Art in Kansas City will be covered in full detail for you today and our opening section will discuss the best art galleries and museums near you.
After that we will get into a variety of other topics like KC art supply stores, events, festivals, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures and statues, art classes, studios for rent, and the top frame shops in your area.
If you are after any specific section you can jump straight to it using the table of contents on the left and we are also including a Kansas City art map with all of the various places we mention throughout the post pinned on it.
Check out more of our local guides for Midwestern cities right here.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Kansas City
If you want to visit the best art galleries and museums in Kansas City you can go to:
- Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art at 4420 Warwick Blvd
- The Nelson Atkins Museum Of Art at 4525 Oak St
- Belger Arts Center at 2100 Walnut St
- Buttonwood Art Space at 3013 Main St
- H&R Block Artspace at 16 E 43rd St
- Weinberger Fine Art at 114 SW Blvd
- Mod Art Gallery at 1809 McGee St
- The Box Gallery at 1000 Walnut St
- Hilliard Gallery at 1820 McGee St
- Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art at 2004 Baltimore Ave
The first and largest contemporary art museum in the state of Missouri is the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art which is open from 10am to 4pm many days but it stays open until 9pm on Thursday and is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Kemper Museum is free for all ages and they host a variety of educational programs like lectures, workshops, and more fun stuff to do throughout the year.
There are more than 35,000 unique works at The Nelson Atkins Museum Of Art which is also free to enter from 10am to 5pm Thursday through Monday with the doors staying open until 9pm on Friday. Many people already know about the great sculpture park at the Nelson Atkins plus they even have paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and host some of the best art classes and lectures in your area.
At Belger Arts Center they rent out art studios and exhibition space, sell art, and have instructors who give courses and summer camps for kids. Head over to see what they are displaying from 10am to 4pm Wednesday through Saturday.
Another gallery to visit if you want to buy something new is Buttonwood Art Space who is open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays.
The permanent collection at the H&R Block Artspace contains over a thousand objects and some of their more popular pieces were created by Jesse Howard. They also host the Annual BFA Exhibition which many of you would be interested in and they keep regular hours of noon to 5pm Wednesday through Saturday.
Weinberger Fine Art provides numerous services like consultations, on-site curations, digital installation previews, and even internationally sourcing the artwork they sell. You can check them out from 10am to 6pm Wednesday through Friday and from noon to 5pm on Saturday.
One of the oldest sustained local contemporary galleries in KC and the Midwest is Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art which is open from 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday. At their gallery you can find works from a wide variety of artists like Peter Voulkos, Jun Kaneko, Judy Onofrio, Chris Gustin, Rudy Autio, Therman Statom, Jeff Aeling, Keith Jacobshagen, Larry Schwarm, Barbara Rogers, Tom Huck, Cynthia Schira, Michael Schultz, and Dale Chihuly among others.
Materials & Supplies Near You
There are quite a few stores in this city to buy art supplies and materials like:
- Crane Yard Clay at 2011 Tracy Ave
- Creative Coldsnow at 808 Westport Rd
- ScrapsKC at 3269 Roanoke Rd
- Artist & Craftsman Supply at 229 Southwest Blvd
- Blick Art Materials at 4144 Main St
Fans of ceramic works should head to Crane Yard Clay which will have all the pottery and sculpting supplies you need and even does firing services.
For over 75 years Creative Coldsnow has been one of the best places to buy art materials near you with a stock that consists of over 30,000 items that cover the whole spectrum plus they are known to provide very good custom framing.
If you want to buy cheaper second hand art supplies head to ScrapsKC where you can try out one of their in-store creative reused workshops.
Artist & Craftsman Supply and Blick Art Materials are a couple of chain stores many of you are probably already aware of.
Shows & Events
For the best art shows and events held in your area head to:
- Brookside Art Annual in May
- Arts in The Park in June
- Prairie Village Art Show in June
- Annual Plaza Art Fair in September
- Art Westport in September
- First Friday by Crossroads Art District
Once the weather gets nice the local festivals kick into full gear and the first we have to mention is the Brookside Art Annual which takes place each May at 63rd and Brookside Boulevard where hundreds of artists from around the country submit their works and generally a little over 150 are selected through an extensive jurying process.
Macken Park is the home of Arts in The Park each June and you can expect to find food trucks, street performers, entertainers, and a whole lot of fine art in a variety of mediums.
The second longest running event in KC is the Prairie Village Art Show that also goes down each June where there will be works by around a hundred local, regional, and national artists on display.
The third weekend after Labor Day the whole Plaza area is overloaded with the Annual Plaza Art Fair. Live music stages and dozens of restaurant booths get put up for the over 250,000 visitors this event usually brings in.
Art Westport focuses on showcasing the latest works by the best artists near you each September.
