Buffalo’s best art galleries

The Spectrum’s list of the best Queen City art


Buffalo’s art scene has long since been underestimated. With countless exhibitions and galleries around town, the Queen City has more to offer than what’s on the surface – you just have to know where to look.

Here, The Spectrum has done the research for you, to put you in the know. What follows is a list of Buffalo’s best art galleries, rated based on popularity, influence in the Buffalo art community and the diversity of the exhibitions.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery was founded in 1862. Since then, the gallery has grown exponentially. Now it sits in the middle of Elmwood, housing a collection of contemporary and experimental artwork. The gallery constantly does promotional events with the City of Buffalo – and, each first Friday of the month, students can enter the gallery free of charge. The art gallery is a staple of the Buffalo art community and is number one The Spectrum’s list.

Burchfield Penney Art Center

Burchfield Penney Art Center comes in second. The gallery, known for its collections running from the 19th century to the present day, is slightly more contemporary than Albright. The gallery is currently hosting a series of modern exhibitions from different 21st century artists. The gallery hosts free Fridays on the second Friday of every month. This gallery, along with the Albright-Knox, forms the crux of Buffalo’s art scene.

CEPA Gallery

The Contemporary Photography & Visual Arts Center is located in Buffalo’s Market Arcade Complex. Originally started as a community darkroom, the CEPA Gallery has since grown to become one of Buffalo’s biggest local galleries, supporting local artists in the area. Consistently looking for new talent and often drawing from UB art students, CEPA takes the third spot because of its role in supporting the local art scene. Recently, CEPA merged with the Big Orbit Gallery to expand the gallery’s scope of visual arts.

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

Hallwalls, similar to CEPA, is a huge advocate for the local Buffalo arts scene. It is located on Delaware, connected to Babeville, a local venue, and Righteous Babe Records, a local record company. Together, these three venues form a community of music and art, consistently trying to push the local culture forward.

Brian Windschitl is the senior arts editor and can be reached at brian.windschitl@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @_brnwnd.