Whether you’re a curious novice or ready to acquire a serious collection, these are the top 10 spots for shopping — or just perusing — for art in Charlotte.
Best spot to buy art?
- SOZO Gallery (32%, 437 Votes)
- Art House Charlotte (27%, 365 Votes)
- Shain Gallery (22%, 299 Votes)
- Anne Neilson Fine Art (10%, 132 Votes)
- Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art (3%, 40 Votes)
- Hidell Brooks (2%, 25 Votes)
- SOCO Gallery (2%, 23 Votes)
- New Gallery of Modern Art (2%, 22 Votes)
- Jerald Melberg Gallery (1%, 20 Votes)
- LaCa Projects (1%, 13 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,376
When Gabrielle Shain, who opened the upscale Shain Gallery in Myers Park in 1998, decided to retire last year, her then gallery director Sybil Godwin was happy to take the reins as owner. While the elegant gallery’s selection of more than 40 artists continues to feature primarily internationally-renowned names, the young new owner has incorporated more emerging artists set to appeal to newer collectors.
What you’ll find: Shain Gallery is known for offering art that complements luxurious interior decor. Look for pieces like vibrant abstracts from Laura Park, evocative oil paintings by Karen Hollingsworth, and peaceful nature scenes by William Jameson.
Fun fact: If you’re interested in seeing images of their latest works, check out the gallery’s Instagram, which has almost 13,000 followers.
You’ve likely heard of Anne Neilson, the Charlotte artist and author known for her Angel Series, who originally opened her gallery in Historic South End in 2013. The gallery, which offers rotating exhibits including Neilson’s own work, has since moved to a bright space with a friendly and accessible vibe at the Shops of Morrison in SouthPark.
What you’ll find: In addition to the works for art from more than 40 artists around the world, the space includes Neilson’s own art studio and the chance to purchase products like stationery and candles from her luxury home line.
Housed in a restored 1920s Myers Park bungalow, this modern art gallery offers a light-filled space with walls showcasing a diverse roster of contemporary artists you may not have heard of—yet. It’s just that hip. The gallery’s rotating exhibits include popular talks that are designed to provoke engagement.
What you’ll find: The gallery, which is owned by Chandra Johnson, features curated exhibits of high-level contemporary art that’s primarily painting and photography. Many of its artists are internationally known, but others are local to the region—something that seems appropriate for a gallery whose name comes from the words Southern Comfort.
This historic South End gallery recently celebrated twenty years of bringing beautiful works of contemporary art to Charlotte. The inviting gallery, which features floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls, is concentrated on exhibiting Southern talent as well as American artists not often seen in this region.
What you’ll find: Look for well-known artists like Herb Jackson or Jacob Cooley, as well as newer names like Laura Sanders or Kate Long Stevenson with exhibits alternating every other month or so.
Fun fact: The gallery’s owners, Katharine Hidell Thomas and Rebecca Brooks, are business partners with a shared passion for art—and best friends.
Tucked into Uptown’s Hearst Tower’s plaza, this gallery features contemporary works from artists around the world, but more than half of its featured artists are local. With art ranging from watercolor to sculpture, it’s a top spot for those who are looking to kickstart a collection.
What you’ll find: The gallery offers a variety of art, but it’s heavy on colorful abstracts of landscapes around the region. Fans of Charlotte art will be pleased to find familiar names and top talent like Wendy Bilas and Scott Gardner.
Fun fact: Owner Hannah Blanton, who was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome in 2003, launched Carolina Art Soiree as a fundraiser benefitting Guillain-Barre Syndrome Foundation. Her connections from that fundraiser led her to open the gallery.
In the early 1980s Jerald Melberg was working as the curator for the Mint Museum when he decided to open his eponymous fine art gallery. Today, the gallery, which boasts an extensive collection of artists from around the world, is known as one of the best in the Southeast.
What you’ll find: Over the years this gallery has undeniably elevated the Charlotte art scene, even featuring works from internationally renowned artists like Pablo Picasso and Robert Motherwell. This is a place for collectors, corporations, and even museums to shop—but it’s also a place for art lovers to catch a glimpse of the greats.
Fun fact: From as early as its opening day this gallery’s walls have featured art from notable names like Romare Bearden and landscape painter Wolf Kahn.
When LaCa—which stands for Latin American Contemporary Art—opened, it was with the intention of bringing an appreciation for contemporary Latin American art to Charlotte. Five years later the industrial space in the FreeMoreWest neighborhood has evolved into an undeniable cultural center.
What you’ll find: The expansive gallery, which has a sister location in Buenos Aires, Argentina, features rotating exhibits and events devoted to Latin American art.
Fun fact: Chic coffee shop, Basal Coffee, is attached to the gallery, and is dedicated to adding another level of cultural connection through coffee and food.
Located just across Tryon Street from the Mint and the Bechtler art museums, the New Gallery feels like a natural stop on an art outing in Uptown. The one-room gallery features high walls with windows overlooking The Green and often hosts artist conversations and discussion about art in its intimate space.
What you’ll find: The art here ranges dramatically in price point, but the small gallery packs a powerful punch with its walls featuring some of the world’s top contemporary artists. Look for familiar contemporary names like Damien Hirst, Robert Mars, and Hunt Slonem among its works.
Fun fact: In addition to contemporary artists, modern art lovers will also appreciate that the gallery’s portfolio includes works by Picasso, Miro, Lichtenstein, and Warhol.
Larry Elder opened this South End art gallery in 2001, and after overseeing it for 16 years, sold it to Sonya Pfeiffer last year. The large, two-level gallery remains one of the most notable in the region for its collection of both emerging and established artists. Its dramatic size gives this space a vibe that’s more museum than gallery, something that’s reflected in its high-quality rotating exhibits.
What you’ll find: The two open levels of space feature glass, sculpture, and paintings that are primarily by American artists.
Fun fact: In addition to playing host to art-centric events like artist talks, the gallery is a popular space for social and business events.
This isn’t your typical art gallery. Owner Judith Weston Zehmke, who launched the concept in 2009, showcases the art by appointment at her home’s gallery in South Charlotte and at pop-up events. The idea was born because Zehmke knew people who wanted original and affordable artwork for their walls, but found traditional galleries intimidating. Enter Art House.
What you’ll find: This is art meant for decorating. Look for contemporary art from around North Carolina like Meredith Parker’s colorful abstracts and Tyler Helfrich’s playful animal paintings.
Fun fact: You can book your own Art House pop-up event. The “gallery” is often found at boutique trunk shows, grand openings, and other events around town.