Of all the adventures that await in Orlando, Florida, art usually isn’t the first exploit to come to mind. But, the city is experiencing a cultural boom, and the art scene is flourishing. Here’s a look at Orlando’s 10 best contemporary art galleries, some of which are located in the most unexpected places.
Voted #1 Gallery in Orlando by Orlando Magazine 2016, Snap! has gained recognition from the NY Times, BBC News, and The Huffington Post, to name a few. Truly one of the city’s most impressive artistic endeavors, spearheaded by director and curator Patrick Kahn, Snap! Orlando is actually two galleries, Snap! Space and Snap! Downtown. Broadening visibility and appreciation of photographic mediums, the galleries showcase over 100 international photographers and multimedia artists, as well as ongoing educational events throughout the year. Snap! Space has an idyllic location, inside the restored historical Cameo Theater in the up and coming Mills 50 District, and not only offers viewers renowned artists, but is also a fabulous choice to host an event. Just as noteworthy, Snap! Downtown has displayed such talents as Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens, and Nadia Wicker, a visual artist and photographer based in France, in an exhibit line up that does not disappoint.
Snap! Space 1013 E. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL., U.S.A., +1 407 286 2185
Snap! Downtown 420 E. Church St., Orlando, FL., U.S.A., +1 407 286 2185
Henao Contemporary Center
This 4,000 square-foot modern industrial art space, located on North Edgewater Drive, graciously offers the city some of the best contemporary art. From exhibits featuring local college faculty—Solaris A Valencia Faculty Art Show—to Orlando’s biggest print party—Down to Earth Print Party—which featured live screen printing gig posters, live music and whiskey tasting, it’s all about the experience, and Jose Henao, founder and director of the gallery—who “has always been around creative people,”—brings the arts to the community through more than just art. Nestled in the 6,000 square-foot “backyard” sits an outdoor stage surrounded in true artistic form by murals. The space has been making waves as a hot spot for indie artists.
Henao Contemporary Center, 5601 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL., U.S.A., +1 407 272 0317
City Arts Factory
Hip and unconventional, this Downtown gallery is an art lover’s dream, flaunting a vast collection of vibrant and funky pieces from both local and international artists to “delight and inspire the viewers in ways a museum could not.” Downtown’s largest collective of art galleries expands beyond the visual arts to include performing arts, and there’s always something new as the exhibits rotate monthly. City Arts Factory provides studio space to artists, so lucky patrons just may catch a glimpse of artists working on their latest pieces. Admission is free Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
City Arts Factory, 29 South Orange Ave., Orlando, FL., U.S.A., +1 407 648 7060
The Grand Bohemian Gallery
Located inside the beautiful Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando, the gallery was established by hotelier and art enthusiast Richard C. Kessler. Even if you’re not staying at the luxury hotel, it’s worth stopping in for a cocktail in the Bosendorfer Lounge and visiting the gallery. The gallery features a collection of international and local artists’ original works and rare pieces ranging from oil paintings, contemporary jewelry, glass, and wood. Each gallery offers monthly art exhibits and even hosts receptions where patrons can meet the artist.
The Grand Bohemian Gallery, 325 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL., U.S.A., +1 407 581 4801
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