Art is important—ask nearly any passerby if they agree, and you’ll probably find that they do. But ask them why—ask them what makes art so necessary to us humans and when they last made time to experience any for themselves, and the answers get a little more complicated. While it’s true that art can be found anywhere, it’s also true that art can feel pretty inaccessible to a lot of people. What counts as art? How should people interact with it? How should they even find it? Fortunately, you don’t have to have all the answers to introduce new forms of art into your life—especially when you start by going to these museums in Charlotte and art galleries in Charlotte NC.
Best Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
Providence Gallery – Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
This local gallery might be smaller than others in the city, but don’t let its size fool you. For more than 40 years, the Providence Gallery has taken pride in being a well-known name among the galleries in Charlotte NC. The gallery owners have housed collections from a wide range of artists, including painters like Luz Aveleyra and Lisa Bartell. They work hard to maintain their accessibility and are always ready to speak to newcomers who are interested in developing a discerning eye. Plus, the gallery even offers custom framing services, so visitors can bring their own art to be properly fitted in a stunning frame.
Hot Glass Alley
Located in NoDa, Hot Glass Alley is Charlotte’s first glass-blowing art shop. The gallery is home to three experienced gaffers who commission all different types of vases, light fixtures, and installations. The gallery is open to the public for glass-blowing classes, or you can book your next private event.
The Discovery Place
Discovery Place, a private not-for-profit education organization based in the Carolinas, has four museums in three cities, but the original is in Uptown Charlotte. It was opened in 1946 by a teacher named Laura Owens: Since then, the museum has undergone several location changes and major renovations, but its mission is still the same. The museum remains dedicated to inspiring and educating students and teachers through STEM. You can visit Discovery Place at any of its four locations, including Discovery Place Science in Uptown, Discovery Place Nature in Freedom Park, and Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville and Rockingham, N.C. It’s a great place to spend a day learning about science while also having a lot of fun.
Harvey B. Gantt Center
Named after Charlotte’s first African-American mayor, the Harvey B. Gantt Center exemplifies the type of cultural consciousness Charlotte can enjoy when people come together. The center has held numerous exhibitions from renowned artists, including Russel Craig and Deana Lawson. It’s also become a safe place dedicated to opening a dialogue around the many injustices plaguing African-Americans and people of color. Visitors can find breathtaking art inside its gallery walls, as well as an abundance of resources for further learning.
Art House Charlotte
Judith Weston Zehmke started Art House Charlotte in 2009, and it has been one of the top galleries in Charlotte NC since. At the start she wanted to mix her love of art with her outgoing nature. Now home to many local artists of different mediums, Art House Charlotte provides original and affordable artwork for its clients.
The Levine Museum of the New South is a history museum showcasing the everchanging Queen City. The museum has a variety of exhibits, from Charlotte post-Civil War to confronting social issues Charlotte faces today.
Anne Neilson Fine Art – Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
Anne Neilson Fine Art displays more than fifty different kinds of artists from all over the world. The gallery showcases art of all mediums and styles with a mission to help nonprofit organizations all over the world through donating a portion of its fine art sales. Open Tuesday through Saturday, Anne Neilson is a fresh, eclectic art gallery that illuminates Charlotte.
Jerald Melberg – Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
Jerald Melberg is a fine art gallery that exhibits art chosen with the utmost care. The gallery seeks to display art that is “visually poetic and transcends the everyday.” Jerald Melberg himself has been involved in fine art for over forty years, previously as curator at the Mint Museum. His gallery offers rotating themed exhibitions that can last around one to four months.
Van Every/Smith Galleries
The William H. Van Every and Edward M. Smith Galleries, also known as the Van Every/Smith Galleries, is curated and operated by Davidson College. These galleries feature both rotating and permanent collections with a wide range of pieces. Guests can see art made over 500 years ago, as well as art made from students currently attending the college. Because of Davidson College’s dedication to the surrounding community, these galleries are excellent places to learn a little more about a variety of artistic creations.
