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From national to privately-owned, from small and intimate to large spaces, from traditional to contemporary art exhibits, in Tirana you will find the right gallery for you.
Allotting some time to art on a visit to any city is always a good idea! As luck would have it, Tirana is full of great art galleries! Similar to other capitals of the world, Tirana has its main national gallery as well as many smaller intimate spaces with have regular exhibits of more contemporary works. Constantly updated on new and upcoming artists, these small galleries offer a more dynamic reflection of modernist and post-modernist art in Albania. Below, we present the top places to visit!
The National Art Gallery in Tirana is a must-see for any art enthusiast! Situated along the capital’s main boulevard, it holds some of the most important works of Albanian art. Founded after WWII, the National Gallery shows valuable works depicting Albania’s tumultuous history, along with the country’s societal and cultural upheavals. Much of this art is centered around the Communist era. In fact, the most fascinating floor is the one dedicated to art from the Socialist Realism period. The gallery and its great library are open to the public every day of the week, Monday-Sunday, 9AM -7PM. Tickets are fairly cheap with discounts available for students, the elderly and disabled.
Zeta Center is yet another space of modern visual art. Located in the heart of Blloku, the gallery exhibits many established Albanian artists and international up-and-coming artists-in-residence. Now a well-known art establishment in Tirana, the gallery has held hundreds of traditional and multimedia exhibits including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, installations, music and video art. An independent space, Zeta offers a balanced and comprehensive overview of Albanian art. Visiting hours are Monday to Friday, 11AM-6PM and Saturday, 11AM-2PM.
The Fine Arts Building (FAB) Gallery is part of the University of Arts in Tirana. As such, this space promotes the works of the art academy’s most talented students. However, the gallery includes many contemporary international exhibitions, as well, in its wonderful space near Mother Teresa Square. Because it is located near the entrance to the Grand Park of Tirana, you can enjoy a stroll by the lake after your visit. FAB is open daily throughout the academic year from 10AM to 5PM.
This very small space is solely dedicated to contemporary art. This contemporary space exhibits a nice selection of new and upcoming artists and oftentimes serves as a living space for international artists-in-residence. Overcoming the more conservative nature of larger galleries and museums, Tirana Art Lab offers a new and fresh perspective that is not found elsewhere in Tirana. Located behind the post office near Wilson Square, the gallery is open on Wednesday-Saturday, 4-8PM during exhibitions.
Situated across from FAB Gallery, this two-story space is a gallery with a personal touch. While Kalo Gallery does, at times, exhibit famous artists, its main focus is promoting emerging artists and contemporary art. Its collection includes Albanian and international artists as well as Socialist Realism artists. With regular exhibitions of mostly paintings and photography, this gallery offers yet another interesting take on art that is unlike any of the other galleries in town. Located by the other side of the Grand Park, you will find plenty of cafes around to sit and discuss the exhibits.
Created a little more than a decade ago, Mezuraj Museum is a small space of big ambitions. It includes an extensive archeological exhibition, among many other works. Located only a few meters away from Skanderbeg Square, in Kavaja Street, this unique space is easy to find while letting you wander around one of the cutest streets of the capital. If you find yourself in the area, it is worth stopping by to take a look at the nice collection of paintings, sculptures and more. Visiting hours are Monday – Saturday, 9AM – 6PM, including holidays.
Recently opened in 2018, Bazament Art Space is a new space dedicated to contemporary art. As its name (“mount” or “pedestal”) suggests, Bazament aims to create a new stage that supports contemporary art. Exhibits, talks, and collaborations among various artists are some ways in which this space shares contemporary art with the contemporary art-loving public. Located in the heart of the capital, in the Blloku quarter, Bazament is open Monday to Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Located inside the Albanian Prime Minister’s Office, COD is anything but common. The entire first floor of this building is dedicated to unique exhibitions, with art being seamlessly exhibited in hallways and various rooms along the way. As you walk through here, you will get a chance to see people working independently in many of modern workrooms, available to the public free of charge. Lately, COD exhibited some of Marc Chagall’s drawings and Michel Setboun’s impressive photography. So, if you see its doors open as you walk along the main boulevard, do not hesitate to take a peek inside.
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