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
91 70
Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Los Angeles California

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2
116 101
Portland is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Portland Oregon

3
85 77
Asheville is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
AdmiralCrunch added Asheville North Carolina, USA

4
144 136
Kansas City is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Kansas City Missouri

5
66 57
New York City is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
New York City New York

6
59 51
Minneapolis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
jackslee2 added Minneapolis Minnesota, USA

7
90 78
Santa Fe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Fe New Mexico

8
56 56
San Diego is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Diego California

9
60 57
Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Philadelphia Pennsylvania

10
70 77
San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Francisco California

11
40 39
Pittsburgh is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

12
24 28
Santa Cruz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
junk added Santa Cruz California, USA

13
29 32
Athens Georgia is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
jackslee2 added Athens Georgia

14
40 47
Seattle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Seattle Washington

15
29 40
Carmel-by-the-Sea is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
junk added Carmel-by-the-Sea California, USA

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16
19 29
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
junk added Santa Barbara California, USA

17
10 15
Laguna Beach is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Laguna Beach California, USA

18
14 18
Oakland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Oakland California, USA

19
18 20
Hartford is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Hartford Connecticut

20
33 39
Boston is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Boston Massachusetts

21
24 28
Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Las Vegas Nevada

22
28 33
Albuquerque is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Albuquerque New Mexico

23
50 61
Tucson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Tucson Arizona

24
22 26
Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Charlotte North Carolina

25
5 7
Taos is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
ozarktraveler added Taos New Mexico, USA

26
10 14
Berkeley is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Berkeley California, USA

27
30 38
Nashville is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Nashville Tennessee

28
15 28
Encinitas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
junk added Encinitas California, USA

29
17 31
Carlsbad is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
junk added Carlsbad California, USA

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30
45 58
Columbus is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Columbus Ohio

31
18 23
Honolulu is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Honolulu Hawaii

32
27 35
Milwaukee is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Milwaukee Wisconsin

33
17 22
Virginia Beach is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Virginia Beach Virginia

34
20 26
Louisville is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Louisville Kentucky

35
14 25
Anaheim is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
junk added Anaheim California, USA

36
24 35
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Atlanta Georgia

37
6 11
West Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
West Hollywood California, USA

38
20 27
Boulder is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Boulder Colorado

39
29 39
Denver is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Denver Colorado

40
40 54
Austin is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Austin Texas

41
38 52
Chicago is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Chicago Illinois

42
26 36
Baltimore is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Baltimore Maryland

43
26 45
Oxnard is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Oxnard California

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44
5 11
San Luis Obispo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
San Luis Obispo California, USA

45
5 11
Santa Monica is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Santa Monica California, USA

46
18 32
Berkley is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
junk added Berkley Michigan, USA

47
33 47
Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Phoenix Arizona

48
1 6
Wichita is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Curt Clonts added Wichita Kansas, USA

49
1 6
Wichita, Kansas is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Curt Clonts added Wichita, Kansas

50
35 50
Indianapolis is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best American Cities for Artists
Indianapolis Indiana