The Ultimate Guide to Blue Mountains Art Galleries
In this extensive article we cover the Big 3 Destination Galleries , the Dealer Galleries, Artist own Studio Galleries, Tourist focussed Galleries and some quirky smaller outlets!
We also have an Arts Resource section, a listing of some information websites, arts networks and a round up of the best places to get art supplies in the Blue Mountains.
Note – this is a fairly extensive guide in each of the areas listed above, but it can never hope to be a complete guide. Galleries come and go, opening days and times change. We suggest double checking direct with a gallery if time is tight or long distances are involved.
It also obviously reflects our own taste in art. That’s what art is all about. We have picked what we consider the best few in each area but if your gallery wasn’t mentioned, be proactive about it. Send us a flyer, invite us to your next exhibition opening or gallery open day! Our Contact Page is here.
Blue Mountains Art Galleries – The Big 3
Penrith Regional Art Gallery & Lewers Bequest
I’ll declare right now, I love this place!
While it’s not strictly in the Blue Mountains, it is on the west side of the mighty Nepean River and this excellent gallery at the foot of the Mountains is well worth a visit for many reasons.
If you are driving from Sydney, it’s actually only a few minutes drive off the Great Western Highway. Coming by train, it’s quite a long walk from either Emu Plains or Penrith Stations so grab a taxi or Uber.
A brief history to set the scene..
Margo & Gerry Lewers moved here from Sydney in 1950 living right on the riverbank. Both artists were prolific in their own fields, Gerald a sculptor and Margo exploring modernist colour in painting and mosaics.
Their old farmhouse on the river soon became widely known as a creative hub and a magnet for other modernists like Frank and Margel Hinder, Lyndon Dadswell, Judy Cassab, Roy Fluke and many more. The parties at the property were legendary.
The Lewers commissioned renown Modernist architect Sydney Ancher to make some additions to the old house in the mid 50’s and then in 1960 to design and build a small separate house in the modernist style.
After their deaths, the Lewer’s family bequeathed the entire property to the people of Penrith in 1980, which became what we now know as the Penrith Regional Gallery. A new administration building, gallery spaces, cafe and workshop areas were later added. But the beauty of the place is that most of the original features have largely been retained.
The Gallery Today
The Old Farmhouse is a solid beauty with 4 excellent exhibition rooms.
The gardens, maintained by a heritage gardener are probably still much as they were, carefully crafted by Margo to play with colour and texture and they are an excellent place to relax on a hot western Sydney day. You’ll discover many of Gerald’s sculptures dotted about, as well as two large Aboriginal carved rocks he rescued from an engineering job he worked on.
The Ancher House is a delightful example of Mid century Modern design. I love the hand coloured cork wall at the rear of the large living space and the paved terrace with a sunken garden.
The main exhibition space is a modern airy space that can be used in many ways. There are also smaller workshop spaces that are very well used by the active arts programs run by the gallery. The main art programs are a great mix of bigger touring shows and their own shows.
There is a very popular little Cafe, right in the main courtyard of the complex, which in fact makes it onto our Best Cafe’s in the Mountains list.
And it’s Free Entry to the Gallery!
The combination of all these factors makes this a hidden treasure in Penrith!
If I had one quibble about the place, it is that there is not a permanent small exhibition of Margo’s work. There are a few mosaic pieces, the cork wall in the Ancher House and a small mural in a cobweb filled display in an outside passage. I think she deserves more.
Gallery Open 9 – 5 Cafe Open 8 – 3.30
86 River Rd, Emu Plains
02 4735 1100
Norman Lindsay Gallery – Faulconbridge
The myth and legend of the famous Australian artist and author Norman Lindsay draws visitors to his fantastic house, studio and property from all over the world.
Situated in Faulconbridge, the property and gallery are well signposted and just a short 3km drive from the Highway turnoff.
The property is part of the National Trust and there is an entrance fee to visit.
$17 Adults, Concession $15 Open 10 – 4 every day except Christmas.
The main house contains an extensive collection of his work including many large oils, water colours and etchings. People are always fascinated by the ship models he built for relaxation and of course the “Magic Pudding” connections are everywhere. You can also peek into his Studio space, a re-creation of how it would have been back in the day.
The sandstone house itself, built in the mid 1890’s is splendid, with a wide shady veranda. But it hasn’t always looked like this.
