In this post we will share everything we know about art in Rochester. We will begin by diving into the best Rochester Art Galleries and Museums where you can see some of the finest exhibitions and collections the city has to offer.
Once they are out of the way we will tell you about the best art stores in town where you can find all the supplies and materials you need. The top shows and events throughout the year will need to get their own section as well.
You may want to take an art walking tour or check out some of the most creative statues and sculptures around town when the weather is nice. Rochester art classes and lessons will have to get a shout out and there are plenty of classes for both kids and adults that are available.
There are also plenty of art studios for rent near you for those who want to skip the lessons. Framing shops, dealers, and appraisers will also be discussed as the post moves forward.
Be sure to check out the local map towards the end if you aren’t familiar with the area. We have written many other art guides for Northeastern cities that you can check out if interested.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Rochester
Let’s begin with this list of the best art galleries and museums in Rochester:
- Memorial Art Gallery at 500 University Ave
- Rochester Contemporary Art Center at 137 East Ave
- Rochester Art Center at 40 Civic Center Dr SE
- Art Museum of Rochester at 610 Monroe Ave
- City Hall’s Link Gallery at 30 Church St
- Main Street Artist Gallery & Studio at 1115 E Main St
- Uuu Art Collective at 153 State St
- Galvin Davis Studio at 339 East Ave
- High Falls Fine Art Gallery at 60 Browns Race
Memorial Art Gallery is a museum with more than 5,000 years of history. From the relics of antiquity to works in the vanguard of contemporary practice, MAG offers a panorama of the world’s art. The 14-acre campus is a spectacular public art space that is a popular destination for Rochesterians and out-of-town visitors alike. MAG’s permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects has been called the best balanced in the state outside of metropolitan New York City. In addition to its collection, the museum offers a year-round schedule of temporary exhibitions, lectures, concerts, tours, and family activities.
Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) is a venue for the exchange of ideas and a not-for-profit that was founded in 1977. As a center for thoughtful contemporary art, RoCo provides unique encounters for audiences and extraordinary opportunities for artists.
The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts is a community art initiative dedicated to the accessibility of contemporary works made by regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized creators. Founded in 2011, the museum works to enrich people’s lives through the presentation of fine art and features temporary exhibits by emerging and seasoned artists on a monthly basis. The gallery showcases a wide range of original work from painting and sculpture to works on paper and photography. You can also find digital shows featuring extraordinary and thought-provoking works on a large 4K UHD LED display.
The Rochester Art Center offers the opportunity for all people to understand and value the arts through innovative experiences with contemporary art. Through world-class exhibitions and programs, they present a welcoming, integrated, and diverse experience that encourages questioning, creativity, and critical thinking.
At Art Museum of Rochester the gallery features a new creator every month. They are open daily to buy, browse, have a drink, or grab some food.
City Hall’s Link Gallery promotes the art and culture of the area and can be found on the first floor of City Hall. Free, handicapped accessible, and open to the public, the Link is easy to get to from anywhere in the City.
The Main Street Artists’ Gallery & Studio is a group of fine artists, many award winning, both on the local and national level, who work together to nurture and maintain a safe creative environment. They were founded in 2010 by Suzi Zefting-Kuhn.
Uuu Art Collective supports artists’ production, allowing them to grow and improve their work. They collaborate with individuals and organizations to expand outreach and to link communities
If you want to find a studio and gallery filled with overflowing art work in every phase of development head to Galvin Davis Studio. It is a First Friday venue, a Rochester event similar to many others around the country where artists and craftspeople open their studio doors to the public once a month.
Self-guided neighborhood tours which include three scenic overlooks of their 96-foot waterfall are available from High Falls Fine Art Gallery. Their introductory Museum offers overviews of area history, geography, commerce, and culture. The Center at High Falls Fine Art Gallery celebrates contemporary culture through the work of local artists, and the gallery offers year-round opportunities for exhibition, and continues the areas legacy of creativity and invention.
