Beaver Galleries is located in Deakin, only a stones throw from The Royal Australian Mint – an excellent location to experience both places in one visit. It is a beautiful setting to view different mediums of art by Australian artists, enjoy a coffee in their Café or catch some winter sun in their peaceful Sculpture Garden.
If, like me, you have driven through Deakin and wondered why there are red cups on the side of the road outside the gallery, they have been made by Australian sculpture Denese Oates. Her website states that she was inspired by "the make-do practice of propagating plants in reused containers, and the size of the work focuses on the futility of throwing away thousands of disposable coffee cups every day".
With such a distinctive name, "Beaver Galleries" (owned and run by Martin and Susie Beaver), it is the largest privately-owned gallery in Canberra. They actively promote Australian artists in their gallery and also overseas.
Beaver Galleries have two major exhibition areas which showcase artists work (which are all for sale) and they change regularly so you get to enjoy seeing a range of styles every time you go. When I visited the galleries they were showcasing the work of Belinda Fox and Alex Asch – two award winning artists who each have work in the National Gallery of Australia. There is also a Print room where you can buy or admire prints and a Sculpture Garden.
Their menu is seasonal, however at the time of writing they have items on their breakfast menu such as "Potato and spring onion rosti, smoked salmon, poached eggs and balsamic tomatoes" ($19), lunch menu ranging from "Caesar salad of cos lettuce, croutons, parmesan, prosciutto and dressing" ($16.90) to "Scallop and prawn pie with dill and lemon butter sauce" ($29.90) and dessert such as "Mango & lime cake (gluten free) with cream / ice cream" ($7.95 - $8.50).
They have a fresh pastry display, with everything made on site, so you can also just go in for a coffee and cake and enjoy the environment.
The Café is closed Mondays, and is open Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm, and 9am - 5pm on weekends.
If you are after a special present for an art lover, there is also a sophisticated gift shop as you leave the Café/Gallery to buy glass vases, sculptures and a range of artworks in all mediums.
If you appreciate art, or appreciate a good coffee, then this location is a lovely addition to your weekend. When you view "Beavers Galleries" from the front, set back behind the red cups and amongst Deakins medial centres and offices, you don't expect to walk inside to find a beautiful, artistic little oasis.