The 20 Best Galleries In USA / AMERICAN ART AWARDS

Thom Bierdz
9 min readApr 2


The 15th annual American Art Awards has decided the 20 Best Galleries and Museums in USA for 2023. The board bases decisions on years established, industry reputation, online interest, location, size, aesthetics, socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists, references, among other criteria.

AMERICAN ART AWARDS: “Each year we pick a variety of galleries in appearance and genres, and this year is no exception. In our Top 20 for 2023, we chose the largest gallery in the Southwest and the largest exhibition space in Florida and also the largest in Austin, Texas. An Atlanta organization specializing in black art won in Georgia, a bold Vegas pop hotspot won in Nevada, and museums were chosen for Kentucky and South Dakota. We also selected one of New York’s only non-profit galleries, downtown Indianapolis’ premier event venue space and an enormous Kansas institution which is fulltime home to 35 artists. We decided on several galleries owned by notable painters, some women-run, and some specializing in Western impressionism, others in abstract, others in realism. Most our Top 20 represent contemporary paintings, sculpture, digital art and photography — but we do have businesses exhibiting old master works from Europe, Asia and the Americas.”

American Art Awards 20 Best Galleries & Museums for 2023, in alphabetical order:

Rising like a gigantic mystical temple in Sedona, this 20,000 sq ft showplace displays the finest of every style from classical to contemporary. Serving private or commercial needs, Exposures International Gallery Of Fine Art offers small maquettes to monumental bronze and stone sculptures, original oil and acrylic otherworldly paintings, fine art jewelry, enchanting glass art…

Located in the Sterling Hardware Building in the Gaslamp Quarter District of downtown San Diego, Sparks Gallery exhibits and sells original Contemporary Artwork primarily by Southern California artists who innovate and provide excellent craftsmanship in a multitude of mediums. Founded in 2013, the stunning venue showcases collaborative exhibitions and solo exhibitions with a focus on surreal and impressionistic artwork, in themes ranging from portraiture and figurative to landscape and conceptual.

Both the booming Denver gallery, Mirada Fine Art, and owner/curator Steve Sonnen continue to be prominently featured in national and international art publications as well as appearing on numerous ‘Best Of’ lists. Lively spirited art, insightful exhibits, a Colorado vortex.

Four locations equaling 20,000 sq ft gives MAC ART GALLERIES the largest exhibition space in South Florida, and with close proximity to Art Basel & Art Miami, they are a vital part of today’s art culture. Maintains an in-house Multimedia Department complete with digital photography studio, state-of-the-art Gicleé printing facility — with computer-graphic/prepress. For over 20 years, owner Mary Ann Cohen has represented many of the world’s most accomplished and commercial artists: selling internationally to upscale hotels, restaurants, corporations, luxury cruise ships and museums.

BLACK ART IN AMERICA™ (BAIA) is a multifaceted arts company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 2010 the mission has been to document, preserve and promote the contributions of the African American arts community. About half a million visitors from 100 countries visit their leading online portal and network each month for their social media pages: Black Art In America™ and Garden Art for the Soul. BAIA breaks news, arranges gallery shows and meet-ups, markets trends, and profiles leading (and emerging) Black visual artists.

Gallery Forty-Two is downtown Indianapolis’ premier event venue space. The building is recognized by the Historic Preservation of Indianapolis as the oldest surviving commercial structure in the city; original construction in the 1830’s. A masterful renovation was completed in 2014 by philanthropic natives of Indiana, Jim and Linda Hunter. Purchased in 2021 by local businessman and two-time Olympian, Bill Kessler, Gallery Forty-Two honors its past, and salutes the present and future with noteworthy exhibitions of Mid-West artisans.

Located in a three-story building in historic Old Town district, CityArts is home to more than 35 professional artists who teach art to the community and engage with students who learn how to create pieces of art in a supportive community setting. Year-round classes are offered in digital arts, photography, mixed media, silversmithing, glass fusing, glass blowing, painting, pottery and drawing. For 25 years, the organization has been dedicated to providing education, information and artistic opportunities to all members of the diverse Wichita community.

Founded in 1981 as the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation, in 2001 it relocated to the four-story cast iron structure located in downtown Louisville’s West Main Street Historic District. Three galleries on the museum’s first, second and third floors provide 27,000 sq ft for large-scale exhibitions. A 2016 renovation and rebranding as KMAC Museum (Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft), it showcases regional, national and international contemporary artists, and is committed to education and diversity outreach that fosters equity, purpose and facilitates accessibility.

