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. 

list ordered by

1
+ - 81 67
Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Los Angeles California

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2
+ - 114 93
Portland is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Portland Oregon

3
+ - 81 74
Asheville is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Asheville North Carolina, USA

4
+ - 141 132
Kansas City is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Kansas City Missouri

5
+ - 62 52
New York City is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
New York City New York

6
+ - 58 49
Minneapolis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Minneapolis Minnesota, USA

7
+ - 87 76
Santa Fe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Fe New Mexico

8
+ - 54 55
San Diego is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Diego California

9
+ - 68 73
San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Francisco California

10
+ - 57 56
Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Philadelphia Pennsylvania

11
+ - 38 38
Pittsburgh is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

12
+ - 22 28
Santa Cruz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Cruz California, USA

13
+ - 40 46
Seattle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Seattle Washington

14
+ - 19 28
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Barbara California, USA

15
+ - 29 39
Carmel-by-the-Sea is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Carmel-by-the-Sea California, USA

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16
+ - 24 26
Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Las Vegas Nevada

17
+ - 25 32
Athens Georgia is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Athens Georgia

18
+ - 10 13
Berkeley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Berkeley California, USA

19
+ - 13 17
Oakland is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Oakland California, USA

20
+ - 22 25
Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Charlotte North Carolina

21
+ - 17 19
Hartford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Hartford Connecticut

22
+ - 32 38
Boston is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Boston Massachusetts

23
+ - 7 14
Laguna Beach is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Laguna Beach California, USA

24
+ - 37 46
Chicago is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Chicago Illinois

25
+ - 45 57
Columbus is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Columbus Ohio

26
+ - 14 27
Encinitas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Encinitas California, USA

27
+ - 16 30
Carlsbad is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Carlsbad California, USA

28
+ - 29 37
Nashville is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Nashville Tennessee

29
+ - 13 24
Anaheim is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Anaheim California, USA

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30
+ - 47 61
Tucson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Tucson Arizona

31
+ - 16 21
Virginia Beach is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Virginia Beach Virginia

32
+ - 19 25
Louisville is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Louisville Kentucky

33
+ - 25 33
Albuquerque is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Albuquerque New Mexico

34
+ - 26 44
Oxnard is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Oxnard California

35
+ - 3 7
Taos is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Taos New Mexico, USA

36
+ - 5 10
San Luis Obispo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Luis Obispo California, USA

37
+ - 5 10
Santa Monica is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Monica California, USA

38
+ - 17 23
Honolulu is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Honolulu Hawaii

39
+ - 26 35
Milwaukee is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Milwaukee Wisconsin

40
+ - 26 35
Baltimore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Baltimore Maryland

41
+ - 18 31
Berkley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Berkley Michigan, USA

42
+ - 5 11
West Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
West Hollywood California, USA

43
+ - 19 27
Boulder is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Boulder Colorado

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44
+ - 28 39
Denver is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Denver Colorado

45
+ - 22 35
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Atlanta Georgia

46
+ - 39 54
Austin is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Austin Texas

47
+ - 35 49
Indianapolis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Indianapolis Indiana

48
+ - 1 6
Eureka Springs is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Eureka Springs Arkansas, USA

49
+ - 4 14
Beverly Hills is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Beverly Hills California, USA

50
+ - 1 6
Newark is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Newark New Jersey, USA