5 Joburg art galleries you need to visit

Private Property South Africa
Jackie Gray-Parker

Looking for something different to do in Jozi? Take a break from your routine and check out what Johannesburg’s art scene has to offer.

Tired of running around clinical, noisy shopping malls and ticking chores off your ‘to do’ list on the weekends? Now’s as good a time as any to take a break from the routine and check out what Johannesburg’s art scene has to offer. The following are just a few of the many amazing galleries scattered around Johannesburg worth checking out.

Roots Restaurant and Gallery

If you think you have to dress up and make an appointment just to appreciate fine works of art, think again. At Roots Restaurant and Gallery in Soweto, the atmosphere is relaxed, the arts and crafts on display are of a high caliber and you can enjoy some juicy chicken wings while soaking it all in. Roots has long been a creative hub and purveyor of delicious township soul food. All of the pieces on display are sourced from townships and artists across South Africa, many of whom have had their work incorporated into international collections. Best of all, you can combine a visit to Roots with a tour of Soweto.

You can find Roots on Mphuthi Street, Soweto. For further information, contact 011 930 3752.

Johannesburg Art Gallery

The Johannesburg Art Gallery or ‘JAG’ as it is often referred to is located at the heart of Johannesburg’s business district. Housed within a beautiful 100 year old building, it is the largest gallery of its kind on the sub-continent with over 9000 works of art, only 10% of which are ever on display in 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens. Pieces range from 15th century European paintings and artefacts to modern sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints and lacework. Pablo Picasso, Pierneef, Claude Monet, Gerard Sekoto, Walter Battiss, Auguste Rodin and William Kentridge are but a few of the notable artists whose work can be viewed.

The gallery is located at the corner of Klein and King George Streets and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free. Secure parking is available. For further details, contact 011 725 3130.

Kim Sacks Gallery

The Kim Sacks Gallery has long been an iconic Johannesburg landmark. Located at 153 Jan Smuts Avenue, this distinct commercial gallery was designed to mimic a “clay vessel” in which the gallery’s many unique items can be housed and displayed. The gallery specialises in contemporary South African and African jewellery, wood carvings, textiles, furniture, beadwork, ceramics and basketwork. Kim prides herself on delving into the backgrounds of the various traders and pieces she acquires and is passionate about unearthing new objects and materials which inspire. In other words, if you’re in the mood for an outing with a twist or are just looking for that unique conversation piece for your home, the Kim Sacks Gallery is the place to go.

For further information, contact 011 447 5804


Inspired by nature, this strikingly beautiful gallery was carefully constructed with a view to creating a unique architectural space where people can socialise, feel comfortable and be inspired. Specifically, the gallery was born “out of a love for Johannesburg” and is designed to pique the interest of people in the street while simultaneously connecting those viewing the artworks inside with the surrounding environment. The core focus of the gallery is to showcase important, contemporary works of art which it has achieved in style over the years. Installations regarding technology, archeology and musical events are also regularly held at CIRCA. What’s more is that the gallery lies within walking distance of a number of trendy shops, craft markets, hotels and eateries, making it the ideal venue to incorporate into a leisurely day out.

The gallery is located at 2 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank and is open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. For further details, contact 011 788 4805.


This independent gallery first took root in Newtown in 2005. In later years it moved to Braamfontein and has since taken up residence in Parkhurst. Since inception the gallery has endeavoured to be a “polyphonic platform for African contemporary expressions” and has showcased contemporary artists from around Africa, the Indian ocean and the Caribbean. Over the years Afronova has played host to numerous live performances, book launches, readings, fashion shows, screenings and numerous artist residencies through which new insights are shared. The gallery examines various topics, asks sometimes uncomfortable questions about what ties us all together and prides itself on being a “vehicle” for aesthetics, debates, transformation, circulating artists and practices.

Viewing by appointment. Contact 083 726 5906 for further details.

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