Exploring Charlotte’s Art Scene: A Tourist’s Guide

Charlotte, the Queen City, is not only known for its rich history and Southern charm, but also for its vibrant art scene. From renowned museums to local galleries and street art, this city has something to offer for everyone. As a tourist, you must add exploring the art scene to your itinerary. In this blog post, we will highlight the must-see art attractions in Charlotte, and give you an insider’s tour to the city’s creative side.

The first stop on your Charlotte art tour should be the Mint Museum, located in Uptown. The Mint Museum is known for its extensive collection of American and European art, as well as its renowned collection of pottery and ceramics. The museum also hosts rotating exhibits that showcase works from contemporary artists. Pro tip: Make sure to climb the stairs to the rooftop to enjoy the stunning view of the city skyline.

Image from: tripadvisory.com

If you are a fan of modern and contemporary art, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is a must-visit. Located in the heart of downtown, the museum’s permanent collection features works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century, including Picasso, Miro, and Giacometti. The museum also features rotating exhibits that highlight contemporary artists. Pro tip: Don’t miss the giant bronze sculpture by Swiss artist Niki de Saint Phalle in front of the museum, which is a popular Instagram spot.

For a taste of the local art scene, head to the NoDa neighborhood, which is known for its eclectic mix of art galleries and street art. NoDa, short for North Davidson, used to be an industrial district and has been transformed into a hub for artists and creatives. The neighborhood’s street art is a sight to behold, with murals covering the walls of buildings and alleyways. Pro tip: Check out the galleries and shops along North Davidson Street, which offer unique and handmade products.

If you are looking to be inspired, head to the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in the Historic Third Ward neighborhood. The center is housed in a former church and features rotating exhibits that showcase works by contemporary artists. The center also hosts artist residencies, where artists work on their projects and engage with the community. Pro tip: Check the center’s website for events and workshops, which offer a chance to interact with artists and learn about their creative processes.

Lastly, if you have some extra time, take a short trip to the nearby city of Gastonia to visit the museum dedicated to the works of artist and sculptor, John Biggers. The John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art features over 100 works by Biggers, as well as works by other African-American artists. The museum also hosts rotating exhibits that showcase works by emerging artists. Pro tip: Visit the museum’s sculpture garden, which features several of Biggers’ sculptures.


Charlotte’s art scene is a hidden gem, and exploring it should be on every tourist’s to-do list. From prestigious museums to eclectic galleries and street art, Charlotte has a lot to offer. This city’s creative energy is contagious, and you’ll leave feeling inspired and enriched. So, grab your camera and comfortable shoes, and let’s explore Charlotte’s vibrant art scene together.

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