Lindsay bought the property in 1912 and right up to his death there in 1969 was adding, changing, and renovating.
The surrounding gardens are also magnificent with plenty of his sculptures scattered around the formal gardens that then merge into the surrounding bush. It’s often used for weddings, wedding photography and other functions.
Note the dry stone wall at the front of the property. This became a very popular feature of many Blue Mountains properties and was built by the original owner, Francis Foy of the famous department store family. This wall is the oldest surviving example in the Blue Mountains.
There is a nice cafe located next door, Lindsay’s Cafe. It’s quite a popular spot, though on our last visit felt the new menu was a bit limited. (1 vegetarian option?) I believe it had just changed hands, I may go back to check it out again, it really is such a charming spot.
Note – you don’t need to pay an entrance fee just to visit the cafe.
As with the Lewer’s Gallery, this magic combination of Art, Architecture, Garden and History is perfect. It’s no wonder it rates so highly in Blue Mountains Tourist Attractions.
Open 10 – 4 every day except Christmas
14 Norman Lindsay Cres, Faulconbridge
(02) 4751 1067
Blue Mountains City Art Gallery
The Blue Mountains proudly proclaims itself as a City of the Arts so it’s important to have a significant Art Gallery to back this up. It does.
Presenting a mix of major touring exhibitions, it’s own curated programs and support of local artists, it’s one of the best Regional Galleries in Australia.
Each exhibition is also accompanied by a range of activities – such as workshops, artists talks etc.
The Gallery has a small giftshop and a cafe. The location right in the heart of Katoomba makes it easily accessible and there are plenty of other options for food around.
Note – It is situated on quite a steep hill. If you are coming from the top of Katoomba Street the access is pretty level, come into it right beside the famous Carrington Hotel, but it’s a bit of a haul if you are coming up from the bottom side. However there is a carpark and lift access, so check out the full details on their website if you have mobility issues.
There is a $5 Entry Fee to the Gallery for Adults, $3 Concessions and Children are free. This also gives you access to their permanent exhibition Into the Blue.
Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday + Sunday – 10am – 4pm
Public Holidays – 10am-2pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day).
The Gallery Café opens 9.30am Monday – Sunday.
Level 1 / 30 Parke St Katoomba
(02) 4780 5410
Braemar Gallery – Springwood
This is an arm of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, who also run the City Art Gallery, (details above.)
Run as a Community Gallery inside the Historic Braemar House on the main street of Springwood in the lower Mountains. It has monthly exhibitions featuring the work of local and regional artists.
This can include – Paintings, Photography, Prints, Sculpture and other forms.
It also gives you a chance to have a wander around a beautiful example of a Victorian building with a fascinating history dating back to 1892.
Thursday – Sunday | 10am – 4pm
104 Macquarie Road, Springwood, NSW 2777
NOTE – Blue Mountains Insider team member Lynda Hyde recently exhibited there. You can check out her artwork HERE
“Under the Influence of a Groove” – Lynda Hyde 2018
Blue Mountains Art Galleries – Dealer Galleries
Lost Bear Gallery – Katoomba
I really like this wonderful gallery in Lurline Street. Lurline is the main access route from the town down to the Three Sisters, so if you are passing by stop in for a look. You can’t miss it on the left heading towards the lookouts, watch out for the giant Polar Bear at the front!
The building is a beautiful example of an old Blue Mountains guest house and still retains some of the original features. Check out the charming leadlight around the front veranda. The multitude of rooms inside have been converted into exhibition spaces allowing a diverse mix of art to be displayed at the same time. There is also a small sculpture garden.
There are regularly changing featured exhibitions in the large central spaces, plus a good range of works from the artists they represent dotted around the smaller rooms.
As well as Paintings and Prints, they are strong on Ceramics, Glass and Sculptures.
We love the paintings of David Middlebrook especially his outback images and there are usually quite a few on display there. You should also check out Robin Collier’s evocative Blue Mountains scenes and works of the famous Blue Mountains Glass Artist Keith Rowe.
It’s open every day 10 -5
98 Lurline Street Katoomba
(02) 4782 1220
Anala Art Advisory – Glenbrook
Tucked away in Glenbrook is the small Anala Art Advisory. Despite it’s size, Anala packs a punch. Director Michael Powe has a great eye and wide connections in the art world.