Known as one of the finest contemporary art providers in the Southeast, Shain Gallery offers colorful and modern art. The fine art gallery is located in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte and showcases acclaimed artists from all over. Offering an annual schedule of exhibitions, Shain Gallery is also open Monday through Sunday to view art at your preference.
Elder Gallery – Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
Elder Gallery is a contemporary art gallery aiming to connect Charlotteans through the experience of art. Representing a booming variety of artists, Elder Gallery mainly displays fine glass art and paintings. Different exhibits showcase different human experiences. Open to the public each Friday and Saturday, Elder Gallery is a great place to appreciate and experience one-of-a-kind art and has been one of the top galleries in Charlotte NC for as long as we can remember.
North Carolina’s very first art museum, The Mint has one of the largest collections of art in the greater Southeast. The museum offers two locations in Uptown and Randolph showcasing collections of American, Contemporary, and European art. The museum offers events for all ages making it a family friendly environment. Offering a variety of different exhibits every year, The Mint Museum is rightfully one of the most respected museums in Charlotte.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is a unique and elegant museum exhibiting work from the mid-20th century. The museum specializes in displaying work from prestigious artists such as Picasso and Warhol. The gorgeous museum has some of the most sought-after art in Charlotte.
Sozo Gallery – Galleries in Charlotte NC
Sozo Gallery is one of the premiere contemporary galleries in Charlotte NC. It is located in Plaza Midwood that specializes in inspiring soulful connections. Sozo brings art from local, national, and international artists to the Charlotte area. Rotating art every 4 to 6 weeks, there is always something new going on at Sozo. The space is open every week from Tuesday to Saturday.
Picture House Gallery – Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
Near Uptown, Picture House brings over 40 years of expertise, making it one of Charlotte’s original resources for major collectors and institutions. The gallery showcases styles ranging from traditional to abstract, and their eclectic collection features oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, and a variety of sculptures by nationally and internationally recognized artists. Owner Bob Griffin and his team also offer appraisals, placement, custom framing, and restoration services to meet their clients’ every art need.
The Light Factory
When it comes to photographers, this is one of the top galleries in Charlotte NC. Located in the Visual and Performing Arts Center, about a mile from Uptown, is The Light Factory. The Light Factory exhibits the art of photography and showcases many artists, from world-renowned photographers to local Charlotte photographers. With the exhibits changing constantly, you’re bound to see something new during your visit to The Light Factory.
Charlotte Art League
The Charlotte Art League is a non-profit organization offering classes, studio space and events to the locals, along with a gallery. Located in NoDa, the Charlotte Art League strives to be accessible to every art lover, regardless of age, background or experience level.
Met Contemporary Artist Studio – Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
Met Contemporary Art Studio is home to Foozhan Kashkooli, a multidisciplinary artist. Kashkooli has worked with many mediums such as paint, photography, metal sculpture, and installation. Book an appointment to view Foozhan Kashkooli’s gallery today.
Hidell Brooks Gallery – Art Galleries In Charlotte NC
Hidell Brooks Gallery, one of our staple galleries in Charlotte NC, is located at The Steelyard in South end. It is owned and operated by Katherine Hidell Thomas and Rebecca Brooks. The gallery showcases contemporary work of well-established and solidly-emerging American artists.
The Charlotte Museum of History
The Charlotte Museum of History is a nonprofit museum that aims to share and preserve Charlotte’s eccentric history. Located in East Charlotte, the museum also showcases the Hezekiah Alexander House, which is the oldest house in Mecklenburg County. Open to the public only one Saturday a month, the Charlotte Museum of History is a must-see for Charlotte natives.
Rock Hill Artist Collective
Another community-focused group is the Rock Hill Artists Collective. This organization features multiple self-employed artists who all come together to support each other and produce new work, including items like clothing and jewelry. The collective sponsors and promotes events all throughout Charlotte, but also has a permanent space where they display their own art and even hold some classes.
