Explore Buffalo’s Best Art Galleries & Museums

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February 22, 2017 – As much as they might want to, not all people in Buffalo and Western New York can leave the city for warmer pastures during the chilly winter months.

But luckily, Buffalo has plenty of activities to keep residents occupied when they can’t spend much time outdoors. One of the best things to do during the winter is to check out some of the area’s many art galleries and museums. Many are free on certain days or cost just a few dollars, making them a steal compared to a cross-country vacation.

Art Galleries around Buffalo & Niagara Falls

Whether you’re an art lover or just looking for something fun to do on a cold day, Buffalo’s art scene is sure to impress. Here are some of our favorite art museums and galleries around Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

Elmwood Village / North Buffalo

Albright-Knox Art Gallery BUffalo NY

The Albright-Knox Gallery, with its famed “mirror room” and expansive collection, is a must-visit in Buffalo, NY for art lovers and everyday folks alike. [Image: Danielle Sauers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

Albright-Knox Art Gallery – The cream of the crop for art galleries in Buffalo, the Albright Knox is a must see for any visitor or local. The gallery has something for everyone – from classical to modern paintings, sculptures and drawings to art classes and a cafe to help you refuel during your visit. Its famed “mirror room” is a must see, with the walls, floor, ceiling, and furniture all completely made of mirrors. Best of all, on the first Friday of every month the Albright-Knox is free to the public all day and into the evening. With the gallery updated frequently with new artwork, there’s always something new to check out. Located on Elmwood Ave. only a 4-minute drive from our Delaware Park Apartments, there’s no reason not to take advantage of this gem in the heart of the city of Buffalo.

Burchfield Penney Art Center – Located on the Buffalo State campus on Elmwood Ave., the Burchfield Penney Art Center is a treasure for art lovers and a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. The building itself is a work of art – modern yet welcoming, with tall ceilings and bright, open rooms. The Center has the largest collection of any other of the work of Charles Burchfield, one of the most prominent American watercolorists. It also features many events throughout the year, including films, artwork, musical performances and informative talks. And on the second Friday of every month, the Burchfield Penney opens its doors to the public for free — perfect for date night or a solo adventure.

Revolution Art Gallery – Buffalo artist Craig LaRotonda recently opened The Revolution Art Gallery in a former bookstore on Hertel Ave. and it’s already created a stir within the local art community. The gallery focuses on pop-surrealism, a popular genre of dark, sometimes controversial art, which hasn’t previously had much of a presence in Buffalo. Featuring works from the owner himself, his wife and various artists across the country, the North Buffalo gallery is definitely worth checking out. And it’s conveniently located just a 5-minute drive from our Main Jewett Apartments and Delaware Park Apartments, so residents can stop in often to check out the latest exhibits.

Downtown Buffalo / East Side

Daddy's garage buffalo art gallery

Daddy’s Garage, located on the East Side of Buffalo, showcases a wide variety of unique graffiti art from across the country. [Image: Daddy’s Garage]

Daddy’s Garage – One of the more unique galleries around, you may not even realize Daddy’s Garage houses some of the city’s coolest artwork until you step inside. The gallery is located in a two-story brick building on East Ferry Street with an automotive repair shop on the first floor. Upstairs is the gallery, with murals painted on the walls and canvases displayed and available for purchase. It features graffiti-style art from a rotating crop of artists across the country, as well as clothing designed by artists. If you’re looking for something different, whether it’s to purchase or just observe, you should definitely check out Daddy’s Garage.

Western New York Book Arts Center – When most people think of art, they often forget about printing and book-related arts — the focus of the popular of the popular Western New York Book Arts Center (WNYBAC) located in downtown Buffalo. The center features exhibits and events related to book arts, as well as workshops focused on bookbinding, screenprinting, letterpress, papermaking and more. The center also offers custom printing services and prints, greeting cards and posters for purchase. With only a handful of community access printing press workshops open across the country, Buffalo is lucky to be home to such a rare, interesting type of art gallery.

Niagara Falls / Toronto

royal museum art ontario toronto canada

The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada features a large collection of art and design works from all over the world. [Image: Royal Ontario Museum]

Castellani Art Museum – Located right on the Niagara University campus in Lewiston, the Castellani Art Museum features over 5500 pieces of mostly modern and contemporary art. The building itself is a work of art on campus, faced with white-gray marble imported from Italy. Collections include paintings, pottery, sculptures, photography and Charles Rand Penney’s famous collection of Historical Niagara Falls Prints. Just a 15-minute drive from our Niagara Falls apartments and less than a half hour from downtown Buffalo, the museum is definitely worth a stop.

Royal Ontario Museum of Art – If you’re willing to make the short drive from Buffalo (it’s less than two hours), the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada is more than worth the trip. It’s one of the largest museums in North America and the largest in Canada, attracting over 1 million visitors per year. The World Culture galleries within the museum display a wide variety of objects from around the world, including art and design works ranging from Stone Age implements from China and Africa to 20th-century artwork. The museum also contains an extensive collection of design and fine arts, including clothing, interior, and Art Deco design. The expansive nature of the museum, along with its diverse collections with items from around the world, have helped give the museum a reputation both internationally and locally, and a visit should certainly be on your bucket list.

What’s your favorite art gallery or museum in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.

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