cities / towns The Best American Cities for Artists

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List Rules Top U.S. cities with flourishing artist communities, galleries, art schools, etc.

This list of the best cities for artists will help you find an artists' colony to call your own. Art culture is a rare aspect of any community, especially in small towns. So many cities are lacking in large museums, various galleries, small art vendors, and other staples of an artistic community. For artists, young and more seasoned alike, it can be frustrating to live in a town where the artistic lifestyle isn’t appreciated as much as it should be. This list is the answer to the question, “what is the best city for a budding artist to live?”

Artistically inclined cities, from the welcoming community of San Francisco to the southwestern style in Albuquerque, are filled with opportunities for new artists, as well as those who have been artists for decades. Whether you want to travel to one of these artistic cities, take a gander at the exquisite museums and get inspired, or try to showcase your own work for your big break, there’s a city that’s calling your name on this list.

The cities on this list are the best places for artists to live because they have plenty of venues for artistic achievement where up and coming artists can illustrate their talent. From independent art shops to large metropolitan museums, these cities are heaven for the artist at heart. 

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Portland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Portland Oregon

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Kansas City is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Kansas City Missouri

3
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Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Los Angeles California

4
+ - 78 64
Asheville is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Asheville North Carolina, USA

5
+ - 54 44
Minneapolis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Minneapolis Minnesota, USA

6
+ - 66 66
San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Francisco California

7
+ - 55 48
New York City is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
New York City New York

8
+ - 80 73
Santa Fe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Fe New Mexico

9
+ - 49 51
San Diego is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Diego California

10
+ - 54 51
Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Philadelphia Pennsylvania

11
+ - 37 36
Pittsburgh is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

12
+ - 28 36
Carmel-by-the-Sea is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Carmel-by-the-Sea California, USA

13
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Santa Cruz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Cruz California, USA

14
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Seattle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Seattle Washington

15
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Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Barbara California, USA

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Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Las Vegas Nevada

17
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Berkeley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Berkeley California, USA

18
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Oakland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Oakland California, USA

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Encinitas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Encinitas California, USA

20
+ - 16 28
Carlsbad is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Carlsbad California, USA

21
+ - 46 57
Tucson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Tucson Arizona

22
+ - 27 33
Nashville is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Nashville Tennessee

23
+ - 34 42
Chicago is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Chicago Illinois

24
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Columbus is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Columbus Ohio

25
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Taos is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Taos New Mexico, USA

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Boston is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Boston Massachusetts

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+ - 26 41
Oxnard is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Oxnard California

28
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Laguna Beach is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Laguna Beach California, USA

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Anaheim is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Anaheim California, USA

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Athens Georgia is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Athens Georgia

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Beverly Hills is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Beverly Hills California, USA

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San Luis Obispo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Luis Obispo California, USA

33
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West Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
West Hollywood California, USA

34
+ - 5 9
Santa Monica is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Monica California, USA

35
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Hartford is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Hartford Connecticut

36
+ - 17 22
Honolulu is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Honolulu Hawaii

37
+ - 25 33
Milwaukee is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Milwaukee Wisconsin

38
+ - 18 30
Berkley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Berkley Michigan, USA

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+ - 28 37
Denver is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Denver Colorado

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+ - 24 32
Albuquerque is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Albuquerque New Mexico

41
+ - 25 34
Baltimore is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Baltimore Maryland

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+ - 18 25
Louisville is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Louisville Kentucky

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+ - 15 21
Virginia Beach is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Virginia Beach Virginia

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Boulder is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Boulder Colorado

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+ - 21 34
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Atlanta Georgia

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Indianapolis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Indianapolis Indiana

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+ - 1 6
Eureka Springs is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Eureka Springs Arkansas, USA

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+ - 17 25
Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Charlotte North Carolina

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+ - 1 6
Newark is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Newark New Jersey, USA

50
+ - 37 53
Austin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Austin Texas