Things to do in Houston

20 of Our Favorite Art Galleries and Museums in Houston, Texas

Get into Houston's art scene with a tour of top-notch galleries in the city, and while you're at it, explore the variety of things to do in Houston.

Sometimes the best way to explore a city is through the eyes of the people who call it home. Visit these Houston art galleries and see how talents from Houston and all over the world view everything from pain and loss to shared joy, cultural evolution, and the promise of tomorrow.

Here are 20 of our favorite art galleries and museums in Houston, TX.

1. Off The Wall Gallery

Address: 5015 Westheimer Rd #2208, Houston, TX 77056

When sisters Paula and Mimi Sperber first opened the doors of their poster-focused Off The Wall Gallery in 1978, they had no idea that their quirky establishment would become one of the many hidden gems in Houston, still welcoming patrons nearly 50 years later. But these days, OTW has grown from a playful drop-in spot for subversive creators to an anchor on the Houston art scene. It showcases how diverse and fun the city’s galleries can be.

What began as an exhibition space of new pop artists soon involved high-end graphics and large-scale paperworks. Charles Fazzino, Peter Max, and Andy Warhol have all had works at OTW. Their masterpieces soak up appreciation in the gallery’s 2,500-square-foot exhibition space. 

Today, Off The Wall has grown in actual footprint (their current custom-built gallery is about 4,600 square feet) and in scope. Poster art joins sculptures and impressionist works. Stops from modern shows bring everyone from Picasso to Dali to the heart of Texas.

2. Archway Gallery

Address: 2305 Dunlavy St, Houston, TX 77006

Artist-owned and -operated galleries seem to hit differently. There’s something about creatives taking control of art business and sales that makes a rich, rewarding experience. You can feel that at Archway Gallery. The gallery’s original location on Montrose clocked in at just 600 square feet of art space, but it’s moved around quite a bit over the years.

Its current 4000-square-foot home on Dunlavy is far more expansive, and the artist group behind the gallery is 34 people strong. They produce everything from mixed-media works to oil paintings to pottery. Archway is a showcase of local Houston talent for all to peruse, appreciate, and (hopefully) purchase within this gorgeous studio space.

Photographer: Zalfa Imani

3. Insomnia Gallery

Address: 902 Hardy St, Houston, TX 77020

Like an 80s movie come to life, Insomnia Gallery takes the best aspects of a record store and art gallery and combines them into a single venue that's destined to make your brain happy and your pockets a bit lighter. The powers that be pride themselves on throwing art parties, not shows. With events like Punk Rock Garage Sale and Cheap Date: $25 Art Show on the docket, the mission is clear.

This is one of the few art museums in Houston that prefers fewer restrictions on what can be shown and bought. Fresh-off-the-presses pop art and “low brow” works take precedence, but there are multimedia exhibits — think walls covered in skateboards — too.

4. Thornwood Gallery

Address: 2643 Colquitt St, Houston, TX 77098

Thornwood Gallery is kind of like an art agency. The owners show off art at every turn,  beginning in their own Gallery Row location. They also specialize in placing impressive works in high-profile corporate offices and hotels. Chosen artists are in line for long-term opportunities, like national and international residences and public art installations.

Visitors to this fine art gallery in Houston will see stellar examples of abstract art, as well as realism and impressionism. Photography and sculpture often adorn the walls and display stands as well. If there’s something you fall in love with, you can head to the gallery’s website and use their innovative Virtual Install tool to see how the piece would look in your own home or office.

5. John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio

Address: 1218 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77008

Self-confidence can change your life. Without it, our acrobats wouldn't be able to fly through the air as if unencumbered, and evocative artists wouldn't be able to display their art. At the center of the John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio is one person: John Palmer himself.

Self-dubbed “The Hardest Working Man in the Art Business,” Palmer started his work as an artist following the death of his father in 1998. His pain inspired him, and fans say they can see the emotions and strike on every canvas. Each brushstroke conveys the healing process Palmer is eternally going through.

The gallery includes a colorful array of Escapism art created on everything from custom boxes and furniture to jewelry and neon. To see it all in person, you’ll need to call or text Palmer for an appointment or to set up a tour. Don't worry, though — it’s worth the work. Palmer's bungalow home is a chance to peek behind the curtain and see how he works, enjoying art that is very much outside the “norm” and all the better for it.

6. Lawndale Art Center

Address: 4912 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

In 1979, artist James Surls sought to create a space where University of Houston graduate students could work without limits. The result was Lawndale Art Center, a new type of art gallery in Houston that would empower students and provide a space for exhibitions, performances, and round table discussions about art and the societal factors that influence ideation.

Over time, Lawndale has evolved to be an independent non-profit entity with around 500 artists exhibiting their work each year. Events like Dia de los Muertos, The Big Show, and Design Fair offer a focused look at specific themes and artist groups, and the Lawndale Artist Studio Program gives participants a nine-month, generously sponsored residency that culminates in a spring show. Admission is free, but members get access to a lending library that features work by contemporary artists in Houston and beyond.

