Arts and Culture

The art of gallery hopping: A guide to First Thursdays in Rosebank

Nov 5, 2019, Author: Hello Joburg

First Thursdays in Rosebank are truly special social events in Jozi defined by amazing art and entertainment as well as (most importantly) an unforgettable vibe. But there’s often so much going on at that they can be a little daunting for a newbie, so we’ve rounded up everything you need to know to have the ultimate First Thursdays experience. 


Set off at sunset

Everard Read and CIRCRA art galleries are two unmissable stops when exploring Rosebank on First Thursdays. Just keep in mind that they both close at 18h00, so we suggest you visit them first. CIRCA has a gorgeous spiral ramp that winds up the side of the building, offering the perfect backdrop for a selfie or outfit snap. The ramp leads to an indoor gallery space and out onto a mesmerising rooftop deck with unparalleled views of Rosebank, making it a spectacular place to watch the sunset. 


Go wide 

Next, it’s time to take a trip a little further afield and visit art galleries on the outskirts of Rosebank. We highly recommend checking out Lizamore & Associates on Jan Smuts Avenue as well as Gallery 2 just down the road. It’s worth noting that some galleries aren’t open on First Thursdays, but they will be if they have an exhibition opening, which often happens on – yup, you guessed it – the first Thursday of the month. So, make sure to find out what exhibition launches are happening before you go.   


The key(e) to it all 

Keyes Art Mile is undeniably the hub of First Thursdays in Rosebank. They even have their own First Thursdays event dubbed ‘First Thursday at Keyes’. The first 600 tickets are free and thereafter the tickets aren’t too pricey. The main event takes place on Keyes Avenue, which is closed off to traffic for the evening to create a street market that has live music, food trucks and pop-up galleries. The Trumpet building is home to art galleries such as SMAC and TMRW, both of which always participate in First Thursdays. We insist you take a look at TMRW Gallery – this futuristic space makes use of technology like VR to create exhibitions that are nothing short of incredible.  

Eat your art out! 

Food is arguably the most important part of any good event, and there’s definitely no shortage of it on First Thursdays. Indulge in delicious Mexican food from Picassos Mexican Taqueria food truck or grab a slice of the best wood-fired pizza ever from the Brohemian. If street food isn’t your style, the surrounding area has a plethora of great restaurants. Stop off for a mighty at BGR or head upstairs to Momo Kuro for a selection of Asian fusion tapas that are ideal for sharing with a group of friends. Then end things off on a sweet note with an ice cream sandwich made with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream from Marble.  

To drive or not to drive? 

Keyes Art Mile has a designated parking lot that’s open on First Thursdays, but it can get pretty full. For this reason, we suggest taking an Uber rather than driving – especially if you’re planning on taking full advantage of the free wine on offer at exhibition openings! 

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