Arts Council of York County
The Arts Council of York County is responsible for bringing artists and art events to the area as often as possible. The council oversees multiple galleries and exhibitions, including those in the Center for the Arts, the Tom S. Gettys Center, and in Rock Hill’s City Hall. Community members can see what local artists are producing and even take classes to hone their own skills. Plus, those in the area can find just as many events for the musical arts as the visual ones.
Ackland Art Museum
Ackland Art Museum was founded by William Hayes Ackland: His goal was to establish a museum that would expose those in the Southeast to influential artwork. Located in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this museum contains a wide range of international artwork, from influential European and American pieces to Japanese objects. Open Wednesday to Sunday, Ackland Art Museum is a fantastic option for fans of artwork from all over the world.
The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art
Located in Winston-Salem, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art houses gorgeous contemporary art focused on human expression. Exhibitions are centered around the Southeastern states, but also include other American contemporary artists. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art also offers performances, educational programs, social programs, and more. You can stop by from Wednesday to Sunday.
Gallery C, located in Raleigh, has a wide range of artwork, including Haitian art, folk art, North Carolina art, and much more. Gallery C works to exhibit influential artwork for private collectors, museums, and corporations. It is located in the Russ-Edwards House, built by William Marcellus Russ, who served as Mayor of Raleigh from 1895 to 1898. Gallery C is open from Tuesday to Saturday if you’re looking to check out its distinctive collection.
Weatherspoon Art Museum
Weatherspoon Art Museum holds one of the best and biggest collections of modern and contemporary art in the Southeast. Located at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, it is open to everyone and presents not only student work, but professional work as well. You can stop by and experience their many exhibitions, or partake in their many other programs, including lectures, panel discussions, social events, and more.
Asheville Art Museum
The Asheville Art Museum has a rich history and is a great place to visit for artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries. You can check out artwork from Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia, Cherokee Indians, as well as artists from Black Mountain College. You can find many historic contemporary pieces here: it’s a great stop for those interested in Western North Carolina’s history.
North Carolina Museum of Art
The Raleigh-based NCMA opened in 1956 as the first major museum collection in the country to be formed by state legislation and funding. Today, the collection spans more than 5,000 years, from antiquity to the present, and provides countless cultural experiences and changing special exhibitions, classes, lectures, family activities, films, dance performances, and concerts.
Greenville Museum of Art
Established in 1959, the Greenville Museum of Art has many different exhibitions, from new ones to permanent collections. These collections include North Carolina Pottery, a Kenneth Noland Gallery, and much more. The gallery has year-round tours and programs so you will always have something new to experience when you visit.
Jonas Gerard Fine Art
Jonas Gerard Fine Art is home to the creative and colorful works of Jonas Gerard. Jonas is a self-taught artist who uses music to influence his works of art, especially Afro-Cuban music that he grew up with. Located in the River Arts District of Asheville, you can experience Jonas Gerard’s many different styles, including abstract, illustrative, three-dimensional, and more. A visit to this gallery will leave you feeling inspired and positively influenced by the intuitive artwork.
Elizabeth Ellison Gallery
Located in Bryson City, Elizabeth Ellison Gallery displays the gorgeous landscape artwork of Elizabeth Ellison. Being of Occaneechi Indian descent, Ellison often paints using American Indian motifs. In her paintings, she includes the vast landscapes, animals, humans, and wildflowers of the Smokies region. Ellison also creates her own papers from gathered plants, including black willow, mulberry, cattail, and more.
Ambleside Gallery has had many homes, from Manchester, England to Grosse Pointe, Michigan to its current location in Greensboro, North Carolina. The gallery started with a distinctive British art collection, and now holds artists from everywhere, including the US, Japan, England, France, and more. The gallery holds an exclusive collection by the Chinese artist, Guan Weixing, among many other international artwork in different mediums.