These Charleston, SC, art galleries are a must-see if you’re an art lover visiting the Lowcountry. Be sure to visit downtown Charleston. Our cultural center of the Lowcountry features an eclectic collection of prestigious galleries that are sure to impress. These Charleston art galleries offer historical insight, educational opportunities, creative expression, and pieces for purchase to feature in your coastal home.
Are you looking for other cultural hotspots to tour during your stay? Be sure to request our complimentary Charleston Vacation Guide. We’ve featured our favorite restaurants, shops, and local attractions. With our trusted recommendations, you’ll be able to enjoy Charleston and the Charleston area beaches like a local.
Best Art Galleries in Charleston: Our Top 10
We’ve listed a small selection of the best Charleston art galleries. However, there is so much more to discover. If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the Charleston art scene, we suggest you start with the Charleston Gallery Association, which represents a large number of galleries.
You’ll find just about every style and medium represented in their collection of studios. One of our favorite ways to learn about new artists is by attending one of their art walks. The Association frequently hosts lectures, showcases, and new releases all around Charleston. Check their calendar before your visit to see if you can attend one.
1. Ann Long Fine Art
For over 20 years, Ann Long Fine Art has been offering museum-quality still life, portraiture, landscape, and figures. Here, you’ll find the works of living artists who are classically trained and specialize in realism.
2. The City Gallery at Waterfront Park
The City Gallery at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Waterfront Park displays the finest contemporary work from local, regional, national, and international artists. Best of all, admission to the exhibits is always free.
3. Corrigan Gallery
For artwork that exhibits “the charm of old Charleston with a contemporary edge,” head to the Corrigan Gallery. The pieces tend to focus on traditional Southern imagery, though you’ll find both representational and abstract disciplines here.
4. George Gallery
The George Gallery in Charleston features modern American works. In addition to sales, the George Gallery offers consulting and professional installation services.
5. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts is home to innovative pieces meant to challenge the viewer. There’s also a reference library open to the public. You never know what you’ll find in their eclectic collection. It is one of the best art galleries in Charleston for eclectic, interesting art installations.
6. Mary Martin Gallery of Fine Art
The Mary Martin Gallery of Fine Art was named one of the top 25 art galleries in the nation by the American Art Awards. The same organization awarded it the Best Gallery in South Carolina in 2016. The sculptures and painters on display here are diverse, spanning all genres and mediums.
In addition to the downtown Charleston, SC, and Naples, FL, gallery locations, Mary Martin also curates monthly shows at Freshfields Village near Kiawah and Seabrook Islands.
7. Principle Gallery
Principle Gallery showcases works classified as both classical and contemporary realism. Since 1994, they’ve delighted Charleston art enthusiasts and display pieces in an airy and light-filled space.
8. Redux Contemporary Art Center
The Redux Contemporary Art Center is a non-profit organization focused on bridging the gap between artists and audiences. They host eight creators a year as well as host fantastic educational programs.
9. Robert Lange Studios
Robert Lange Studios is a local favorite among popular art galleries in Charleston. It features works by Lange himself, as well as other unique, up-and-coming artists.
10. Atrium Art Gallery
Atrium Art Gallery is a warm, inviting venue located on Queen Street. You’ll find a wide selection of painters, photographers, and more on the walls. Preview their current works with their virtual tour!
Charleston's Most Important Museum Opens June 2023
The International Museum of African American History opens in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2023. Set on Gadsden Wharf, this historically significant site is where thousands of enslaved Africans disembarked.
This visionary complex will include a Center for Family History genealogical study, an African Ancestors Memorial Garden, faith-based programs, and engaging public programs. The architectural design preserves the shoreline and offers areas for events and gardens.
This highly anticipated, dynamic educational museum will be one of the most important and visited museums in Charleston, SC.
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