Arts & Culture of Sacramento

For those not familiar with the area, Sacramento may seem like just another city in Northern California. This idea couldn’t be further from the truth because it is actually a booming location for visitors and residents to enjoy and participate in the arts and culture of the city. Sacramento art is scattered throughout the city on murals, inside museums, and on display at galleries. For those in the area, this is a scene you must take time to experience. We’re here to help you locate the best Sacramento art to understand the true culture of the city.

Artist painting a mural on a city building

Sacramento Murals

One of the most pervasive mediums of Sacramento art is the murals. Without Wide Open Walls, many of these beautiful art pieces wouldn’t exist. Wide Open Walls is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate and promote public art through their annual festival each year.  You will see their mission come to life as you drive around the city. Your eyes will be drawn to paintings of vibrant birds, portraits of people, colorful patterns, the world, and much more. Maren Conrad, for example, has multiple murals depicting koi fish and other breathtaking images. If you’re touring the city, consider renting a bike or scooter to see these works of Sacramento art and take the most Instagram-worthy photos. Here are a few murals you shouldn’t miss while visiting the city:

  • “It Was Only A Dream” by Miles Toland | 730 R St. | Mural of sleeping beauty floating in a turquoise world.
  • Jorit Agoch Mural | 1117 J St. | Mural of Aboriginal child with tribal paint and mystical symbols.
  • Mateus Bailon Mural | 1225 R St. | Mural of a cartoon-like flock of birds painted in vibrant colors.
  • Maren Conrad Mural | 1050 20th St. | This mural transformed Conrad’s career.

Woman taking picture of art in museum

Sacramento Museums

Another aspect of Sacramento art is its large collection of museums. From art and history to wildlife and science, visitors are practically guaranteed to find a museum of their liking. Below are some of our favorite museums in the city if you’re looking to have an art-driven vacation in Northern California.

Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker Art Museum features the world’s leading display of California art and is renowned for its collection of European master drawings and international ceramics.

Sacramento History Museum

The Sacramento History Museum is a reproduction of the 1854 City Hall and Waterworks building, which previously sat on the museum’s current site. It is full of exhibits of Sacramento City and County and the stories of the people who lived there. Exhibits at the museum feature historical images, artifacts, and unique interactive elements.

Powerhouse Science Center

The Powerhouse Science Center has been bringing STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) experiences to Sacramento for 65 years now. Visitors can learn about natural, physical, and biological sciences through their changing exhibitions. Weekends feature programs, activities, and planetarium shows.

Art gallery with black chairs and benches

Sacramento Galleries

There is an eclectic mix of Sacramento art galleries catering to a wide range of art enthusiasts, so you don’t have to worry about being limited in this area. When you’re deciding which ones to visit, make sure to do research first. Some of the galleries are permanent and others are temporary, so save yourself a trip by checking ahead of time. Although there are dozens to visit, here are a couple for you to consider.

Art of Toys

Throw yourself back into childhood with the Sacramento art gallery that showcases rare, vintage & collectible toy-art from around the world. Monthly theme shows feature original art such as puppets, robots, dolls, and more. The Art of Toys truly has it all when it comes to the art scene in Sacramento.

The Brickhouse Art Gallery

This art gallery is the former site of the Sorarrco Sheet Metal Works Company, built in 1924. Since 1993, it has provided a venue for local artists and community events. Additionally, it also has nine rental artist’s studios, which provide space for artists to create their masterpieces.

1810 Gallery

1810 Gallery is owned and operated by those best fit for the cause, artists. In 2018, co-founders, Shaun Burner and Franceska Gamez, celebrated the gallery’s three-year anniversary alongside hundreds of others who support their work. Come see this gallery to experience art of all styles and concepts.

Hard Rock Memorabilia

A gallery of a different variety, just walking around the casino floor of Hard Rock Sacramento at Fire Mountain is like wandering through rock n’ roll history itself. The memorabilia featured around the property showcases some of the iconic pieces worn by rockstars like Elvis, Diana Ross, and Johnny Cash.

Community members gathered around a concert in the park

Sacramento Community Events

After you’ve explored the murals, museums, and Sacramento art galleries that this city has to offer, you are bound to discover events to attend and enjoy as well. Just like there is an abundance of museums, there are also events galore throughout the city. Sacramento365 is a great source for finding ideal events near you, but below are some of our favorites. 

Second Saturdays

As the name explains, every second Saturday of each month, art walks, outdoor events, live music, dining, and drinks are all available within the central grid of Sacramento. Second Saturdays feature artwork from over 30 artists and the list is still growing. Browse through the artists and their work ahead of time to get a feel for some true Sacramento art. If you stumble upon artists you love, they have contact information and portfolio websites listed for you to use at your discretion.

Concerts in the Park

From May until July, Cesar Chavez Plaza features the best local bands every Friday, for free! Grab your friends and family and head on down to the plaza to relax and hear some great music. You’re sure to always have an amazing time when music is involved.

Now that you’ve got a few ideas and Sacramento art resources, get out there and completely immerse yourself in the arts and culture scene in Sacramento! If you’re not a local and hope to add this trip to your bucket list, check out the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Fire Mountain to book your room or suite and reserve your dining experiences. We hope you enjoy what the Sacramento art scene has to offer as much as we do!