhibitions.

I can talk personally regarding Solo Exhibitions, of which there are two per year with the intention of inviting artists that cover all genres and experience. I really enjoy encouraging artists who have previously not exhibited or have not had many of their works hung together. I believe this helps them develop their oeuvre and also encourages interaction with other artists.

The Academy has three galleries that hold exhibitions, with the Lightspace gallery offered out for individual hire in two week increments. In addition the Academy Shop offers display space supported by a dedicated on-site sales person seven days a week. This includes times when the main galleries are privately hired or closed for exhibition changeover.

Works are displayed for up to three months which can be extended at the Academy’s discretion. The decision to select works for the shop is based on customer feedback or availability of display space. There may be occasions when works are temporarily stored and displayed again later. There is a commission rate of 37.5% with no entry fee. Generous discounts for members are available at the leading art supply store Gordon Harris Ltd.

Greg Chaston
President, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts

Visit us at the Academy Galleries, 1 Queens Wharf, Wellington
Call us on (04) 499 8807
Check us out online at

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