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5 ways to explore (and interact with) Charlotte, NC’s arts scene

From art fests to gallery crawls, see why Charlotte’s bustling arts scene is worth traveling for.

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Murals, art walks, festivals, gallery crawls — oh my. Charlotte has no shortage of ways to see and interact with its arts scene.

Photos provided by Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

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Take this to *art,* CHS — Charlotte, NC, not only has hundreds of road trip-worthy foodie destinations, but a bustling arts scene that’s the icing on the cake of a weekend in the Southeast’s Queen City. Here are five ways to explore the best of Charlotte’s art culture — including one-of-a-kind ways to interact with Instagrammable murals, awe-inspiring exhibitions, and more.

man painting

Seeing artists’ work up close (and sometimes seeing artists working live) is what the monthly gallery crawl is all about.

Photo provided by Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

South End’s First Friday Gallery Crawl highlights the best of the vibrant neighborhood’s bustling arts scene. Participating art galleries + design centers located along the Rail Trail offer extended hours, special receptions, and light bites and drinks.

Just follow the music — many galleries and neighborhood coffee shops + restaurants feature live music throughout the evening. Plus, some galleries host live painting sessions where you can watch art come to life.

people walking around the SHOUT! festival in Charlotte, NC

All things creative and innovative descends on Charlotte at SHOUT!

Photo provided by Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

🎨 Art festivals

Charlotte is home to several impressive art festivals. A couple worth highlighting: Charlotte SHOUT! (March 31-April 16) showcases the city’s creativity and innovation through art, music, food, and ideas, while the Charlotte International Arts Festival (Sep. 15-Oct. 1) celebrates global artists through 200+ visual, performing, and immersive art attractions.

Love interactive art? Charlotte SHOUT! features 20 art installations you can touch, see, and interact with. Immersive art is also a key element of the Charlotte International Arts Festival.

NASH.CHS-CRVA Picasso mint museum-4.23.jpg

Seeing Picasso and Bearden side by side is a rarity worth seeing.

Photo provided by Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

🎟️ Picasso, Bearden, and more

What’s better than seeing 40+ landscapes spanning Pablo Picasso’s 77-year career? One ticket that grants access to both “Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds” and “Bearden/Picasso: Rhythm and Reverberations,” featuring a first-ever organized comparison of Picasso and Cubism artist Romare Bearden. Both exhibitions are on display at the Mint Museum Uptown through May 21.

While there are too many exhibition-related events to list, some standout ways to interact with the famed artists are a dance night, theatre performances, expert talks, and celebratory evenings.

NASH.CHS-CRVA noda dolly mural-4.23.jpg

Art Walks CLT has 30+ art walks and trails all across Charlotte.

Photo provided by Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

🤳 Art Walks

With 24+ art walks and trails, Art Walks CLT‘s curated self-guided art strolls include an art walk map, artist info, stories, and connections to look for. Hint: This is your chance to both explore Charlotte’s unique neighborhoods and learn about the creative soul of the city.

Take experiencing Charlotte’s murals to the next level with South End Interactive and Uptown Interactive. Just scan the QR code on specially marked murals to watch a video of the artist, play with filters for the best Instagrammable photo, and see a 3-D model of the artwork. No app needed.

People inside dupp and swat

Dupp & Swat is a platform and safe space for Black expressionists and innovators.

Photo provided by Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

🛵 Camp North End

Once a manufacturing site for Model T cars, Camp North End is a 76-acre hub of creative and innovative businesses. Divided into several districts, some of the best spots to catch artisans include Dupp & Swat, Macfly Fresh Printing Co., Skillpop, Babe & Butcher, BLK MRKT, and Black Moth Bars.

Rent an e-scooter or bike from Rent EBoards and create your own tour of the property’s murals and art installations. The painted garage doors in the Boileryard are a fun place to start.

Need more art destinations? Here are all the ways to experience Charlotte’s artistic visionaries.*


Which Charlotte art adventure best suits you?

  1. Museum Maven
  2. Gallery Crawler
  3. Street Art Lover
  4. Artfest Enthusiast

Let us know

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