Life in Tasmania is a little bit different because you're never more than a short drive away from thundering natural surrounds. For example, It's just an hour drive from the bustling CBD of Hobart to the more remote stretches of the Huon River Valley. This connection to a wild planet Earth is what inspires many artists, and it's in these pristinely beautiful places where everything turns artisanal; from antiques and crafts to farms and food. And it is here, where everyone is a passionate and careful craftsman, where you'll find some of the world's most spirited art. Image thanks toTourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne.
Tasmania has gone through some economic twists and turns. Mining and forestry have given way to artists, craftsmen and makers. You'll find that many of the towns across the state are full of these local artisans. Towns like Burnie in the north and Geeveston in the south have reinvented themselves as enclaves for inspired artists.
But that doesn't mean you won't get a vibrant art scene in Tasmania's cities. Launceston has a wide variety of art galleries and boasts the Design Tasmania Wood Collection. Hobart has a thriving arts scene revolving around its MONA Art Museum. And you'll find a regional art gallery in Tasmania's northern port city of Devonport.
One of the best places in the country to experience the vibrancy of Australia's design is in the northern coastal town of Burnie. Here you'll find the Makers Workshop where a community of makers, artisans and craftsmen ply their trade. You can sign up to take a class to learn such skills as papermaking, glassblowing, sculpting and painting, or you can simply enjoy the arts centre, the local craftsmen and their wares. Image thanks to Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman.
Tasmania is home to Australia's largest craft fair which takes place in the small town of Deloraine every November. This week-long fair draws more than 20,000 visitors and features more than 200 craft makers selling locally made wares. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Pete Mattila.
The world's largest silk art display hangs in the town of Deloraine. Entitled Yarns Artwork in Silk, this massive display features 200 m² of silk. Different patches of silk created by more than 300 different artists have been quilted together to display life in the Meander Valley. It took over 1 million stitches and 10,000 hours to complete. And every 30 minutes it comes to life with a different visual audio display between the hours of 9:30 AM and 4 PM, seven days a week.
Tasmania's European history dates back to the early 1800's, so if you're trying to catch a glimpse of classical art from before that time period, you'll have to head to the MONA Museum in Hobart. But there are plenty of examples of art from the 1800's and there's no better way to experience this era than by attending the Glover Prize. An ode to 19th-century landscape artist John Glover, this competition features local artists annually competing for the best landscape. Their work hangs in an Evandale gallery every February before a winner is decided in March. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy.
You'll find art museums in Tasmania's largest cities. Devonport, Launceston and Hobart host a variety of art museums including Devonport's Local Gallery and Launceston's QVMAG Art Gallery. You'll also find many smaller galleries in artist towns like Burnie, Kettering and Geeveston.