Get to Know Charlotte's Art Community

Art is often one of the best ways to add to your portfolio and Queen City is home to several unique and vibrant galleries.

by Vanessa Infanzon

Engage with Charlotte’s rich art community with a visit to a gallery or museum, by attending an event, or by participating in a workshop. Vibrant murals, created by local and national visual artists, have become part of the city’s fabric, adorning walls throughout Charlotte’s diverse neighborhoods. Hands-on activities within shops and organizations encourage participants to learn new skills or build upon the ones they already possess. Add these destinations to your list of inspirational places:

Anne Neilson Fine Art

Neighborhood: South Park

Representing more than 50 artists worldwide, including several local North Carolina artists, this gallery is dedicated to displaying the work of emerging and established artists and donates a portion of proceeds to various nonprofits every month.

Art Walks CLT

Area: Citywide

Bike, drive, or walk several self-guided trails highlighting murals throughout the city. Detailed descriptions of the artwork and information about the artists, as well as directions, are on Art Walks CLT’s website.

The Bead Lady

Area: Concord, NC

Gemstones, glass, freshwater pearls, and wood beads in various colors and shapes fill every wall in this downtown Concord shop. The Bead Lady is a full-service business with 20 years' experience. Take a one-on-one class, create jewelry in the store or bring home supplies to make earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

Brooklyn Collective

Neighborhood: Uptown

Located in a historical section of Charlotte, a church and two buildings were restored to hold events and create space for emerging businesses. Visitors can view art exhibits and attend special events, such as live music, at Studio 229. The collective is part of the Brooklyn neighborhood, breathing fresh life into this historic Black community.

Camp North End

Neighborhood: North End Smart District

BLK MRKT: A creative studio and gallery in the heart of Historical Camp Northend where the focus is on developing emerging artists and building a stronger, more diverse community of artists—this gallery is a safe creative space for artists of color.

Dupp & Swat: A cultural hub for the community, this interactive art space functions as a creative studio and is home to a contemporary art gallery, event space, and artisan boutique.

Goodyear Arts: Since 2015, this nonprofit has supported art, music, and poetry through exhibits, public events, and residencies. Goodyear also provides studio space for artists and ways for the community to engage with art and the artists.

Mural Loop: Take a self-guided walk on this loop to view the dozens of murals on the businesses inside Camp North End.

Windy O’Connor Art and Home: Windy O’Connor is an award-winning painter whose passion for art and design developed into a lifestyle brand of textiles, wallpaper, clothing, and home accessories that allow the client to interact with her pieces.

Charlotte Art League

Neighborhood: Trailhead District

CAL opened in 1965, making it the oldest nonprofit art gallery in Charlotte. In a newly renovated space, it offers rotating exhibits, poetry slams, healing art classes for veterans, art socials for senior citizens as well as studio space for artists.

Charlotte is Creative

Area: Citywide

This nonprofit underscores the creative energy within the Charlotte community through its online newsletter “The Biscuit”, awards, grants, and other programs. CreativeMornings/CLT, a monthly showcase for people to connect and create, is free and open to the public. CIC partners with local organizations to bring events such as South End Blooms, 980Fest, LOCAL/STREET, and CreativeMornings/CLT.

Dilworth Artisan Station

Neighborhood: South End

Located in a historic former factory in the heart of Charlotte’s South End District, Dilworth Artisan Station has become a hub for the city’s artistic creativity. The historical architecture of the building inspires the resident artists who are actively creating in the space, which allows public interaction with art in a much different way than in a gallery setting.

Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art

Neighborhood: South End

Voted “Best Art Gallery” for the past three years by Charlotte Magazine, Elder Gallery offers events and exhibits featuring emerging and established artists. The gallery promotes its vision to encourage critical thinking and conversations through provocative exhibits, panel discussions, performance art, and interactive demonstrations.

