Augusta's Best Contemporary Art Galleries & Spaces

Photo of Graziano Scaldaferri
3 November 2016

Augusta, Georgia, is an excellent art destination for those interested in the world of Southern US culture. The city hosts the Morris Museum of Art, one of the most important institutions in the States to showcase regional, historical art from the 19th century onwards; and a number of other artist-run galleries featuring the work of local painters and photographers. Read our guide to Augusta’s ten best art galleries.

© Mildred Pierce/Flickr

Morris Museum of Art

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The Morris Museum of Art was established in 1985. Since the acquisition of 230 paintings purchased from an important collector of works by Southern artists in 1989, the path was set for the museum to become a prominent exhibitor of art from the Southern US. Arguably the leading cultural player in town, the Morris Museum of Art possesses over 5,000 items, and can display a few hundred at a time across its fifteen galleries, each dedicated to a particular theme or style: from portraits to landscapes, from still-life painting to the Civil War, from Impressionism to Modernism. The museum also produces an average of eight to ten temporary exhibitions every year as a complement to the permanent collection.

Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art

Art Gallery
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The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art‘s history began in 1937, when colonist Olivia Herbert bought a beautiful mansion which was about to be demolished, and donated it to the Augusta Art Club of which she was a member. The venue was soon named after Gertrude, Olivia’s recently deceased daughter. The mansion is a piece of art on its own, a fine example of Federal Style architecture listed in the US National Register of Historic Places. The building alone would deserve a visit, but the institute’s dynamic programme of exquisite art exhibitions adds much value to the experience. National and international artists are usually featured in the Main Gallery, regional artists in the Creel-Harrison Community Gallery, and art students in the North and South Galleries.

Sacred Heart Cultural Center

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Like the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art’s venue, the Catholic Church that is home to Augusta’s Sacred Heart Cultural Center is on the US National Register of Historic Places. This outstanding piece of architecture, one of the best-known landmarks in the city, hosts an events’ centre which organises a range of activities aimed at the local community, and art exhibitions among them. In particular, the Sacred Heart Cultural Center produces about six art shows every year, exhibiting works by local and regional artists ranging in medium, style and theme. Now open is a collection of works by Augusta born painter Bea Kuhlke.

Mary S. Byrd Gallery

The Department of Art of Georgia Regents University is one of the top education institutions in Augusta that a student interested in the arts can aspire to exhibit in. This is not only for the quality and respectability of the faculty’s programmes, but also because the department has a fully-fledged, in-house art gallery, the Mary S. Byrd Gallery, that might be the first to showcase their emerging talent. Displaying works by the very future of the local art scene, Mary S. Byrd Gallery is the place to go to take a look at where regional art is going, and what there is to expect from its development. All exhibitions are free of charge and open to the general public.

Mary S. Byrd Gallery, Washington Hall, 2500 Walton Way, Augusta, GA, USA, +1 706 667 4888

Art On Broad

Downtown Augusta is home to a host of contemporary art galleries, all located very close to each other – in fact, most of them are found down Broad Street. These galleries participate in Artists’ Row, a special project launched twenty years ago to revitalise this part of the city. Artists Row is a collaboration between galleries to offer art events — exhibitions, workshops, art classes, etc. — in order to stimulate public engagement with the arts, as well as supporting the local art community. Jim and Kristin Tar, the owners of Art On Broad, have jumped on the Artists’ Row bandwagon with their gallery in 1997. Art On Broad represents over 70 artists, including painters, sculptors, craftsmen and jewellers.

Art On Broad Inc 1028 Broad St Augusta, GA, USA, +1 706 722 1028

Artistic Perceptions

Of all the galleries on Broad Street, Artistic Perceptions is the oldest: artist Wanta L. Davenport opened it in 1990, and celebrated the gallery’s 26th anniversary last February. Davenport is an established local painter, who originally founded Artistic Perceptions to showcase her personal work. In the following years, however, she joined the efforts of the neighbouring galleries to make of Broad Street and its surrounding area the centre of the city’s art life and community. To this end, she started hosting exhibitions of artworks by fellow artists within Artistic Perceptions’ walls, a mission she has never stopped pursuing since.

Artistic Perceptions, 551 Broad St, Augusta, GA, USA, +1 706 724 8739


Not only is OddFellows one of the latest galleries to have joined Artists Row, but it is also one with a very distinct and strong personality. Indeed, the gallery represents a number of artists characterized by unique and unconventional talent. Leonard Zimmerman for example, who goes by the pseudonym of Porkchop, is known for painting whimsical scenes featuring funny characters with a style heavily influenced by his graphic design studies; and Margaret Ann Smith paints quasi-surrealistic urban scenarios filled with bending streets and buildings. The gallery was founded by photographer Syd Padgett, who is currently serving as Artists’ Row’s president.

OddFellows Art Gallery and Framing 1036 Broad St Augusta, GA, +1 706 513 0916

Tire City Potters

Tire City Potters deals exclusively in pottery. It was founded in 2001 by artist Shishir Chokshi, in a two-storey garage that was once occupied by a tire company – hence the name. After experiencing a period of financial trouble, Chokshi started offering custom framing services along selling his pots and vessels, successfully bringing the business back on its feet. Featuring more of a workshop or studio ambiance than a gallery, Tire City Potters puts on display the beautiful, original creations of Chokshi himself and a number of other painstaking regional craftsmen.

Tire City Potters, 210 10th St, Augusta, GA, USA, +1 706 294 3871

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