Columbia Art Galleries, Museums, Supplies & More

Best art galleries Columbia museums supplies classes your area

If you are trying to learn about art in Columbia you are definitely in the right place and our first section will fully cover the best art galleries and museums near you.

After that we will get into a variety of other topics like art supply stores, events, festivals, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, local sculptures and statues, art classes, studios for rent, and the top frame shops in your area.

You can jump straight to any section that interests you most by using the table of contents on the left and we are also including a Columbia art map with all of the spots we mention throughout the post pinned on it.

We have written quite a few other posts about the Southeast that you can check out if interested.

Best Art Galleries & Museums In Columbia

If you want to check out the best art galleries and museums in Columbia you can head to:

Columbia Museum of Art is open from 10am to 5pm most days but they are closed on Monday and stay open until 8pm on Thursday and they are the top international art museum in South Carolina. Located in the centre of the downtown district the CMA is dedicated to the 21st-century museum idea and offers a tremendously diversified permanent collection of art in addition to periodic exhibitions.

At City Art the owners have over 75 years of combined experience providing expert gallery services, custom framing, event planning, and art supply sales and you can check out all they have to offer from 11am to 5pm Monday through Wednesday and from 11am to 3pm Thursday through Saturday.

Tools for artists to explore, create, and exhibit visual arts alongside performing, literary, and media is what 701 Center For Contemporary Art is all about. CCA is open from 1pm to 5pm Wednesday through Sunday and also offers year-round cultural programming including free and open-to-the-public contemporary art exhibits and activities.

The South Carolina State Museum is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5pm on Sunday as the state’s largest and most extensive museum and is located downtown along the banks of the Congaree River. The State Museum originally opened in 1988 and is the principal narrator of South Carolina’s history.

The CMFA ArtSpace serves as a community resource, an incubator, and a greenhouse where groups and individuals may grow, develop, and thrive in an environment of collaboration, shared purpose, dedication, diversity, and togetherness. The ArtSpace has nearly 23,000 square feet and will provide meeting, rehearsal, exhibition, and performance space as well as a home for local artists for generations to come.

The Koger Center for the Arts stands out as Columbia’s main performing arts center as the entryway to the vista, the capital city’s lively hub of eating and entertainment.

Since its inception in 2013 Over the Mantel Gallery has been selected Best Art Gallery 2018 and Best Local Art 2019 and 2020 in your area by Columbia Metropolitan Magazine readers. Its goal is to provide inexpensive unique artwork to the community and OTM now represents over 30 Columbia-based artists as well as a select handful from the Southeast whose unique approaches have influenced the art scene near you.

Historical paintings, sculptures, multimedia, abstract works, motivational speaking, and artist in residency programs, workshops, and exhibits are among Karl Wilkes’s many talents and his gallery studio is open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

The Village Artists Art Gallery is open from noon to 5pm Friday through Monday and 10am to 7pm on Tuesday offering gifts that will last a lifetime including paintings, jewelry, baskets, ceramics, and other unique works that are on display.

Materials & Supplies Near You

You can buy new supplies or materials at these local art stores:

You probably already know what chain stores like the Michaels, Joann, and Hobby Lobby near you have to offer.

City Art is another good place to buy art supplies in your area.

Shows & Events

Don’t forget about these art shows, events, and festivals in the region:

Each year roughly 110 artists from across the country participate in Art in the Park which attracts 10-12,000 spectators over the course of the two-day festival. The Columbia Art League is a non-profit organization that has organized the festival since its start in the 1950’s.

A couple of hours away on the coast The Beaufort Water Festival has risen in importance and entertainment value with each passing year while remaining a community-based non-profit endeavor. In July 1956 the first Festival was held with John Bigbee as President and Gladys Thompson in charge of the visiting queens. ​​

The Fall Craft Show in Myrtle Beach is also 2 to 3 hours away and includes a variety of items such as arts, crafts, presents, art samples, decorative items, handcrafted items, paintings, wall hangings, and more.