Then you have the monthly First Fridays by the Crossroad Art District where hundreds of local Kansas City artists and independent studios head to the Crossroads on the First Friday of the month to show off their latest creations.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
If you want to add a new piece to your collection or find out how much a piece is worth you can go to art dealers and appraisers near you like:
- Leopold Gallery + Art Consulting at 324 W 63rd St
- Blue Gallery at 118 Southwest Blvd
- Jan Jensen Artists at 1508 NW Vivion Rd #304
Leopold Gallery + Art Consulting can help both private collectors and corporate clients with consultations, acquisitions, and other kinds of assistance they may need. They also represent the popular Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculptures.
Belger Arts Center, Buttonwood Art Space and Weinberger Fine Art from our initial best galleries and museums in your area list also sell art.
Here are some good local art walking tours you can take:
Head to the River Market on Saturday or Sunday morning to try out the Kansas City Walking Tours which will take you along the KC Streetcar route.
The Crossroads Art District isn’t a walking group per se, it is just one of the most concentrated gallery districts you will find anywhere in the country.
Tourists reading this may not know that KC is often referred to as ‘the city of fountains’ and if you walk around downtown and the Plaza in particular you will definitely see why.
Sculptures & Statues
You can also find some really cool sculptures and statues in your area like:
- Abraham Lincoln & Tad Statue at 414 E 12th St
- Alfred Benjamin Memorial at Starlight Rd & Pavillion Rd
- Andrew Jackson at 415 E 12th St
- Bellerophon Taming Pegasus at 4420 Warwick Blvd
- Ben Franklin at 4771 Jefferson St
Lorenzo Ghiglieri created the Abraham Lincoln and Tad Statue back in the mid 1980’s which you can find at the south plaza of City Hall today.
Swope Park is home to the Alfred Benjamin Memorial which was sculpted by Francis Packer back in the 1920’s.
The Andrew Jackson Statue is located at the Jackson County Courthouse and it was created by Charles Keck in the mid 1930’s.
You can find the Bellerophon Taming Pegasus near the west entrance to Kemper Museum.
Ben Franklin was created by George Lundeen in 1990 and is located near the Plaza.
Remember earlier how we mentioned the sculpture garden at the Nelson-Atkins Museum? Well, one of the most iconic sites in KC would be the giant shuttlecocks on the lawn.
Plus you won’t want to forget about all of the hundreds of fountains around the downtown area.
Kansas City Art Classes
At the best Kansas City art schools you can usually take private lessons or group classes for kids, teens, and adults:
- Kansas City Art Institute at 4415 Warwick Blvd
- The Illustration Academy at 420 E Bannister Rd
- Orange Easel School of Art at 7617 NW Prairie View Rd
- Art Experience Paint Classes & Parties at 1809 McGee St
If you want a serious degree the Kansas City Art Institute is a four-year college for art and design that offers 13 studio majors to choose from however applicants must have completed a recognized secondary school program or equivalency to be accepted.
The instructors at The Illustration Academy specialize in both illustration and concept art offering mentorship programs where students get paired with working professionals to help you step your game up quick plus they have custom-tailored courses and even do weekly life drawing workshops.
At Orange Easel School of Art children of all ages are welcome whether you want private lessons, single-session courses, art camps, or to try out one of their 80+ weekly online classes.
Not only do the instructors at Art Experience put on classes but they also have popular paint and sip parties for adults.
The Nelson Atkins Museum Of Art and Belger Arts Center also have quality classes and workshops available.
Studios For Rent Near You
If you are about to begin your next project you might be able to rent art studio space in your area at:
- The Studios Inc at 1708 Campbell St
- Cherry Pit Collective at 604 E 31st St
- Kansas City Artists Coalition at 3200 Gillham Rd
- Vulpes Bastille Studio at 1737 Locust St
- The Hanger at 1701 Oak St
Belger Arts Center who we mentioned at the top also rents out studio space.
A frame can take a normal looking picture a long way, some of the best places for picture and art framing in Kansas City are:
- Art & Frame Warehouse at 8642 N Boardwalk Ave
- Brookside Gallery & Framing at 114 W 63rd St
- Dolphin Frames at 1600 Liberty St
- Hook Gallery & Framing at 1409B Westport Rd
- Ward & Ward Custom Picture Framing at 521 E 63rd St
Art & Frame Warehouse can sell one unique piece or take in massive bulk orders while also specializing in local custom framing and restorations.
Some of the available services from Dolphin Frames include conservation matting, large-scale photo mounting, oversized frames, and frame restorations.
Ward & Ward is a great place to go to get frames, paintings, or photos restored plus they do fine art brokerage and identification.
Creative Coldsnow from the supplies and materials list also does framing.
Some of you may also want to read about:
- Where to find art near you in St Louis
- Where to find art near you in Omaha
- Where to find art near you in Wichita
- Where to find art near you in OKC
Have Fun Enjoying The Kansas City Art Scene
We hope we did a decent job of breaking down the local art scene. There were lists and info for the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers in your area.
If you made it all the way to the end then you probably love art as much as we do. You can let us know about any of your own tips and tricks in the comments at the end of the post, or please also let us know if we got anything wrong or if anything we posted has become dated.
Have fun going to the galleries, museums, buying supplies or doing anything that has to do with art in Kansas City!