The Galleries at Eight Eleven

Neighborhood: Myers Park

The Galleries at Eight Eleven is a collective art gallery full of local artists, designers, custom framing, lighting, curated furnishings, local candles, and skincare. Sip on a glass of wine or cup of coffee from Rosie’s Coffee and Wine Garden while perusing the variety of artwork.

Hidell Brooks Gallery

Neighborhood: South End

Located at the Southend Steelyard in the historical Southend district, Hidell Brooks Gallery showcases contemporary paintings and sculptures by local and national artists displayed in bright surroundings. The gallery rotates solo and group exhibitions every six to eight weeks.

Hot Glass Alley

Neighborhood: NoDa

Hot Glass Alley is the only glassblower workshop or “hot shop” in the Charlotte area, bringing the mysterious art of glass to the public. When you visit, you’ll be able to shop for one-of-a-kind glass pieces and learn about glass blowing, fusing and design. Visitors will witness molten glass transform into art at an Open Demonstration. You can also make your own glass pieces, or host a fun and memorable event that you won’t find anywhere else.

Jerald Melberg Gallery

Area: Cotswold

Jerald Melberg Gallery is a classic, contemporary art gallery representing nationally and internationally acclaimed artists such as Romare Bearden, Wolf Kahn, and Robert Motherwell. Since 1983, Jerald Melberg has helped fill the homes of many Charlotteans with works of art, so visit an exhibition and get personalized assistance in selecting a piece of art to take home.

LaCa Projects

Area: Wesley Heights

LaCa Projects is the Latin American Contemporary Arts gallery and houses an expansive space for exhibits by renowned and emerging Latin artists. The gallery’s mission is to provide a location in the Southeast region of the United States for art collectors to develop an appreciation for the visually striking narrative of contemporary Latin American art. The gallery is also a sought-after and exclusive venue for special events.

The Light Factory Photo Arts Center

Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood

Founded in 1973, this nonprofit provides support for beginner to experienced photographers through classes and exhibits. Join the free Photo Walk offered once a month: A group of people meet up to photograph a different area of Charlotte–camera phones are OK

Shain Gallery

Neighborhood: Myers Park

Established in 1998, Shain Gallery has earned a reputation as one of the finest contemporary art providers in the Southeast. Awarded Charlotte Magazine’s "Best Gallery" distinction, the gallery offers consultation and acquisition assistance, an annual schedule of exhibitions, and welcomes beginning and seasoned art collectors.

Southern Comfort (SOCO) Gallery

Neighborhood: Myers Park

SOCO hosts art talks, openings, and release parties in the 1920s restored bungalow in one of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods. Exhibits feature local, national and international artists. Peruse the newest exhibit with a drink from Not Just Coffee, the resident coffee shop within the house.

SOZO Gallery

Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood

Drop by for one of the gallery’s rotating exhibits featuring contemporary art in a range of mediums, styles and subjects by local, regional, and national artists. Openings are free to the public as are monthly artist talks.

Stone House Art Gallery (SHAG)

Neighborhood: West Charlotte

The only of its kind, SHAG is an 11-by-9-foot garage-turned-gallery at curator Kilee Price’s childhood home. Featuring rotating exhibits from artists across the country, each display is a fully-immersive experience showcasing work whose themes follow the artists’ inclinations from 3-D prints and video to photography and sculpture.

TAC Gallery

Neighborhood: NoDa

Owned and operated by local artists and featuring over 100 Charlotte artists, TAC gallery is an eclectic mix of visually stimulating pieces perfect for viewing or adding to your collection. The gallery has a 90’s-grunge artist-studio feel that speaks to the birth of Charlotte’s NoDa arts district. It features a unique array of artistry, with many created in the heart of NoDa by neighborhood artists like David French with his iconic Charlotte landmark paintings.

Talking Walls

Area: Citywide

Unique to Charlotte and founded in 2018, Talking Walls has added more than 40 murals to the city’s landscape through an annual week-long festival in October. Watch artists from all over the world paint murals live throughout the city.