What Is The Best Art Gallery In Kentucky?

Thom Bierdz
5 min readApr 29, 2019

For the past 11 years, American Art Awards has decided the 25 Best Galleries and Museums in America. Among the criteria: years in business, industry reputation, online activity, location, size, exhibits, educational programs, represented artists and references from artists, clients and visitors. Only one per state per year is selected.

American Art Awards: “E&S Gallery is now in its 30th year and has earned its reputation as the go-to place for serious collectors of African-American art. Their exquisite three-story gallery is always full of treasures and almost as often packed with adoring crowds and celebrities. Significant regional, national and international artists in all mediums continue to receive significant regional, national and international acclaim.

“American Art Awards has once again decided E&S Gallery as the Best Gallery or Museum in Kentucky, 2019, and one of our Top 25 for 2019.”

VIDEO of gallery owners, Walter and Cathy Shannon, looking back on 30 years:


In 1989, E&S Gallery, Inc. was established in Louisville, KY by Walter Shannon, who operates the business with his wife and partner, Cathy Smith-Shannon. Over the course of 25+ years, E&S has grown from a 2,500 square foot strip mall location, to a more than 11,000 square foot gallery, custom framing and art publishing company. This stunning two-story gallery specializes in original and limited edition fine art graphics, prints, and sculpture by African American artists ranging from prominent masters to highly sought after contemporaries.

E&S clients list includes corporations like Brown & Williamson Corp., Pepsico, PNC Bank, the Tom Joyner Foundation and the National Urban League, as well as private collectors including Earl Graves, Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind & Fire, singer/songwriter Kem, Angela Bassett, Bob Johnson, the late Dr. Donda West, Alonzo & Tracy Mourning, J.C. Watts, Yolanda Adams and many others. This beautiful downtown Louisville hotspot has been featured in national magazines such as Decor, Art Business News, Art Trends, Black Enterprise, and Southern Living Magazine. Recognized for professional national exhibitions, E&S has been the gallery of the Kentucky Derby Grand Gala, Tom Joyner Foundation’s Fantastic Voyage, The Capital Jazz Super Cruise, Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis Challenge, and the Odyssey Network Women’s Conference.

E&S provides collectors of African American art with an unmatched selection of artists, medium, subject matter, and genres. When you enter the front door, you’re greeted by the captivating ceramic sculptures by Woodrow Nash, vibrant originals by Twin (Jerry & Terry Lynn), detailed collage works by Leroy Campbell, colorful abstracts by Tammie Demessie, you know you’re about to have a unique experience. The grand staircase guides you to the 2nd level, a light, airy showroom and framing design center filled with original paintings, fine art graphics, and decorative art by more popular artist including Kevin Williams, Charles Bibbs, Paul Goodnight, William Tolliver, and many others.

The 3rd floor loft, houses a premiere selection of original graphics and sculpture by internationally renowned Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and James Lessene Wells alongside works by critically acclaimed artists Dean Mitchell, Faith Ringgold, Richard Mayhew, and others. Owner’s Walter & Cathy Shannon take pride in sharing their gallery with seasoned art collectors as well as first time art buyers. E&S also participates in art shows, art auctions, and private fund raisers for clients and organizations all over the country.

E&S Gallery, Inc. / 108 South 10th Street / Louisville, Kentucky, 40202 / (502) 568–2005


See all 25 Best Galleries & Museums here: https://www.americanartawards.com/2019-best-american-galleries-and-museums/

www.AmericanArtAwards.com annually awards 25 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.