Photographer: Klaudia Piaskowska

7. Gallery Sonja Roesch

Address: 2309 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004

Gallery Sonja Roesch takes a more global approach to sharing art. The gallery premiered in Germany before jumping the pond and landing in Houston in 1996. Much of the gallery features large sculpture work with a minimalist aesthetic, including pieces by Texas artist Mac Whitney and NYC creator John Clement. But the gallery’s programming isn’t limited to oversized creations. The walls are filled with contributions from artists who prefer mixed media, drawing, and painting.

The gallery has Monday through Friday open-door hours, but you can also visit by appointment. Temporary exhibits are plentiful and varied, so visit often to experience the full breadth of what Roesch has made possible.

8. Art Of The World Gallery

Address: 2201 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098

There might not be a slew of museums of fine arts in Houston, but there are galleries that seek to bring art representing some of the world’s most influential artists — living and passed — to the people of Bayou City. Art of the World is one such gallery. The approach here is simple but outside the norm for a smaller spot. Instead of accepting one or two pieces from each artist, Art of the World Gallery looks to develop meaningful relationships that result in the majority of an artist’s inventory being transferred from their studio or estate to the gallery’s Houston facility.

Some of the most renowned classic masters and innovative, modern-day artists have shown here, including Pablo Picasso, Wilfredo Lam, Fernando Botero, Marc Chagall, Javier Martin, Chun Kwang, Carole A. Feuerman, Mr. Brainwash, Park Eun Sun, Rufino Tamayo, and Robert Indiana. Some pieces are for display, while others are part of the gallery’s art acquisition program. Pieces you love today may well be hanging in an office or far-away exhibit tomorrow.

9. Redbud Arts Center

Address: 303 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77008

Redbud Arts Center is a multipurpose non-profit arts advisory agency that also specializes in fine art exhibitions, residencies, educational workshops, and even film and book development. But the main attraction for the average Joe is the gallery, an imaginative space where the art on display becomes one with its surroundings.

Painted, weather-worn planks stretch from floor to ceiling, separating the front of the gallery from its inner workings. An arched doorway sits covered in arranged flotsam and jetsam, driving home the gallery’s passion for creation the moment you step inside. It’s a brilliant use of a petite, 400-square-foot space, making your visit feel more immersive.

As a non-profit, Redbud provides its services at low or no cost, empowering aspiring artists who need to see first hand what they can achieve.

10. Jumper Maybach - Fine Contemporary Abstract Art Studio

Address: 1907 Sabine St #156, Houston, TX 77007

While some art galleries in Houston dedicate themselves to highlighting a cross-section of local and international artists, Jumper Maybach - Fine Contemporary Abstract Art Studio is all about the work of one individual: Jumper Maybach. 

Every piece Maybach produces is vibrant and emotional. The color palate often changes, sweeping from stark monochromatic splashes to a purple so electrifying you can almost feel it buzz. The artist’s own trauma and path toward healing are represented in pieces like Can’t Fix Stupid and The Cotton Candy Series. The latter is an attempt to put spontaneity on canvas — it’s up to you whether it’s successful, but we’re definitely on board for another serving.

11. Nicole Longnecker Gallery

Address: 1440 Greengrass Dr, Houston, TX 77008

You’ll find a fascinating mix of local, national, and international artists exhibited at the Nicole Longnecker Gallery. All specialize in contemporary art, but there’s a lot of room for interpretation and imagination within that niche. Innovation and individuality are fully on display. Painting is on the list, for sure, but so is drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. 

Shows like Dream Dream Dream by Carlos Donjuan, Glitched, and Black Love Now tackle themes that resonate with artists and onlookers alike. The creators have a chance to be seen and, with any luck, sell a piece or six. Visitors get to experience some of the best artists in the game today without leaving the boundaries of Houston.

12. Allan Rodewald Gallery

Address: 1402 Dart St, Houston, TX 77007

Add the Allan Rodewald Gallery to the list of Houston art galleries that shout about talent deserving of worldwide applause. Rodewald is a contemporary abstract artist who combines painting with other mediums, including lightbox work, canvas, aluminum, graphite, acrylic, and plexiglass. The combination of fresh ideas and sophisticated technique is intoxicating — you can see it in for-sale works like Rodewald’s Dream Series, with pieces that look like artfully crumpled sheets hung next to reverse glass paintings bubbling with joy, exploration, and bold hues.

Allan is also a sought-after art consultant and takes commissions. You can see his work around the city, including a jaw-dropping 7’ x 70’ mural inside Houston’s historic City Hall.

13. Hiram Butler Gallery

Address: 4520 Blossom St, Houston, TX 77007

The true Hiram Butler Gallery experience starts well before you walk through the front door. The building itself is not a warehouse or modern structure on Gallery Row but a lovingly restored 20th-century cottage ringed by lush gardens and towering trees that have probably been around even longer than the cottage itself. 

Inside, you’ll find watercolors and oils by Julie Bozzi, monotype branding on smoked paper by John Cage, shelves filled with found objects by Tony Feher, and multi-media masterpieces by Shana Hoehn. The artist list is long and diverse, and there’s a sense of always courting the unexpected, even within the confines of a very unassuming facade.

