Welcome to this discussion about all things art in Vancouver. Galleries, museums, supplies, schools, shows, events and more will all be broken down thoroughly in this post.
We might as well begin by diving into the best Vancouver Art Galleries and Museums where you can see some of the finest exhibitions and collections the city has to offer. Following that you will read about where you can find all of the supplies you need at some of the best art stores near you.
Shows and events that are held annually or more frequently will be the topic of our next section. Art walking tours can be a great way to see a variety of styles in a short amount of time, plus we will mention where to find some of the more unique sculptures and statues in the city.
Vancouver art classes and lessons will need to get their own section and there are plenty of classes for both kids and adults that are available. Some of our more experienced readers may not need any lessons so you will read about a few art studios for rent near you as well.
And our final section will list the best shops for framing around town. Be sure to check out our local map at the end, and you can read more about art museums and galleries around Canada at that link if interested.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Vancouver
If you want to visit the best art galleries and museums in Vancouver you can go to:
- Museum of Vancouver at 1100 Chestnut St
- Vancouver Art Gallery at 750 Hornby St
- Rennie Museum at 51 East Pender St
- Contemporary Art Gallery at 555 Nelson St
- Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery at 1825 Main Mall
- Grunt Gallery at 350 E 2nd Ave
- Gallery Jones at 1-258 East 1st Ave
- Vancouver Fine Art Gallery at 2233 Granville St
- Equinox Gallery at 525 Great Northern Way
- Ian Tan Gallery at 2342 Granville St
- Acces Gallery at 222 East Georgia St
- Centre A at 205-268 Keefer St
- Bill Reid Gallery at 555 W Hastings St
The Museum of Vancouver is the city’s oldest museum and Canada’s largest civic museum. The museum was founded in 1894 and houses extensive collections of historical art including the First Nations art collected by Mary Lipsett which is said to be the best in Canada.
The Vancouver Art Gallery’s permanent collection contains over 12,000 works including some by members of the Group of Seven, Michael Snow, Gathie Falk, and Joyce Wieland. They also have the most Emily Carr works with the painting Totem Poles, Kitseukla by Carr. In addition they have 1,000 contemporary artworks for rent or purchase.
The Rennie Museum has a major exhibition of works by Barkley L. Hendricks and Lorna Simpson that span a combined 50 years, the first major presentation of either artist in Canada. On Saturdays and select weekday evenings admission is free.
The Contemporary Art Gallery is always open to the public for free. Youth programs, talks, and workshops for schools and families are among the learning and public program activities they provide. They also host social events and an annual gala and art auction.
The Vancouver Fine Art Gallery houses one of the city’s largest private collections of art containing works by Pablo Picasso, Raffaello Sanzio, Vincent van Gogh, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Francisco Goya, Rembrandt, and others. In addition they provide a wide range of services like art consulting, commission work, acquisition, appraisals, and art rentals.
Consulting, collection building, art rentals, appraisals, framing, installation, and worldwide shipping are some of the services provided at Ian Tan Gallery. Center A houses a reading room with one of the best collections of Asian art books in the country covering the Finlayson Collection of Rare Asian Art Books and a number of exhibitions and public programs which include art talks and seminars.
They also offer mentoring to emerging artists and art professionals.
Materials & Supplies Near You
There are quite a few stores in this city to buy art supplies and materials like:
- Rath Art Supplies at 2412 Main St
- Paper Ya at 1666 Johnston St
- Urban Source at 3126 Main St
- Kroma Artist Acrylics at 1649 Duranleau St
- Deserres at 2811 Grandview Hwy
- Opus Art Supplies at U1-2 555 W Hastings St
- Michaels at 665 W Broadway
Rath Art Supplies sells a diverse selection of fine art materials including handcrafted paintings by Old Holland, Michael Harding, Kama Pigments, Rublev, and Williamsburg. They also create custom canvases and wood panels in addition to providing painting and stretching services.
Kroma Artist Acrylics sells great handcrafted acrylic paints in small batches that are only available from their workshops. They also do custom work and consultation on pigments and paint technology to all those who need it.
Deserres Opus Art Supplies and Michaels both offer framing services.
Shows & Events
We bet you would really enjoy these local art shows and events:
- The South Granville Artwalk in June
- Harmony Arts Festival in July
- Vancouver Mural Festival in the Summer
- Vines Art Festival in August
- Art Vancouver in September
The South Granville Artwalk takes place every June on South Granville Street and includes artist talks and ten different art exhibitions. Art Vancouver is the biggest contemporary art fair in Western Canada and draws more than 10,000 art enthusiasts to the Vancouver Convention Centre every September.
Vines Art Festival is a free public event with more than 90 performances, over 200 artists, and more than 5,000 participants. Each August the festival is held in parks across the city like David Lam Park, CRAB Park, Strathcona, Creekside Park, Hadden Park, and Trout Lake Park.
In West Vancouver on the water front on Argyle Ave Harmony Arts Festival goes down in July. The festival showcases dance, food, and visual arts and attracts over 100,000 people each year.
The Vancouver Mural Festival is a three-week summer festival that takes place in nine different neighborhoods near you. There will be live mural painting, live performances, a guided mural tour, an art show, and other activities.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
When you want to add a new piece to your collection or learn the real value of something these art dealers and appraisers near you can help:
- Art Works at 1536 Venables St
- Petley Jones Gallery at 2245 Granville St
- Uno Langmann Limited Fine Art at 2117 Granville St
Art Works represents more than 150 artists working in different media and styles. They sell customized framing, framed mirrors, and custom work alongside original artwork.
