American Art Awards Names Best Gallery In New York: CEPA / Center For Exploratory And Perceptual Arts

Thom Bierdz
4 min readMay 17, 2022

Each year the American Art Awards selects the 20 Best Galleries And Museums In America; only one museum or gallery per state per year. Among other criteria, selections are based on years established, industry reputation, online buzz, location, size, socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references.

American Art Awards: “We considered thousands of the most established art venues from Hawaii to Maine. This year we chose five museums, one with an impeccable reputation for 125 years, one 80, one 50, one 40, and one fairly new. We selected a Mid-West art center doing important community work for 44 years, and a lively Southern gallery linked to a 5 day festival. Most the galleries we selected are heralded longtime landmarks with expansive interiors perfect for exhibiting today’s contemporary masters. Many have several locations and cater specifically to regional collectors with regional artwork, but just as many represent all genres of work from all levels of national and international artisans.

“We are proud to name the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Arts our Best Gallery or Museum in New York, 2022, and one of American Art Awards 20 Best Galleries / Museums in America, 2022. They are a popular and respected contemporary photography and visual arts center with continuous impact in both local and national communities. CEPA, in the heart of downtown Buffalo, has been an important influence for nearly 50 years, offering three galleries of changing exhibits and events, multimedia public art installations, arts education programs, and an open-access darkroom and digital photo lab.”


CEPA Gallery was founded during the Alternative Space Movement in May 1974 by recent graduates of the University of Buffalo. Today’s high costs of many art exhibitions and programs make the arts inaccessible to a broad swath of Buffalonians, an issue that CEPA actively addresses by making their galleries free and open to the public.


CEPA fosters the exploration of photography and contemporary visual arts through its exhibition and arts education programs, nurturing creativity and encouraging active learning for all. It’s goal is to be an incubator of artistic creation recognized nationally as a place where programs drive engagement with art as an essential facet of life and community.


CEPA Gallery 16th Charitable Auction, On View at the gallery and opened for bidding online May 6th-20th, 2022.

Mythologies of Identity: A Cindy Sherman retrospective for the Gerald Mead Collection, June 3-July 30, 2022

A Genderless World: Dane-Adrian Smith, June 3-July 30, 2022

CEPA GALLERY / 617 Main Street (Main Office, Suite 201) Buffalo, NY 14203 (716) 856–2717


Wednesday: 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Thursday: 4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Friday: 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Sat: 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Other times available by appointment. annually awards 20 museums and galleries in spring, and with their critique in autumn, awards 300+ artists (painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists).



Thom Bierdz

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORS, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 12 books: 6 on art. President of WAA & AAA & ACCA.