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GO ARt Galleries In Bristol

Art Galleries in Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery [map] on Queen’s Road is probably the best place to begin your art discovery in this area.

Situated in a beautiful Edwardian Baroque building, this museum is not only a fascinating example of architecture, it also houses some of the best historical collections and art exhibitions in Bristol. Downstairs is the museum, whilst stepping up the exquisite marble staircase leads you right into the main art gallery where you’ll be able to find old masters, French School, British collections, modern art and the Bristol School.

Bristol is also home to the impressive Royal West of England Academy [map] (RWA) which is located at Clifton. The RWA is one of only five Royal Academies of Art in the UK, and has an outstanding reputation for embracing and supporting artists from across the world. Exhibitions have been held here since 1844 and thousands of prominent artists have showcased here. You never know what you’ll see next at the RWA and it’s certainly worth a visit.

For something completely different head to The Ginger Gallery [map] on Hotwell Road, which is a very contemporary gallery offering an eclectic mix of exhibitions, but mainly focusing on sculpture, jewellery and ceramics.

The Saha Gallery [map] on Waterloo Street also offers something a little usual, and is a fashionable place to pick up exotic art. Saha is also Clifton’s food emporium so if you get hungry whilst searching for an inspiring photograph, you can take advantage of the Mediterranean restaurant or purchase some ingredients of your own at the Spice Shop.

If you're looking for a new perspective on art then head to the Off-Centre Art Gallery [map] in Bedminster, which concentrates on art on paper. Leave the canvas at home and see what the humble piece of paper has done for the art scene. With international art from every corner of the world, including Japan, China and India, you’ll find some stunning examples of modern art here.

If it’s all about design for you try The Guild [map] on Park Street. This independent gallery dates back to 1908 when it was first used to sell handcrafted artefacts. Today The Guild sells thousands of interesting and unusual gifts and home accessories, all with design in mind. So if you want to pick up an unusual painting or even a strange set of cutlery this is the place to shop.

As well as discovering art in dedicated galleries you'll find that art tends to crop up in the most unlikely places in Bristol. One minute you can be sat having an early morning cup of coffee and looking out over the docks, and the next moment you could be staring right into the eyes of an 108 year old native American, or directly into the bowels of the Cheddar Gorge because Bristol cafés simply don’t do wood chip wallpaper and prefer to use the work of some of the best modern artists and photographers in the area to adorn the walls.

Places like Severnshed [map], The Grove, Harbourside, and the Tobacco Factory Café/Bar [map] on Raleigh Road, are prime examples. Not only can you be seen at the hottest addresses in town, you can also enjoy your own private photography show as well as being able to purchase the latest instalment from up-and-coming talent.

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