Artists he promotes include Contemporary, Emerging and Aboriginal Artists, and as the name suggests they offer a range of art advisory services and advice for collectors. Artists featured are both Australian and International and if there was a theme running through the gallery it would be “Colour.”
We particularly love the brilliant Pop Art of Johnny Romeo and the large Kurt Herrmann hard-edge creations.
Opening times are just Friday- Sat- Sun. (I will confirm and update.)
6 Ross St, Glenbrook
NSW 2773, Australia
The Falls Gallery – Wentworth Falls
I haven’t been to this Gallery for some time, but know it has a great reputation, built over the last 20 years.
I love Printmaking and the Gallery is strong here with prints by some of Australia’s best. Garry Shead, Arthur Boyd, Wendy Sharpe, Bernard Ollis, Charles Blackman and John Olsen, to name just some.
The Directors of the gallery are Ian Smith, a potter, and Anne Smith, a painter and printmaker, so there is plenty of their own work on display as well.
A feature of the property is a magnificent one acre garden which you can also explore. (Charge to get in?)
It’s a nice example of an upper Blue Mountains formal garden and with the location near several walks and lookouts, it’s an ideal place to visit.
HOURS: 10 am – 5 pm Wednesday – Sunday & public holidays
161 Falls Road Wentworth Falls
Phone (02) 4757 1139
Day Fine Art Gallery – Blackheath
Located in Blackheath’s main street this gallery takes up an imposing corner position, it’s expansive windows always displaying some stunning pieces. This is a good thing to give you a taste of the gallery, because it is only open a few days a week. But it’s well worth the effort to make it there during opening hours or to browse their extensive website.
The gallery has a focus on both Contemporary and Colonial art, so it’s always a fascinating mix in its exhibition rooms.
There are the contemporary local Blue Mountains artists that they represent, a few nice pieces from both Lionel and Norman Lindsay, fascinating older Colonial works and they are strong on Australian Printmakers and have a range of work from Aboriginal artists.
Open Friday 11-4, Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 10 – 5
27-29 Govett’s Leap Road Blackheath
0404 930 120
Katoomba Art Precinct
Head down Katoomba Street and on the left just before Waratah Street you’ll come to four excellent galleries huddled together and a great collection of Street Art Murals just around the corner. What’s not to love.
I’ve listed them in order that you will find them coming down the hill.
Rex – Livingston Art + Objects
Located in a great, light and airy space, they represent a number of emerging artists and also feature work from some of Australia’s big names.
Last time I visited there was a stunning work by Australia’s most celebrated Surrelist painter James Gleeson just inside the door as well as a charming Ray Crooke island scene in the window.
The featured exhibition on my last visit was from local painter Jane Gooding-Brown which I really liked.
Open 10-5 every day (except Wed)
182-184 Katoomba St, Katoomba
02 4782 9988
Gallery One 88
This gallery complex is rapidly making a name for itself as a great supporter of Blue Mountains artists and it’s thought provoking featured exhibitions.
There are several exhibition spaces, innovative programs, studio space for hire and even a performing arts venue in the basement.
You’ll find featured exhibitions on the ground floor as well as Art Cards, Jewellery and smaller handcraft and then a big assortment of work upstairs.
Open Tue – Sunday 10 – 5
186/188 Katoomba St, Katoomba
(02) 4782 1900
Platform Gallery – Katoomba
If you a feeling overloaded with all the paintings you’ve been viewing you might then want to head to the nearby Platform Gallery, Australia’s first dedicated feminist art gallery. I think they used used to have a No Paintings policy, but I’m not quite sure how strictly that is enforced these days, but the main focus is certainly on exhibitions that pack a punch plus they have an excellent range of handcrafted jewelry etc.
Thursday – Monday: 10-5
194 Katoomba Street.
Little Fish Bad Dog – Katoomba
You’ll find this delightful space just before the corner and it is a wonderful treasure trove. It’s an offshoot of the Lost Bear Gallery (see above) but it’s Katoomba Street location gives it a slightly different focus to what’s on show here.
The shop has recently be rebranded and has had some excellent renovations, yet still retaining a nice “old Katoomba Street” feel.
Smaller paintings, prints, glass and fun sculptures plus affordable work from their main featured artists. You won’t be disappointed.
