Rochester is home to a large and engaging art community with many attractions dedicated to viewing, creating and learning about the visual arts. Some events and places on this list are within Rochester’s art district, known as the Neighborhood of the Arts, where one can see public art at almost every corner.

The Top 10 list below is in no specific order… they are simply the best art attractions in Rochester.

Memorial Art Gallery:

Arguably the most well-known gallery in Rochester, The Memorial Art Gallery has an enormous collection with over 12,000 works of art showcasing cultures from around the world and over 5,000 years of history. The permanent collection includes works by Monet, Rembrandt, Dürer, Cézanne, and Matisse. Whether you’re searching for works from the ancient Middle East, the Italian renaissance or contemporary art you’ll find what you’re looking for here. This museum doesn’t just stop at their vast collection, it also offers insightful tours, workshops, concerts, and frequent temporary exhibits. So be sure to check out their calendar of events!

George Eastman House:

The International Museum of Photography and Film is right here in Rochester, NY! Inspired by George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester and considered the father of photography’s popularity, this museum is the world’s oldest devoted to photography and film. With enriching classes, enormous holdings that rival other major museums, and their very own theater featuring archival films, the George Eastman House should be on anyone’s list of places to visit.

Citywide Gallery Nights aka First Friday & Second Saturday:

There are two Citywide Gallery Nights every month and it’s just as it sounds. The first friday and second saturday of every month private studios and commercial art venues are open as a community night for experiencing art. We highly recommend taking a peek at the open studios of talented artists in The Hungerford Building on E Main Street and in The Anderson Arts Building on N Goodman Street. So, go check out the abundance of art that Rochester has to offer on the first friday of every month from 6pm-9pm and the second saturday of every month from 12pm-4pm. Of the Citywide Gallery Nights, First Fridays are busier as more local artists have their studios open.

Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

This artistic hub is open on Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm to 5pm and on Friday from 1pm to 10pm, but is closed between exhibitions. The Rochester Contemporary Art Center not only houses a variety of unique and contemporary exhibits, but also is considered a meeting ground for enthusiasts, teachers, and artists. It’s known for its yearly international 6×6 art show, begun Rochester’s Citywide Gallery Nights and encourages collaborations between organizations and artists. The Rochester Contemporary Art Center also accepts general submissions by artists.

Genesee Center for the Arts:

This community-based art center is focused around educating people of all ages and growing Rochester through the arts. With Rochester’s largest ceramics studio space and the most comprehensive community darkroom in the area, Genesee Center for the Arts offers numerous workshops, classes, and youth programs with studio access. They also have a printing & book arts center, as well as two galleries where they exhibit work. Whether you would like to create something, take a class, or view art in their galleries you’ll definitely have a great time and learn something along the way!


ARTISANworks is an art gallery and museum of working culture with around 500,000 items in their collection. They offer tours of their facility with opportunities to see artists working in their studios, view numerous themed areas as well as participating in workshops and scavenger hunts! ARTISANworks also hosts impressive events from weddings and corporate parties to fundraisers with auctions. If you’re looking for a unique experience in Rochester then this is where you’ll find one!

AXOM Gallery:

A fairly new gallery established in the center of Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts, AXOM Gallery highlights contemporary art created by emerging and renowned artists. Fostering the revitalization of Rochester through visual arts, this gallery hosts events, offers artist talks and art demonstrations. AXOM occasionally participates during First Friday and accepts submission by artists.

The Shoe Factory Art Co-op:

Located on the second floor of The Anderson Arts Building, The Shoe Factory Art Co-op offers affordable drawing and painting art classes as well as a space for local artists to exhibit their work in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts. The gallery space showcases an array of original art by their house artist members and they frequently hold submissions for themed exhibit opportunities. They’re always open for First Friday and Second Saturday.

Image City Photography Gallery:

The Image City Photography Gallery shows large, diverse photographic exhibits that each run for about four weeks. They offer some classes, workshops and are always encouraging photographers to submit their own work. The gallery does not charge an admission fee and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 6pm as well as on Sunday, 12pm-4pm. If you’re looking for an educational and artistic photography experience, then visiting this gallery is well worth your time!

Oxford Gallery, Inc:

The Oxford Gallery has over several thousand items in it collection including contemporary art, as well as from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. All events at the Oxford Gallery are free. They are open from Tuesday to Friday, 12-5pm and Saturday from 10am-5pm.