Arts on Main

With a mix of artists’ studios, galleries, retail spaces and dining, this innovative cultural center aims to unite the artistic and creative minds of Johannesburg. 

Arts on Main is a contemporary cultural space where the creative people of Johannesburg meet to share and develop ideas. Come here to browse an art exhibition, shop for boutique handicrafts, sample innovative food and drink or enjoy live music performances. Opened in 2009 in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct, Arts on Main is housed in a converted warehouse that was previously a liquor store.

While here, visit some of South Africa’s most revered contemporary art galleries. These celebrate well-known and up-and-coming national artists, including David Krut, Kim Lieberman and William Kentridge. 

Tour the Goodman Gallery to see a showcase of African art. View the photography displays at Bailey’s African History Archives. Look for a variety of sculpture displays as you wander between the galleries.

Purchase one-of-a-kind art pieces from the galleries and studios. Some shops sell home decorations, books and fashion items. Relax in the café shaded by olive and lemon trees. Sample biltong, a traditional Southern African snack of dried and cured meat often produced using beef, game or ostrich. Sample the craft beers and attend brewing seminars at the Smack Republic microbrewery. 

Visit on a Sunday when artisans from the Gauteng province come to sell their food and handicrafts at the Market on Main. An additional market takes place on the first Thursday evening of each month, except January. Other events include August’s Maboneng Art Week, poetry readings, movie screenings and live music.

Located in the urban Maboneng Precinct, Arts on Main is just a 5-minute drive from downtown Johannesburg. The most convenient way to get here is via taxi or rented car. Secure parking is available on the streets surrounding the venue.

Arts on Main is open from Tuesday to Sunday and admission is free. Find the opening hours of the individual shops and galleries plus a schedule of events on the center’s official website.

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