Materials & Supplies Near You
When you need to buy new materials or supplies go to art stores like:
- Rochester Art Supply at 150 W Main St
- Dan’s Craft & Things at 352 Empire Blvd
- Enkaustikos Wax Art Supplies at 3 N Washington St
- Sis Ceramic Shop at 1986 East Main St
- Michaels at 500 Greece Ridge Center Dr
- Joann at 3333 W Henrietta Rd
Rochester Art Supply has been a source for high quality art supplies in your area for decades. They source the globe for the finest oil colors, watercolors, acrylics, pastels and decorative papers. Their specialty is pastels and they are the exclusive US importer of Henri Roche pastels.
Dan’s Crafts & Things is a 12,000 square foot retail store that started in 1974 to supply local crafters and hobbyists with the supplies needed to complete their projects. At Enkaustikos Wax Art Supplies they are dedicated to creating professional encaustic supplies. New colors and products are added to the line constantly such as the anodized aluminum printmaking plates, art instructional DVD’s, hog bristle brushes, and paint sets.
At Sis’ Ceramic Shop you will be able to buy many products at affordable prices. It’s a traditional studio that carries a large selection of greenware and bisque as well as the brushes and glazes to finish your pieces.
You probably already know what chain stores like the Michaels and Joann near you have to offer.
Shows & Events
Some of the best local art shows, events, and festivals include:
- Corn Hill Arts Festival in July
- The Park Ave Summer Art Fest in August
- M&T Bank Clothesline Festival in September
- First Fridays held Monthly
Corn Hill Arts Festival is an award winning summer festival that features 100s of artists, musicians, and a beer and wine garden in historic Corn Hill that has been going down for 5 decades. The Park Ave Summer Art Fest is one of the city’s premier live events.
It takes place along one and a quarter miles of Park Avenue near downtown from Alexander Street to Culver Road. The tree-lined avenue is a mixture of Victorian residential homes and apartments, small businesses, restaurants and cafes.
For more than 60 years, the M&T Bank Clothesline Festival has been another great art festival and the Memorial Art Gallery’s largest annual fundraiser and celebration of artists. You also can head downtown on the First Friday of each month as many of the best galleries and museums in your area put on a really fun night.
Local artists and initiatives will be out in full display from 6pm to 9pm.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
When you want to buy something new or learn the current value of something in your collection you can head to one of these art dealers and appraisers near you:
- Oxford Gallery at 267 Oxford St
- Artisan Works at 565 Blossom Rd #L
- Roslyn Goldman at 10-6 Selden St
- International Art Acquisitions at 3300 Monroe Ave
The Oxford Gallery offers a full range of services to the discriminating art collector. Oxford’s directors will help businesses select art that makes a unique and dramatic statement about their corporate values.
Artisanworks is a self-funded nonprofit art space that exists without government aid. They rely on the generous support from both personal and corporate members, donations of artwork, memorabilia and collectibles, and venue rental for amazing full-service personal or corporate events.
Roslyn Bakst Goldman offers complete art services for private, professional, and corporate collectors, galleries, schools and universities, insurance and moving companies, lawyers, and accountants for estate, income and gift tax purposes.
Some of the best areas to walk around outside and see some unique local art can be found at:
ArtWalk is a permanent urban art trail, connecting the arts centers and public spaces within the Neighborhood of the Arts. Don’t forget about the monthly First Fridays that we discussed in the shows and events section.
Sculptures & Statues
Another good way to enjoy nice weather would be to check out some of these statues and sculptures in your area:
- Balance at 706 University Ave
- Big Head at 274 North Goodman St
- Children in the Hand of God at 2131 Elmwood Ave
- Civil War Monument at 1133 Mount Hope Ave
- Edward Mott Moore at 1000 East River Rd
Balance is a 2002 sculpture with parts balanced at the top. Big Head is a 7-foot-tall sculpture created in 1987. Children in the Hand of God was made in 1992 and displays bronze hand carrying a boy and a girl with a Torah.
