The Art Galleries and Studios to Look Out for in Samoa
Samoa might seem like all waterfalls and beaches, but those looking to feel inspired and enriched will want to scout out the islands’ art galleries. From impressive fales to humble studios, there’s a wide range of venues and vibes showcasing Samoa’s traditional handicrafts to contemporary paintings.
So, whether you’re looking to inspire yourself, come away with unique Samoan souvenirs, something free to do, or simply get out of the heat or rain, these art galleries in Samoa will surely fit nicely into your vacation picture.
1. EFKS Museum
A must for art enthusiasts, the EFKS Museum boasts a large glass-walled fale packed with the creations of the talented students of the School of Fine Arts. There is a range of contemporary carvings, sculptures, paintings and more to admire or even purchase should you feel moved enough. Don’t leave the grounds after you’ve finished perusing the art gallery too quickly, as the open-air walkways around the lake outside provide a tranquil setting to explore.
Opening hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday or call ahead on Saturday.
Location: Malua (signposted next to the Malua Theological College) along Main West Coast Road on the northwest coast of Upolu.
2. Tiapapata Art Centre
After having a quick look inside the Baha’i Temple next door, call into the Tiapapata Art Centre with always something interesting to see. The attraction has an ever-changing line-up of art exhibitions following a theme with creations from local artists. The art centre also hosts regular evening events like documentary and arthouse film screenings, as well as astronomy nights complete with telescopes. Try their vegan cuisine at the cafe too – find out more in our guide, Samoa for Vegans & Vegetarians and learn more about stargazing in The Best Spots for Stargazing in Samoa.
Opening hours: From 9 am, Tuesday to Sunday.
Location: Malololelei village along the Cross Island Road, approximately 8 km (5 mi) south of Apia (just past the Baha’i Temple).
3. The Vanya Taule’alo Gallery
When she’s not adding a splash of colour to the SWAG Market (Samoa Women’s Association of Growers) on a Saturday in Central Apia, Vanya Taule’alo showcases her work at The Vanya Taule’alo Gallery in Taumeasina. Not just the artist’s gallery but also displaying works from selected artists from across Samoa and the Pacific, the neat gallery boasts gorgeous Pacific jewellery, artwork and handcrafted carvings, woven goods and siapo (tapa). We love her bags woven with recycled materials.
Opening hours: 8 am to 3 pm, Monday to Saturday.
Location: Taumeasina Road, east side of Apia.
4. Manamea Art Studio
A team of six artists showcasing contemporary Samoan art, Manamea Art Studio is well worth a quick venture. Not only are they tattoo artists, but they also design custom carvings should you want to come away from Samoa with something special. They also have a number of contemporary paintings on display at their gallery should you want something to peruse.
Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Thursday and 10 am to 3 pm on Friday.
Location: Vaitele Street, Vaigaga, west side of Apia.
5. The Museum of Samoa, Falemata’aga
Primarily a museum, The Museum of Samoa, Falemata’aga also has a tiny art gallery to complement its historical exhibitions. A couple of historical art collections are on display in the same gallery, starting with the Dorothea Heimrod exhibition, an interesting collection of photographs from the daughter of an American Consul for Samoa taken in 1903. There’s also the Joseph Churchward exhibition in collaboration with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa showcasing the typography art of the Samoan-born New Zealand artist. For more about the museum and others, take a look at the 5 Best Museums in Samoa.
Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday.
Location: Vaitele Street (look out for the large mural on the building), Apia.
More About Art Galleries in Samoa
That’s it for our guide to the best art galleries in Samoa. If you like museums, you might also like the attractions listed in the following articles:
- The Guide to Shopping in Samoa + The Best Places to Shop
- 8 Best Markets in Samoa
- 20 Things to Do in Samoa on a Rainy Day
Finally, make sure you don’t miss a thing with the 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa: The Ultimate List.