10 Places to Experience Art in Columbus

401 W Rich

By Mariah West


The winter season is an excellent time to check out some of the many indoor art spaces that call Columbus home.  With a constantly growing and thriving creative scene, the city has a lot to offer to those looking for an authentic, stimulating art experience. From museums & galleries to art studios & schools, here are some of the best places to get your fix for all things creative.


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Columbus Museum of Art

Formed in 1878, one of the city’s largest and best creative institutions is by far the Columbus Museum of Art. The museum itself is a masterpiece on its own, boasting a bold, modern architectural design. Inside, it houses a vast collection of nineteenth & twentieth-century American and European works with a focus on contemporary art, folk art, glass, and photography. The Downtown favorite hosts a variety of rotating exhibitions, showcases, workshops, and special events year-round and its stunning space includes several large galleries & interactive rooms, an auditorium, café, art garden, and a notably funky gift shop. More Info ››


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400 W Rich

In a former manufacturing warehouse in Franklinton resides 400 W Rich, a studio space for over 140 local artists and hub for the neighborhood’s thriving creative scene. Although the location is only accessible to residents most of the time, 400 opens its doors to the public during the area’s monthly Franklinton Friday events and for year-round sales, markets, exhibits, festivals, classes, and more. Exploring the winding halls of the collective, visitors will get an eyeful of art of all mediums, in addition to an intimate look at where artists bring their creativity to life. More Info ››


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934 Gallery

Although 934 Gallery isn’t located in a traditionally art-centric neighborhood, it is still one of the best and most promising gallery spaces in the city. Behind a storefront of murals & brick, the 2,700 square-foot gem highlights contemporary works from local, national, and international artist, showcasing eclectic exhibitions, installations, performances, and public art projects year-round. Along with their neighboring studio space & creative collective, Mio Arts, 934 is dedicated to bringing culture and artistic perspective to the historic Milo-Grogan neighborhood. More Info ››


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Short North Arts District

We couldn’t have a list of creative spaces without giving a nod to the ones scattered throughout the Short North Arts District. Whether it’s a local business displaying exhibits in their shop, or a traditional gallery, the best time to view art in this neighborhood is during the monthly Gallery Hop, where the public can freely explore the area’s establishments. Offering works ranging from fine to folk art, the Short North’s galleries showcase thousands of artists and include the Lindsay, Hammond Harkins, Sherrie, (Not) Sheep, and Brandt-Roberts Galleries, plus many more. More Info ››




Founded in 1879, the Columbus College of Art & Design is one of the oldest and most reputed art schools in the country, so it’s a given that the college is a go-to for viewing art of all kinds. CCAD’s campus features three different galleries which are mainly used to showcase Fine Arts students’ senior thesis projects, which are on display one week at a time year-round. These spaces and others within the CCAD campus also host a plethora of exhibitions, juried shows, and events like fashion shows, film festivals, and art sales that are open to the public. More Info ››


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Fresh A.I.R. Gallery

The Fresh A.I.R. (Artists in Recovery) Gallery Downtown is unique in the fact that it exclusively showcases the works of artists affected by mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders. A project of Southeast Healthcare Services, the gallery aims to educate the community on mental health issues through art, and provides a public platform for the creators associated with the program. Guests to this space can expect to view contemporary art in a range of mediums, and can leave knowing their visit supported an amazing cause. More Info ››


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Wexner Center for the Arts

The Wexner Center for the Arts is the Ohio State University’s museum of contemporary art that resides in the heart of campus on the cusp of High St. and The Oval. In addition to eclectic rotating art exhibits year-round, this center is a hotspot for arts events, offering everything from exclusive film screenings & musical acts to live theatre & dance, artist visits, and programs for all age ranges. The Wexner Center also includes a café and a unique gift shop with one of the best art book collections in the city. More Info ››


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Pizzuti Collection

Facing Goodale Park just around the corner from bustling Park Street and Short North, the Pizzuti Collection sits surrounded by jumbo sculptures, housing an incredible gallery of contemporary art inside. This nonprofit organization & art center focuses on painting, print, sculpture, drawings, film, and photography with its rotating exhibits & permanent collection, which has been ranking as one of the best in the world. The organization also hosts artist talks, lectures, educational programs & special events throughout the year. More Info ››


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Ohio Craft Museum

The Ohio Craft Museum is a hidden gem of Columbus, a program of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen residing on 5th avenue in the Grandview area. This museum takes a break from the typical fine art gallery, designating its focus to contemporary handmade goods and artworks like pottery, textiles, jewelry, sculpture, and much more. The museum hosts a rotating display of its permanent collection along with five major exhibitions and several large sales every year. The space also includes a gift shop and a Craft Research Library, which serves as venues to educational programs and workshops for all ages. More Info ››


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Riffe Gallery

The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery is located inside the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts just across from the Statehouse Downtown. This art space puts a spotlight on Ohio creatives and the permanent collections of museums and galleries from around the state, hosting frequently rotating exhibitions throughout the year. The Riffe Gallery also has an excellent education program and hosts various events for the public, putting heavy value on bringing art to the community. Programs appeal to a range of age groups and include everything from writing workshops & poetry readings to painting classes & kids’ crafts.  More Info ››



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