208 Katoomba Street
Street Art in Katoomba
Katoomba has a vibrant Street Art scene with many large murals and smaller creations that are well worth checking out if that’s your thing. The Cultural Centre has been working to create a Street Art Precinct and this can be found in Beverley Place, right behind the small gallery strip.
Head down Katoomba Street, turn left into Waratah and the left again into Beverley.
It’s not huge but what is there is very good.
1 Beverly Pl, Katoomba
Other Interesting Blue Mountain Galleries
Light and Shadow Fine Art Gallery – Leura
This new gallery in Leura has it’s main focus on Photography.
There is a permanent exhibition of the works of Max Dupain, arguably Australia’s most important photographer, plus exhibitions of other artists.
If you’ve never seen Max’s iconic work before you are in for a treat!
It’s behind the tourist packed main street. Head for the Woolworths Supermarket carpark and then look for Lily’s Pad Cafe. It’s next to that.
Open Wednesday to Sunday
2/19 Grose St, Leura
0425 300 568
Nolan on Lovel Katoomba/Leura
This interesting gallery is situated halfway between Leura and Katoomba on Lovel Street. Some interesting art & pottery from both the owners and invited artists. It also hosts music events.
Thursday – Sun 11 – 5
56A Lovel Street Katoomba
Steel Reid – Katoomba
Located in the historic “Cathkin Braes,” built in 1912 by a former Blue Mountains Mayor.
Features the work of Pennie Steel & Brian Reid plus their diverse collection of art. Full information on their website, but I believe it’s still by appointment only.
148 Lurline Street Katoomba
Atelier Gallery Space – Lawson
This might be the smallest Gallery Space listed in this article, but it’s a fun stop on your way up the hill.
Located in a great historic building, the Lyttleton Stores is in Badgerys Crescent Lawson.
Note – Badgery Cres is on the other side of the Railway tracks, away from the main block of shops in Lawson. Either drive across at the two access roads or park in Lawson and walk over there through the old tunnel. Access this at the corner near the War Memorial.
You’ll be fascinated by the produce and the craft available. It’s a great space to stock up if you’re heading for a picnic or want some treats in your BnB.
The Gallery Space occupies the front window and features a monthly artist. The work is always interesting and can range from Wearable Art, Paintings, Ceramics, Prints etc.
Gallery Opening nights are always fun and they currently hold a Artisan Dinner in conjunction with the opening which is delicious! (Dinner must be rebooked and seating is limited, but if you are staying in the area it is a great option.)
Lyttleton also run great workshops that can include art & craft as well as cooking & gardening.
Open every day.
1 Badgery Cres, Lawson
(02) 4759 3478
Gang Gang Gallery – Lithgow
This is a new Gallery and I have not been there at the time of writing this.
But it looks fantastic, I will make a visit soon.
206 Main Street, Lithgow
Blue Mountains Art Supplies
If you are a visiting artist and need supplies during your visit, there are a few options available.
The Artists Store – Katoomba
Situated in the main street of Katoomba this shop has an extensive range of supplies. You’ll find it on the right hand side of the main street heading down the hill.
155 Katoomba St, Katoomba
(02) 4782 2866
ArtsUp – Kingswood
This is not in the Blue Mountains itself but down on the plains at Kingswood near the University of Western Sydney, but it is quite a specialised art supply shop and has probably has the widest range available.
Both professional and student level equipment, paints, canvas etc and quite a good assortment of reference books.
7/98 Manning St, Kingswood
(02) 4736 5866
ColourArt – Springwood
Situated in Springwood’s main street this large bustling shop has a wide range of art and craft supplies aimed more at the hobbyist and student. But there is plenty there and the prices are reasonable, if they ever can be at an art supply shop.
2/147 Macquarie Rd, Springwood
(02) 4751 3777
There are also a number of Discount shops that have some art supplies, cheap canvases, etc most of the time.
Penrith, Springwood and Katoomba. (Check out our guide to the Best Blue Mountains Discount Shops … Coming Soon)
Websites, Resources & Arts Networks
An initiative of the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise (BMEE), a fantastic online directory of Creative Artists of all types in the Blue Mountains.
Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network or BMCAN
This is a thriving network of Visual Artists, with an online directory, exhibitions, events, The Arts Trail and much more.
Blue Mountains Radio Network
Check out the local Community Radio Station. They actually have a weekly Arts Show, some excellent programs and quite a bit of “What’s On” info.