For 25 years, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery has been a contemporary hotspot with a public conscience; focused on forward thinking artists with a sense of purpose, mission, and message. The stimulating and provocative museum-like exhibitions have been celebrated in The New York Times, Art In America, The Art Newspaper, The Associated Press, ArtNews, NPR and many other international publications.

For forty years, Clarke Gallery has been buying and selling fine art from the 19th through the 20th centuries. Specializing in American painting and sculpture, the Rockland gallery often carries treasures from Europe, Asia and Latin America. Peter Clarke has a broad understanding of the changing art movements that shape the industry and culture which provides collectors the knowledge necessary to make strategic decisions on acquisitions. Online review: “Stumbled upon Clarke Gallery in Rockland. WOW! Never expected to see such a sophisticated art gallery in Maine. Not tourist paintings but art fit for a museum.”

Renowned artist Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey, husband Steve, and son Morgan opened their first gallery in Bigfork, Montana to facilitate and inspire western art experiences with collectors, artists, and community. In 2017 Cawdrey Gallery relocated to Whitefish and expanded to represent more than 30 artists working in over 10 different media. The spirit of the West is as dynamic and diverse as ever at Cawdrey Gallery, which showcases preminent Western Art in a range of subject matter and mediums from sublimely painted vistas to animated sculptures.

Located in the heart of historic downtown Lincoln, this three-floor towering showplace, Kiechel Fine Art, exhibits the top Midwestern Contemporary artists as well as 19th & 20th century American Art. Endless inventory of Old Master & Contemporary originals and prints, placing works in some of the top private, corporate and public collections across the United States, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago Art Institute, Smithsonian Institution and Crystal Bridges.

Elena Bulatova Fine Art currently maintains two brick-and-mortar locations for collectors and new enthusiasts to visit daily. The California location sits in the center of beautiful El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert, while the stunning Las Vegas location is located inside The Shops at Crystals. The multi-award winning galleries feature a full breadth of mediums and offer various contemporary collections on display.

With 23 years of experience in the world of fine art, Thornwood Gallery has earned a reputation for placing high-quality work by international and national artists for residences, corporate offices, and hotels. Their stunning locations in Houston’s iconic Gallery Row and Santa Fe’s famous historic Canyon Road focus on 60 of the finest artists and their work, ranging from abstract to impressionism to realism to photography to sculpture.

Gallery 23 NY is one of the only non-profit art galleries in New York City. Located in the heart of New York City’s Meatpacking district, the multi-faceted organization showcases emerging artists, with an emphasis on neo-expressionism, street, and pop art. Knowing that infusing art and creativity within the community has the capacity to make a lasting imprint, G23NY passionately promotes artists who are able to convey their story and invite conversation through dynamic and revolutionary craft and skill.

For almost 40 years, Mary Martin Galleries Of Fine Art has cultivated meaningful and long-term relationships with residents, tourists, artists, clients, designers, architects and trade professionals from her sophisticated landmark gallery in downtown Charleston (named the number one tourist destination in America). Both Mary Martin Gallery I and Mary Martin Gallery II represent a wide array of regional, national and international artists providing museum quality bronze and stone sculptures and innovative oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings — appealing to collectors in every country.

Since 1970, for 53 years, the South Dakota Art Museum beautifully houses the artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. 7,000 objects in its collection include Harvey Dunn paintings, Native American art, Marghab Linens, and much more.

Ao5 Gallery is Austin’s largest contemporary art gallery, and has been committed to bringing a wide selection of accessible fine art to Austin since 1998. They are constantly changing the display of featured artists to attract new visitors and keep the gallery fresh. With multiple artist receptions and events each month, there is always something new to see and experience, even for frequent visitors.

Speaking several languages and an accomplished athlete, Lisa Helmholz-Adams opened Helmholz Fine Art in 2014 after a career in the NYC design industry, traveling the world, and decades of directing another Vermont gallery. Her formative years in Dakar, Senegal inspired her love of art and international cultures, as well as Global Reach; her initiative to impact humanitarian causes around the world.

Owned and operated by wildlife painter, Carrie Wild, and her husband, wildlife photographer Jason Williams, Gallery Wild has stunning locations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Well received by the Jackson Hole community and quickly established as a mainstay gallery on Broadway opposite the historic Wort Hotel, this collection features established and emerging artists offering both oil and acrylic paintings, bronze sculpture, mixed media and photography.

American Art Awards annually awards 20 museums and/or galleries, and with their critique later in the year, awards nearly 500 deserving contemporary artists from 60+ countries: 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.