Anyone who has been in the greater Charlotte region more than a few years knows just how much the city can change in such a short amount of time. As Charlotte continues to expand rapidly, so too do its cultural offerings. The many Charlotte NC art galleries that house creators and their creations are shaping Charlotte into a richer, more diverse place. Many of these places are free to visit, and those that do have entrance fees use them to bolster their work in the community. The next time you’re looking for something to do solo or with others, add these arts destinations to your list and get inspired.
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.
Rock Hill Artist Collective
In the same vein, 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.
This local gallery might be smaller than others in the city, but don’t let its size fool you. For more than 40 years, Providence Gallery has taken pride in being a well-known name in Charlotte’s fine arts scene. The gallery owners have housed collections from a wide range of artists, including painters like Luz Aveleyra and Lisa Bartell. In addition, they work hard to maintain their accessibility and are always ready to speak to newcomers who are interested in training a discerning eye. Plus, the gallery offers custom framing services, so visitors can bring their own art to be properly fitted in a 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. All in all, 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. All told, visitors can find breathtaking art inside its gallery walls, as well as resources for further learning.
Art House Charlotte
Judith Weston Zehmke started Art House Charlotte in 2009 when 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.
Charlotte NC Art Galleries: Real African Art
RAA was started with the goal to improve the lives of Zimbabwean and African artists and provide them with opportunities and platforms to exhibit and market their creative art work in the United States and beyond. The types of art here ranges from stone sculptures to wooden masks and carvings, beaded jewelry, paintings and more. The art comes from dozens of African countries including Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana. Visit RAA for yourself today in University City.
The Levine Museum of the New South is a history museum showing the everchanging Queen City. The museum has a variety of exhibits, from Charlotte post-Civil War to those confronting social issues the city faces today.
Anne Neilson Fine Art
Anne Neilson Fine Art displays more than fifty different kinds of artists from all over the world. The gallery shows 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.
This 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 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.
The very first of the Charlotte NC art galleries, 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 of Charlotte NC art galleries.
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 among Charlotte NC art galleries.
Sozo Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located in Plaza Midwood that specializes in inspiring soulful connections. It 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
Near Uptown, Picture House brings over 40 years of expertise, making it one of Charlotte’s original resources for major collectors and institutions. This space, one of the Charlotte NC art galleries, 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
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
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
Hidell Brooks Gallery, at The Steelyard in South End, is owned and operated by Katherine Hidell Thomas and Rebecca Brooks. This, one of the best Charlotte NC art galleries, showcases the contemporary work of well-established and 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.
Founded in 1970 as the North Carolina Dance Theater, the Charlotte Ballet is a critically renowned dance company whose local and national performances imbue artistry with dynamic motion. The Charlotte Ballet’s versatile repertoire ranges from timeless, classical ballet such as Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to imaginative contemporary works such as Christopher Stuart’s
DISPERSAL. Single ticket sales for the 2022/2023 season begin in August, or discerning patrons of the arts can purchase subscription packages to ensure they never miss a performance.
Breathtakingly beautiful, Opera Carolina draws from over seventy years of excellence to bring grandeur and grace to each of its performances. Whether you are a seasoned admirer or new to the art of opera, Opera Carolina offers an intentionally immersive experience to satisfy all in attendance. Performances are held at the Belk Theater in Center City on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Middle C Jazz
Cozy and chic, the Middle C Jazz club is Charlotte’s newest home for cool. Slip into Middle C’s intimate lounge atmosphere and spend the night savoring the flavors of fresh tapas, craft cocktails, and vibrant jazz. Moreover, Middle C Jazz spotlights local and national acts each Wednesday-Sunday and welcomes lifelong listeners and learners alike to sit back, snack, and snap.
Jazz Arts Initiative
Since 2009, the Jazz Arts Initiative has grown into one of Charlotte’s most celebrated art institutions. Led by elite musicians and educators, the Jazz Arts Initiative performs each month at the JazzRoom in uptown Charlotte. Additionally, you can find them at public festivals and events around the city. Ultimately, it’s best to stay up to date with Jazz Arts Initiative’s latest showcases by joining their mailing list so you can support the blossoming future of the arts in Charlotte.
In 1931, Spanish composer and conductor Guillermo de Roxlo emigrated from Cuba to Charlotte with ambitions to establish a symphony orchestra for his new hometown. Now, it is the longest continuously operating Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina. The Charlotte Symphony performs classical repertoire alongside cinematic scores and family-friendly features.
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Located in the heart of Center City, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is a cultural centerpiece. Consisting of three centralized venues, including the prominent Belk Theater, Booth Playhouse, and Stage Door Theater, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center plays host to a diverse variety of performances ranging from Broadway musicals, dance companies, and comedy tours. With year-round events suitable for all ages, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center has a well-earned history as Charlotte’s center for community enrichment and entertainment.