14. Sicardi Gallery

Address: 1506 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77006

Sicardi Gallery is more than just a fine art gallery. It’s a chance to nurture cross-cultural connections through pieces created by some of the most avant-garde innovators in Latin America. Since 1994, partners Allison Armstrong Ayers and Carlos Bacino have worked tirelessly to build connections with artists as well as art historians and collectors, establishing a network that stimulates sales, intellectual debate, and esthetic exploration in equal measure.

Modernist masters, contemporary artists, and modern Latin-American creators are all welcome in the gallery’s 5,900-square-foot, two-floor exhibition space (there’s also a research center and library on the premises). Look for work by Miguel Angel Rojas, Oscar Munoz, Jesus Rafael Soto, Leon Ferrari, and Alejandro Otero, amid a sea of other luminaries deserving of their time in the sun.

Photographer: Kitera Dent

15. Bisong Art Gallery

Address: 1305 Sterrett St, Houston, TX 77002

In Houston’s Warehouse District is a gallery that caters to art lovers and collectors, interior designers, and business owners. Every exhibit helps funnel art by emerging and on-the-rise artists into the hands of those who will appreciate passion on paper and canvas the most.

Bisong Art Gallery’s brick walls and arched windows are triumphs as is. But add in contemporary and African art by Zahra Ali, Craig (TheArtist) Carter, Corey Haynes, Mark Nesmith, Romeo Robinson, and Cassandra Bohne-L, among others, and the space really shines. 

You can buy art during your visit or through the website. There are options for custom art, too, with a consultant to help you figure out what it is that your soul (or your living room) truly needs. And if you’re looking for a venue to rent, the gallery is up for grabs — everything from book signings to painting parties can benefit from the unique surroundings and creativity-boosting atmosphere.

16. McClain Gallery

Step right up and embrace the unexpected at Mclain Gallery, a modern space brimming with the latest exhibitions from today’s top artists. Part contemporary art museum, part store, this is the place to see and be seen while shopping for your favorite prints. Explore topics ranging from what it means to be a young, black queer artist to embracing nature to discovering the meaning of life as you browse works from dozens of creative geniuses.

The coolest part? You might just bump into one yourself; artists love to spend time here, and with new and improved works hitting the gallery’s walls regularly, there’s always a new exhibit to set your eyes on.

17. Anya Tish Gallery

The Anya Tish Gallery is a beautiful space that opens its doors to those with a passion for art in every form. It showcases contemporary works from both regional and international artists, so you’ll stay on the pulse of the latest trends in the creative realm. Top artists include Adela Andea, HJ Bott, Shannon Cannings, and William Cannings, among many others.

Routinely rotating exhibitions give visitors a chance to delve deeper into the works they love most. Cataplexy, the third solo exhibition by Texas’s own Shayne Murphy, features masterful works that tell the story of his battle with narcolepsy, along with mystified versions of animals and haunting backdrops that are not for the faint of heart.

18. Moody Gallery

Opened by Betty Moody in 1975, the namesake Moody Gallery is a Houston favorite. Only American artists are showcased here, with a strong focus on those living and working in Texas. It’s fresh art with a local flair, and the exhibitions always tell a story. Examples include Greek Mythologies and Birds with Animals, so if there’s a topic you’re interested in, chances are you’ll find it hanging as art for sale within the extensive collection. Moody also highlights emerging and mid-career artists, so you get a unique peek (and a steal of a deal) of the latest works to hit the market.

19. Contemporary Arts Museum

Founded in 1948, the Contemporary Art Museum is a staple for any Houston creative seeking rich culture. The extensive collection features works from a plethora of talented artists ranging from local newbies to international professionals. Nestled into the heart of the Houston museum district, it’s always easy to squeeze a trip in.

The iconic stainless steel structure is a work in and of itself, so the artistic journey starts before you even enter. Within the building, discover two floors of gallery space with a variety of interesting exhibitions ranging from light and fun to deep and meaningful.

20. Koelsch Gallery

Have a passion for fashion? Meet your museum match. Koelsch Gallery presents works from local and international artists alike, so you’ll find a bit of everything. Within the cheery space, you’re invited to browse the pieces, attend fashion shows, and check out art collection displays.

Koelsch Gallery is devoted to both art and fashion, so there’s always something going on within its brightly lit walls. Its unique taste is revealed in the collections of art and fashion that are shown within. An international boutique gallery vibe within a uniquely Houston space? Count us in.

21. Exploring the Canvas of Creativity: A Brushstroke of Conclusion

Houston is an incredible, dynamic city that’s less a melting pot and more a meeting place of minds, hearts, and experiences. Houston art galleries reflect that patchwork quilt of innovation and creation, with spaces ranging from quaint and quirky to large and refined, all ready to show off work by the world’s best and brightest talents.

When you’re done gallery hopping for the day, keep inspiration alive by attending a show that’s as groundbreaking and poetic as the art you just perused. Snag tickets to one of our shows in Houston and become part of the provocative as you experience wonder through performance art and acrobatics.

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