Art Dealers & Appraisers

Art dealers and appraisers near you are places to find new unique pieces or learn the value of something you already own:

Sky of Blue Sky Gallery has been painting professionally for almost 45 years and since 1970 she has relied exclusively on art for her livelihood.

Tapps Outpost is a business and production incubator for budding cultural entrepreneurs in the area.

City Art and some of the other local galleries from our initial list can probably also be considered art dealers and should have appraisers on site.

Walking Tours

The Vista at 807 Gervais Street is Columbia’s diverse arts and entertainment district where you will find restaurants, clubs, boutiques, theaters, galleries, and all kinds of unique creative things.

Sculptures & Statues

Framing art supply stores Columbia lessons near you studios

Another fun thing to do on a sunny day would be to check out some of these statues and sculptures in your area:

  • Worlds Largest Fire Hydrant at 1404 Taylor St
  • Hootie & the Blowfish Monument at Devine St & Harden St

The Worlds Largest Fire Hydrant stands over 40 feet tall and weighs 675,000 pounds and was constructed to survive a direct strike from a tornado and intentionally over-scaled to dwarf previous claimants to the title of world’s largest fire hydrant.

At the Hootie and the Blowfish Monument there is a granite plaque in the shape of a guitar pick which is encircled by stainless-steel spires that rise to a height of 17 feet and metal musical stanzas may be found throughout the ribbons.

Columbia Art Classes

Try the private lessons or group classes for kids, teens, or adults some of the best Columbia art schools:

Studio Cellar is a locally owned and managed Paint Bar where anybody may participate and no prior experience is required. You may choose from a variety of lighthearted yet educational sessions on the calendar or you can freestyle at any time.

Parks & Recreation’s cultural arts center in your area is the hub of a variety of possibilities for adults and children to explore and learn about the visual arts, as it offers classes, workshops, and an open studio. Many of the programs are for pottery but there are also mixed media and specialist classes and workshops available.

After inventing the paint-and-sip concept Painting with a Twist has grown into a thriving franchise because of its ability to provide an excellent social and creative experience in a pleasant welcoming environment. The lessons would be a bit more casual than the others but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while learning something new.

Midlands School of Art encourages a sustainable life-long creative practice by cultivating a connection with environment and community via drawing and painting.

Art classes are also available at other places we have mentioned like City Art.

Studios For Rent Near You

Stormwater Studios at 413 Pendleton Street offers ten artists studio spaces and gallery space to the community.

There might also be studio spaces available at Koger Center for the Arts and 701 Center for Contemporary Art.


When you need local art framing head to:

Elite Framing appreciates your business and strives to be your first option for bespoke photo framing. From diplomas to sports memorabilia, original watercolors to oil paintings, ancient family photographs to collector prints, there’s something for everyone.

For all of their custom framing and artwork needs in your area residents have relied on The Frame Shop who can work with historic artwork to sports memorabilia and everything in between.

HoFP Gallery opened in 1967 and is devoted to providing consumers with high-quality artwork and bespoke frames plus they have a collection that is a one-of-a-kind mix of regional and international work.

City Art also does local framing.

In case you might be interested we have also written about:

Have Fun Enjoying The Columbia Art Scene

Hopefully we did a fair enough job of covering the full art scene near you. We listed the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers that you may want to check out.

If you are still here you probably are a really big fan of the local art scene. Feel free to share your own tips, or to let us know if you noticed anything incorrect.

We hope you enjoy your time at the best Columbia art galleries, museums, supply stores, or doing whatever else you plan to do with the info.

Author Avatar

This post and all of the posts on our site are edited by Dan Soloman who has been a huge fan of art since he was a little kid. His mother was a good local artist, and she taught him the trade from a very early age. He studied art and its history in both high school and college, has worked at multiple galleries, and recently has begun creating and editing online content for this site and some other online media platforms.


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