Johannesburg's Arts on Main is breathing new life into the city centre and is an important feature on the South African arts and crafts landscape. This inner city development provides a stimulating space for artists from many disciplines, including film, literature and contemporary art, to create and sell their work.

Did you know?

Arts on Main is actually five connected warehouses spanning 4 500m².

The Arts on Main development is as much about paying homage to Johannesburg's history as it is a vote of confidence in the future of the city and its vibrant community of artists. As a multi-discipline arts centre, it combines studio, commercial, residential and retail spaces in a renovated warehouse that was originally built in 1911.

Before the building’s conversion into the creative and innovative space it is now, Arts on Main was a bonded liquor store that was later used by a construction company. During its renovation, the basic structures of the warehouses were preserved and almost all the original industrial features, such as the double volume ceilings, concrete floors and over-sized windows, have been retained.

Today, the development houses a collection of some of the best South African contemporary art galleries, including the Goodman Gallery and the Seippel Gallery. Local modern art icons such as William Kentridge, David Krut and Kim Lieberman, among others, have studios at Arts on Main.

It is also home to a number of interesting organisations. Bailey's African History Archives, which holds more than 40 years' of South African photographic history, is located at Arts on Main. It also hosts the Nirox Foundation, which promotes African arts and crafts, and the Jozi Art Lab, which supports innovation and collaboration between artists across all disciplines. You can also find David Krut Publishing and the Goethe Institute at this art centre, along with Artright, which offers South African artists business and legal education.

There's also a small collection of stores selling South African fashion, decor, books and art supplies. In addition to its commercial spaces, Arts on Main has a number of event areas. These regularly feature projects such as exhibitions, installations, dance, music and poetry performances, book readings, film screenings and lectures.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Arts on Main
Tel: +27 (0)11 334 1054
Email: artsonmain@gmail.com

How to get here

Arts on Main is at 264 Fox Street in the Johannesburg CBD. Note that Arts on Main is also on the Rea Vaya public transport route and is well-served by taxis.

Best time to visit

Arts on Main is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. On Thursdays it stays open until 8pm.

What will it cost

Entrance to Arts on Main is free.

What to eat

The Canteen is a popular restaurant at Arts on Main. On Sunday mornings there is also a market with a plethora of food and drink stalls.

What's happening

Arts on Main has permanent exhibitions and regularly hosts new events. Visit their website for the latest events schedule.

Best buys

South African clothing from Luv Jozi and Black Coffee, both at Arts on Main, is good value for money.