The Civil War Monument is a bronze statue of a soldier and a boy that was erected in 1908. The statue of Edward Mott Moore was created in 1927.
Rochester Art Classes
Whether you are trying to find lessons for kids, teens, or adults some of the best local art schools and classes can be found at:
- Creative Workshop at 500 University Ave
- Studio 34 Creative Arts Center at 34 Elton St
- Paint Class Wine Glass at 380 W Ridge Rd
- Art Center of Rochester at 563 Titus Ave
- Pinot’s Palette at 2544 B Ridgeway Ave
- Lisa Wagner Art at 250 Goodman St N #212
- Steve Carpenter Art Center at 176 Anderson Ave
The hands-on art lessons at Creative Workshop are taught by artist-teachers and are frequently inspired by the works on display at the museum. For over 70 years they have been inspiring, challenging, and motivating people of all ages.
Studio 34 is first and foremost a teaching and retail space that carries glass in all of its forms, as well as metals, tools, books, Paragon kilns, finds, and other items. The studio is not open during regular business hours so contact them if you want to check out the items they have for sale or are interested in lessons.
Paint Class Wine Glass hosts wine and painting parties operating out of an art studio and also conduct entertaining live painting events in the city and the surrounding suburbs. Given that wine is involved in their lessons it is fair to say they might be a bit more casual than some of the others on the list.
The Art Hub of Rochester is a cultural center for modern art innovation and creativity. Pinot’s Palette studios offer a training approach that gives you significant experience as well as the confidence to deal with any circumstance. For open-to-the-public studio events you must be at least 18 years old though children aged 13 and above are welcome if accompanied by an adult.
Lisa Wagner is a 1000 Islands artist residing in Wellesley Island who creates art in a variety of mediums. She mostly works in watercolors, collage, acrylic, and intuitive painting. Lisa also conducts art classes and virtual art classes in all of her disciplines, as well as workshops for a more in-depth exploration of the medium and one’s own creative voice.
The Steve Carpenter Gallery & Art Center, founded in 2004, is dedicated to giving education and support to anybody interested in studying drawing and painting skills based on the great Masters.
Studios For Rent Near You
You might be able to rent our studio space in your area at:
- The Yards Collective at 50-52 Public Market
- Hungerford Building at 1115 E Main St
- Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio at 1115 E Main St
The Yards Collective provides a platform for community engagement and networking in the local art scene. First Friday exhibitions, curated showcases, seminars, public critiques, and private rentals are also held at the gallery space and lounge.
The Hungerford Building is home to many talented artists and companies and is located diagonally across the street from the Public Market, near the intersection of North Goodman and East Main Streets. It is a member of the Public Market Business District and the Neighborhood of the Arts.
The Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio is a collection of artist friends that have a common interest in being creative.
A frame can take a normal looking picture a long way, and some of the best places for art framing in Rochester are:
- Frame Shop of Henrietta at 3047 W Henrietta Rd
- Rochester Picture Framing at 2094 E Main St
- The Great Frame Up at 3349 Monroe Ave
- Creativ Framing & Design at 510 State St
Frame Shop of Henrietta does custom jobs that are a combination of fine carpentry, aesthetics and interior design. With over 40 years of hands-on experience they have framed everything from old photographs, military medals and car bumpers, to oil paintings and sports jerseys.
Rochester Picture Framing has a knowledgeable team, fair pricing, quality craftsmanship and creative solutions. You can count on them to help frame memories, mount art, shadowbox priceless mementos or keepsakes, or reflect your taste with a custom mirror.
At The Great Frame Up they offer the finest and most comprehensive selection of frames and mats available in the industry. In service since 2004, Creativ Framing & Design fuses a custom framer’s experience and technical skill with an artist’s eye for color and design. Owner Allison Nichols will do everything to exceed expectations and make your custom framing experience an enjoyable one.
By the way we have also discussed the art scene in:
Have Fun Enjoying The Rochester Art Scene
We just listed all of the best local galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers in the 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 Rochester!