Go from waterfalls to watercolors in Niagara Falls USA, where the art scene offers a vibrant palette of attractions for all manner of art enthusiasts (and all manner of price-points). Looking to marvel at an original Picasso? Or perhaps purchase a print from an emerging local artist? Here’s our curation of the best art houses, galleries and creative hubs from across Niagara County.
Located on the scenic campus of Niagara University, Castellani Art Museum is the region’s flagship cultural destination, hosting more than 5,000 artworks within its stunning marbled walls. Wander its galleries and you’ll uncover everything from historic folk to contemporary pieces. But, undoubtedly, the main allure is viewing the grand works from the likes of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí. And while the masterpieces are priceless, admission to the Castellani is free.
Consider yourself an art locavore? Then pay a visit to the Kenan Center in Lockport, which pays homage to Western New York art, showcasing a trove of local and regional artists. During your visit, you may also wander around the center’s postcard-perfect gardens or check out a show at the onsite Taylor Theater, which was renovated from a former carriage house. There are myriad events, too, so sync up your visit with the likes of the center’s annual craft show or wine and beer festival.
You don’t have to travel to Fifth Avenue to get your Tiffany fix. One of Niagara Falls USA’s greatest treasures is located inside the hidden jewel that is Lockport’s First Presbyterian Church. The chapel is a true design wonder, featuring a heavenly collection of stained-glass windows; six using original Tiffany glass and six masterfully designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany himself. Visitors are welcome to attend the church’s worship services and take a self-guided tour afterwards, or book a scheduled guided tour directly. Suggested donation: $5.
A yesteryear library named after its illustrious donor, Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Art Center is now one of the quirkiest hubs in the Western New York art scene. Under the guidance of Tonawanda’s Council of the Arts, the center features a striking rotunda gallery known for its eclectic calendar of exhibitions — think everything from comic book art to wild bison artistry. Architecture buffs are in luck, too, as the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
It’s what every trendy downtown needs nowadays: great breweries, top-notch food trucks and amazing street art. Our very own Art Alley NF delivers just that — a vibrant lane of street art framed in the perfect backdrop of downtown Niagara Falls. Based on a public mural project, the alley features the work of talented local artists who turned the city itself into a canvas. Need a photo-op? Consider the Greetings from Niagara Falls, New York mural as the must-have backdrop to your Instagram feed. P.S. If you fancy tinkling the ivories, keep an eye out for the public piano that regularly cameos on the alley.
Located along the scenic Erie Canal in historic Lockport, it’s little wonder that Art247 inspires the creative flow. Once a former factory building, it’s now home to working studios that share space with a wonderful gallery, luring locals and visitors alike with impressive seasonal exhibitions. You may also browse the center gift store for the perfect artsy souvenir or even enroll in an art class to create your very own masterpiece.
Housed in a stunning classic revival building that was once the Niagara Falls High School, the NACC is the largest multi-arts center in Upstate New York. What does that mean? It means the community — and visitors — can access three galleries and three theaters, as well as a cafe and gift shop filled with art created in the 60-some studios on campus. Check the website before your visit for info regarding exhibits on display and shows on stage.