History of the Gallery

Cairns Art Gallery (formerly Cairns Regional Gallery) officially opened on 15 July 1995 as a not-for-profit company managed by a Board of Directors.

The dream of a public art gallery for Cairns began to take shape in 1979 and over the next sixteen years it took a shared passion and vision for the future, as well as the tenacious commitment of Cairns Mayors, Councillors, State Ministers, artists and members of the community to raise over $2 million to repurpose the heritage listed Public Curators Building into an award-winning gallery.

The Cairns Art Gallery is now one of Australia’s leading public galleries recognised for the excellence of it's programs and collections relating to the unique heritage and living culture of North Queensland in the context of the world’s tropic zone and the Asia Pacific region.

We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Cairns Art Gallery is situated.



The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.