The Best Museums & Galleries In Charlotte, North Carolina

Art gallery
Art gallery | Photo by Dannie Jing on Unsplash
Eliza Jorn

Charlotte is brimming with museums and galleries. From the opulent spaces of the Uptown to the humble galleries in NoDa, these are the best museums and galleries in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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The Mint Museum

The Mint Museum is a Charlotte institution with an international focus. The collection is extensive, but can be loosely categorized as specializing in contemporary and European artwork. The Mint UPTOWN is located in the burgeoning city center and houses the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, which champions decorative pieces made with metal, glass, and fibers, dating from the mid-20th century to the contemporary era. The unique glass sculpture and hand-crafted jewelry are must-see’s at this spot. The Mint is in a central location and is a stone’s throw from a plethora of other significant museums and galleries in Charlotte.

Ciel Art Collective

In possibly the most ‘artsy’ neighborhood, with the largest number of galleries in Charlotte, is the Ciel Art Collective at South End. This gallery is part of the renowned South End Galley Crawl that tours the entire area on the first Friday of every month from 6pm until 9pm. Ciel was founded in 2008 by local Pamela Goode and has expanded to two gallery spaces, housing mainly elaborate mosaic pieces. Local artists work in a wide array of mediums including photography, metal, and clay. Ciel is defined by local taste and promotes promising native artists from all over Charlotte and beyond.

Shain Gallery

Karen Hollingsworth Exhibition

Founded in 1998 by Gabrielle Shain-Bryson, the Shain Gallery reflects Bryson’s discerning eye and consideration of local talent. Shain is one of the premier contemporary art galleries in the country that showcases native artists and hosts rotating solo show exhibitions, and these shows last for several months in order to give the artists a viable time frame to establish themselves and/or promote their work. This gallery represents over 40 regionally and nationally acclaimed artists, including the face of Shain’s current exhibition Karen Hollingsworth, who specializes in large oil windowscapes. The Shain is located in Myers Park and surrounded by historic 19th century architecture.

Elder Gallery

The Elder Gallery specializes in American artwork that ranges from canvas oil paintings to modern sculpture and earthenware. This is a beautiful facility with large bay windows overlooking a rustic tree-scape and a spacious interior. The Elder is also the founder of the Carolina’s Got Art! competition, and hosts correlating group shows. The Elder is a must-see gallery, both in the collection at South End and in greater Charlotte.

Harvey B. Gannt Center

The Harvey B. Gantt center in Uptown Charlotte is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a collection of significant museums and galleries in Charlotte. The museum itself is a work of art – it is an angular, geometrical building that faces skywards. The exterior is modeled on ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ and represents advancement and enlightenment through education. The Harvey Gantt was created in 1974 by a coalition between University of Carolina students and professors, in the thick of racial unrest in Charlotte. This museum celebrates the contributions of African-Americans to the national culture and hosts local music, film, art, and dance in addition to rotating exhibitions. The Harvey Gantt boasts an assemblage of over 58 works, including pieces from Romare Bearden and Margaret Burroughs.

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