Charleston, West Virginia boasts a diverse and spectacular art community that encompasses everything from primitive and folk art to modern art and performances. This unique cultural environment has inspired countless artists and encouraged a blending of styles and media that is truly remarkable. Your Charleston apartment puts you at the center of an artistic culture that offers classes, gallery showings, artist receptions, and incredible original art for purchase. Accessibility and a plethora of talent provide endless opportunities to create and own original Charleston art.
Start your tour of the Charleston art community with this handy guide to some of the best art offerings in Charleston:
The Clay Center
The best place to start your tour is The Clay Center. Charleston’s Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences is one of the few structures of its kind in the country. The 240,000 square foot structure connects the community to sciences and the visual and performing arts. The Avampato Discovery Museum is a great place for kids to learn, the Maier Foundation Performance Hall is home to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and the Juliet Art Museum features an ever changing exhibition of national and international artists while offering educational programs for children. This is your one stop shop for arts and culture in West Virginia.
Erma Byrd Art Gallery
The University of Charleston houses the stunning Erma Byrd Art Gallery, home to 155 pieces of original art created by West Virginian women. This free gallery boasts impressive technology – screens and projectors are lowered from the ceiling, and window coverings are controlled remotely. The Art Deco setting provides exquisite views that make the space a work of art, a lovely place to for receptions, weddings, and parties.
Gallery Eleven has devoted its gallery to the exhibition of the wide variety of traditional art expressed through various artistic media including painting, stained and blown glass, pottery, and jewelry. Artist members are chosen for their attention to quality, originality, excellence and professional, and an artist in residence is available to the community during gallery hours.
Get a taste of the arts and grab a sandwich and a latte! Taylor’s beautiful downtown location offers books for sale, classes in art, pottery, and more, and artist exhibitions in their gallery. Taylor’s gallery exhibits are diverse and creative – photography, clay arts, painting and more can be found in this delightful venue.
CRE8 Studios Upstairs
The team of artists at CRE8 Studios offer classes for everyone – infants, children, adults, seniors, anyone can learn a new skill at CRE8! Classes are held every day of the week, and you can also schedule private parties or rent studio space for your group. The studio believes that art can be therapeutic, and their mission is to offer both professional and casual artists a chance to enjoy art and reap the rewards.
Uncork & Create
If you don’t believe that art can be relaxing, take a trip to Uncork & Create! Local artists and chefs help you to learn how to create art and gourmet dishes while you enjoy your own beverages and snacks with friends! This is a great way to get to know new friends, celebrate a little downtime with coworkers, or just unwind after a hard day at the office.
Capitol Clay Arts Company
Capitol Clay Arts Company is your one stop shop to learn and enjoy the beauty and meditative nature of clay arts. The Company provides affordable clay and will fire work for you, in addition to offering classes and facilities to expand your abilities and help you turn out new creations. Get your hands dirty! Take a class at Clay Arts and learn how much fun you can have playing in the mud.
The Pottery Place
Pick a piece and paint it however you like! The Pottery Place makes it easy and fun for all ages to create their own pottery creations. A wide selection of pieces for every talent and experience level make this a great place to schedule parties and field trips.
The Art Store
This contemporary art gallery features art by leading artists both locally and nationally. Artist selection is rigorous, focusing on recognized artists with impressive resumes. This active gallery presents many exhibitions throughout the year, highlighting a wide range of media including sculpture, drawing, painting, photography, fine art prints, wood, glass and ceramics.
The Art Emporium
The Art Emporium’s name is no exaggeration – this framing store and gift shop also features a 2000 square foot gallery that hosts artist exhibits monthly. The monthly Artwalk has also become a staple of downtown Charleston culture. The art represented is thoughtfully chosen and rotated often to keep things new and refreshing. For art buyers, this is also a one stop shop for a piece of art and a way to mount it elegantly by professionals.
Capital City Art & Craft Show
Help Charleston celebrate 51 years of the Capital City Art & Craft Show! This yearly even showcases over 150 artists and artisans from West Virginia and six other states. Proceeds benefit charities supported by the Kanawha City Lions Club, and during its 50 year run, the show has raised more than $2 million.
So tap into your creative side and enjoy the wide variety of arts in Charleston!