North Carolina Galleries and Museums: Best in the State

Anne Nielson Gallery

When it comes to art, North Carolina has a lot to offer. It’s especially true for those intrigued by the musings of artists in the Southeast. Whether you’re looking to stroll a gallery or museum right here at home in the Queen City, or to enjoy art across the state, below are some of the most innovative, interesting, and intersectional North Carolina galleries.

LaCa Projects

LaCa Projects showcases modern Latin art in the Bryant neighborhood of Charlotte. The gallery has been open since 2013. It offers a unique space for private events as well as showcasing Latin art. With frequently rotating exhibitions, LaCa Projects is a rich and fascinating look into Latin culture. 

Photo credit Jamey Price

Anne Neilson Fine Art

Located in Charlotte’s luxury retail neighborhood of SouthPark, Anne Neilson Fine Art displays work from more than fifty artists. The gallery showcases art of all mediums and styles. It also is committed to helping international nonprofit organizations 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

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. 

Shain Gallery

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 forty 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

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. 

Mint Museum

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 popular museums in Charlotte. 

mint museum exterior

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 Bechtler is a gorgeous museum with some of the most sought-after art in Charlotte. 

Bechtler Art museum

Sozo Gallery

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.

New Gallery of Modern Art 

Offering a wide selection of graphic and contemporary art, New Gallery is a high-quality modern art gallery located in Uptown. Graphic works by classics like Picasso, Dali, and Warhol are displayed at New Gallery as well as pieces by international artists such as Damien Hirst and Anish Kapoor. New Gallery provides an eclectic experience all Charlotteans should experience.

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. 

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

Gallery C, located in Raleigh, has a wide range of artwork, including Haitian art, folk art, North Carolina art, and much more. It 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 also 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.

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. He 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

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.

Blue Spiral 1

With a rich history in Asheville, Blue Spiral 1 brings local artists to the public through stunning exhibitions. The gallery was founded by John Cram who was enthralled by the Asheville scene and wanted to bring its local artwork to life. You can check out thematic group exhibitions and individual artwork on the lower level, and work by a diverse group of more than 100 represented artists on the upper level.

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. 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. For gallery owner Bob Griffin, however, a unique collection isn’t enough: He believes not only in offering great art, but also in providing great services. All art in the gallery is owned by Griffin, and he and his team also offer appraisals, placement, custom framing, and restoration services to meet their clients’ every art need. 

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