A vast array of modern and historical art is available to rent or purchase in the Petley Jones Gallery. They offer a variety of services like art restoring, customframing and fine art evaluations.
Uno Langmann Limited specializes in European and American arts sales and purchases. They provide a wide range of services related to sales, evaluations, purchases or consignments, preservation and rehabilitation and may also represent you at public auctions.
Grunt Gallery, Vancouver Fine Art Gallery, and Ian Tan Gallery from the main list above also sell art.
If you are reading this on a sunny day why not go on an art walking tour:
- Vancouver Mural Festival at Mount Pleasant & Main St
- Downtown Vancouver First Friday Artwalk at 811 Main St
- The South Granville Artwalk at 210–1501 W Broadway
Every month throughout the year the Downtown Vancouver First Friday Artwalk takes place and if you attend you will see late-night exhibitions by local artists, live music, and all kinds of cool stuff. The only other art walks near you that we know about would be the South Granville Artwalk and the Mural Festival that we mentioned in the events section.
However they only take place for a few weeks each summer.
Sculptures & Statues
On your walk you may also want to check out some of these unique sculptures and statues:
- A-maze-ing Laughter at 1800 Morton Ave
- Girl in a Wetsuit at 2743 Stanley Park Dr
- Harry Jerome Statue at 1351-1475 Stanley Park Dr
- Gassy Jack Statue at 1 Water St
- Digital Orca at 1055 Canada Pl
- Golden Tree at 2656 Canada Line Bikeway
A-maze-ing Laughter was installed in Morton Park and is a bronze sculpture by Yue Minjun. Girl in a Wetsuit is a lifesize bronze sculpture made by Elek Imredy found on a rock on the northern side of Stanley Park that dates back to 1972.
In 1986 Jack Harman’s Harry Jerome Statue was created and set up at Stanley Park. The Gassy Jack statue stands near Crab Park on the portside of Maple Tree Square in Gastown. The bronze statue was carved in 1970 by artist Vern Simpson.
Douglas Coupland created Digital Orca that was built next door to the Vancouver Convention Centre. Golden Tree, designed by Douglas Coupland, was unveiled in 2016 at the Canada Line station and over the front entrance to Intracorp’s MC2.
Vancouver Art Classes
We are all at different levels and sometimes a lesson or two can give us the boost that we need. Some of the best Vancouver art schools and classes can be found at:
- Vancouver Institute of Media Arts at 570 Dunsmuir St #600
- Academy of Modern Art at 2408 W 41st Ave
- The Luminous Elephant at 1548 W 2nd Ave
- The Brush & Wand Studio at W 10th Ave
- Intuitive Art Beat at 4169 Fraser St
You can study at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts if you want to better your skills in production, game art and design, animation of characters, professional photography, acting for movies and television, or web development. You must be at least 19 years old or a high-school graduate to sign up for their full-time graduate programs.
Academy of Modern Art provides art lessons for all ages. They have special teen services to educate and train them for post-secondary education, plus their Canadian Youth Visual Art Contest is for anyone between 5 years old and 23 years old with up to $200 prizes and scholarships.
The Luminous Elephant gives art classes for all ages and levels of competence. They have private or community courses, classes on weekends and at night, plus summer camps for children aged 6-12 and they can host private parties to boot.
The Brush & Wand Studio is an excellent place to take art lessons. They offer free trial courses that do not require registration and include community or private classes.
Intuitive Art Beat gives children and adults art lessons. They have community or private classes, and they also offer week-end courses and special classes for women only.
Studios For Rent Near You
These local art studios might have space for rent:
- The Beaumont Studios at 316 W 5th Ave
- Betamax Studios at 2244 E Hastings St
- 45 West at 45 West Hastings St
- Oak Street Studios at 8930 Oak St
- Federation Studios at 1243 Cartwright St
The City of Vancouver provides an Artist Studio Award Program that offers free studios through the triennial jury process.
A frame can take a normal looking picture a long way, and some of the best places for picture and art framing in Vancouver are:
- Commercial Picture Framing at 650 E Broadway #1
- Framagraphic Custom Picture Framing at 1128 Broadway Ave W
- KENT Picture Framing at 1666 W 8th Ave
- Frame of Mind Fine Art & Framing Inc at 350 E 2nd Ave #106
- Kimprints at 41 Powell St
Framagraphic Custom Picture Framing offers hundreds of various styles of framing frameworks and several glass types. Fine art prints, supplies and art installations are also available.
More than 1,800 examples can be purchased at KENT Picture Framing along with other items. The samples can be taken and tested. Kimprints provides a broad variety of framing services from canvas to stretching.
Other places near you we have listed that also provide framing services include Ian Tan Gallery, Deserres Opus Art Supplies, Michaels, Art Works, and Petley Jones Gallery.
Some reading this may want to compare the scene here to what you can find in other towns like:
Have Fun Enjoying The Vancouver Art Scene
We hope we did an OK 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 in the area.
If you made it all the way to the end then you probably love art as much as us. You can let us know about any of your own tips and tricks in the comments at the end of the post, or please mention if we got something incorrect or posted dated info.
Have fun going to the galleries, museums, buying supplies or doing anything that has to do with art in Vancouver!