Visiting Belfast? Whether it’s for the cheap shopping or countless attractions, Belfast has something for everyone. And if fine art and paintings is your fancy, Belfast has plenty of top art galleries that you can browse through at your leisure.
These are our “‘Top 7 Art Galleries in Belfast”:
The Mullan Gallery…
Located on the Lisburn Road, the Mullan Gallery is a wonderful place to drop in and visit. It’s known for its promotion and support of local artists.
Featuring mainly Irish art, the gallery has great interest in sculpture work by Irish artists, and especially sculpture created in Bronze. This interest in reflected in the annual St.Patricks Day Bronze Sculpture Exhibition.
Already this year, the gallery has featured solo exhibitions by Irish artists such as Pauline Bewick, Lisa Ballard, Cheryl Brown, Martin Gale, Dennis Hollinger and Padraig Macmiadhachain as well as many more.
The Gallery is located at a terrace block on the Lisburn Road in South Belfast, on the ground floor of number 239 to be precise. To get here take the A1 from Donegall Place to Lisburn Road. The gallery very near the intersection of the Lisburn Road and Malone Avenue. You’ll find parking easily along the Lisburn Road as well as on nearby side streets. If you’re depending on public transport take the number 9 bus.
Opening times are from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 5.30pm.
Ormeau Baths Gallery…
The Ormeau Baths Gallery is renowned as being the prime contemporary art gallery in Belfast – admission is free of charge! The gallery opening hours are 10am to 5.30pm, from Tuesday to Saturday.
Inside you’ll find four large exhibit areas featuring a diverse selection of arts and crafts. It hosts a popular Saturday Education Programme for budding artists along with plenty of exhibitions throughout the year
At the moment there’s an exhibition by Scotsman Roderick Buchanan, which will run until the end of January. The next major exhibition at the Ormeau Gallery entitled “Simbodies and Nobodies” features the scientific art and sculpture of Christine Borland.
To get here, take the A1 from Donegall Place and turn left at Bedford Street. The Ormeau Baths Gallery is located at 18A Ormeau Avenue, Belfast and it’s only a 5 – 10 minute walk from the Ulsterbus Station on Great Victoria Street.
Emer Gallery houses possibly over 700 paintings, from the bizarre to the contemporary, still life’s, figurines and beautiful landscape portraits. It features exhibitions from artists including Jimmy Bingham, Comhghall Casey and Noel Murphy.
During the year the exhibition themes range from wildlife, to Irish Culture as well as urban location themes. The gallery is located on the Antrim Road, close to Belfast Castle and Cavehill, on route to Belfast Zoo.
It’s easy enough to get here. From the M1 take the West Link Road, and follow the signs for Belfast Zoo. Past the junction of the Antrim and Cavehill Roads, the Emer Gallery is located on the right hand side close to the Police Station, and opposite the Maxol Station.
By public transport take any number 1 bus (1A – 1G) from the city centre.
The gallery is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm.
The Naughton Gallery…
Located in the Lanyon Building of Queen’s University, the Naughton Gallery is well worth a visit. Named after its patrons and founders, the Naughton family, the gallery is home to the wonderful art collection of the university from paintings, sculpture, metal and silverworks that have been kept in pristine condition since the University first opened over 160 years ago.
Being a registered museum, the Naughton Gallery hosts up to around six exhibitions a year. The current exhibition is the Davy Portrait Awards, which is sponsored by the financial group Davy Stockbrokers. This exhibition runs until the end of January 2009.
Opening times for the Gallery are 11am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
The Gallery is located on University Road, and the best way to get here is to go west on the A1 to get to Donegall Place. Take a left at Bedford Street, keep on the A1 and veer left at Elmwood Avenue and follow the signs for Queens University. There’s ample car parking here so no worries about parking.
To get here by public transport take the 256.
James Wray & Co…
The James Wray & Co. Gallery is located just a few minutes walk from Belfast City Hall, just off Bedford Street, at 14-16 James Street South. The James Street South restaurant is directly opposite so you can’t miss it! Just head along the A1 from Donegall Place, turn left at Bedford Street.
Inside the gallery has wonderful artwork and scuplture by artists of the past century, and features the work of artists such as William Scott, Paul Kenkins, Barbara Rea and Louis Le Broquy.
The opening times of the Gallery are as follows: Monday – Wednesday and Friday 11am – 5.30pm, Thursday 11am – 8.30pm, and Saturday 10am-5pm.
The Golden Thread Gallery…
The Golden Thread Gallery is located in the Cathedral Quarter at 84-94 Great Patrick Street. It’s actually on the ground floor of a firm of architects, Robinson and McIlwaine, close to Tomb Street. Patrick Street is on the A2, so from the city centre take the A20 Chichester Street, and then onto the A24 Victoria Street.
The gallery has a wonderful arts area, with plenty of paintings and books relating to fine art, and there are plans for a café to be located there in the future.
The gallery is open from 11am to 5pm Monday to Friday, on Saturdays from 1-4pm and is closed on Sundays. Recent exhibitions include the “Shout in the Street”.
The Ulster Museum…
Regarded by many as the top visitor attraction in Belfast City, the Ulster Museum is closed at present due to a major renovation project. This £12 million investment programme will regenerate one of the most important cultural focal points on the Island of Ireland. It’s scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2009.
The art collection at the museum is huge and varied, and ranges from fine art by Irish and International painters to archaeological finds, photographs depicting Northern Irish history and pictures relating to the flora and fauna of Northern Ireland.
It’s located on Stranmillis Road, and to get here take the Citybus 69. If you’re travelling from the city centre by car, veer east on the A1 to reach Donegall Place. Take two right turns to stay on the A1 and then turn left at Bedford Street and stay on the University Road (B23). After 2 quick lefts, the Stranmillis Road is on the right.
So there you have it – what we recommend as the 7 art galleries in Belfast. If you’re planning a trip to Belfast, and checking out art galleries is part of your itinerary, you’ll surely want somewhere to stay. Take a look at our selection of hotels in Belfast.
As always we’d love to hear from you if you’ve any comments.