City of Townsville Art Collection

The City of Townsville Art Collection is recognised as one of Australia’s finest regional collections of art, showcasing the cultural development and diversity of the art of North Queensland and the Townsville region.

There are just under 4,000 items in the City of Townsville Art Collection and about 270 items in the City of Townsville Art in Public Spaces Collection. The collections comprise works on paper, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photomedia/film, textiles, jewellery, artists’ books and mixed media.

The City of Townsville Art Collection offers compelling views, narratives and ideas of life in the tropics while revealing the individuals and forces which have shaped Townsville’s long and colourful history. Some of the works include a focus on Indigenous land, colonial settlement, Townsville port, World War II staging posts, and the modern military base and contemporary tropical city.

The multicultural collection touches Australian Indigenous, European, Melanesian and other world cultures and contains works that are contemporary as well as historic pieces. The major focus of the collection is on art from North Queensland and the Pacific, featuring artists like William Westall, Jakupo Ako and Ken Thaiday.

Some of the rich treasures that Council holds for present and future generations are on display in Council buildings and are often displayed in the Galleries’ collection exhibitions. Both individual and themed shows are exhibited at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery throughout the year.

The Galleries' strong connection to the community has had a positive impact on the development of the collection, shaped by many artists, collectors, supporters, councillors and gallery staff.

More than 55 per cent of the collection, or about 1500 works, have been donated by or purchased with funding assistance from corporate or private donors. These donors are often Townsville collectors looking for a permanent home for their artworks where each work can be appreciated, cared for and put on display for others to enjoy.

These donations are not limited to local artworks and include contemporary and historic Australian, Pacific, European and American art works, reflecting the multicultural Townsville community.

Artists have also donated their own and others’ work, such as the prominent Townsville-based Australian artist, Tate Adams. He has gifted about 250 high-quality works, including by artists like John Brack and George Baldessin. Because of this generosity of donors, Townsville City Council can be a leading regional collecting institution in Australia.

The collection is often called upon by other Australian institutions to support books and exhibitions and has been an important resource to support classroom study by university, TAFE and secondary school students in Townsville.

Townsville City Council’s Galleries continue to be a gathering place for all those seeking to share the beauty of this exciting collection of world art. The City of Townsville Art Collection is at the heart of Council’s efforts to engage, educate and enrich the diverse populations drawn to the Townsville region.