Local Art Thrives in Bradenton, Florida
Village of The Arts
You can tell that Bradenton is an artsy place the minute you step foot into town. Giant murals paint the buildings with bright colors and beautiful images, each with different styles and telling unique stories. With such a statement filling these city walls, you can see how much these people appreciate the arts.
This public art system is one of many ways the city supports creative folks. With over 60 works across the city, the mural project features a wide range of local artists, mediums and styles. The Transit Station project is one of the most well known pieces, with four 10’x25’ abstract paintings of sun, water and flora.
One thing that makes the arts so close to home here is that the city is home to the Village of the Arts, an eclectic neighborhood that serves as a live-work community for local artists and artisans. It’s a truly supportive community that has allowed for studios, specialty shops, art galleries, award-winning restaurants and healing arts centers to thrive.
You can trek through the colorful neighborhood and see all of the colorful, historic cottages that house each of these creative spaces. Stop in to see handmade quilts or artisan pottery. Or enjoy some acupuncture in one of the healing spaces. The first Friday night and Saturday afternoon of each month, you can join the popular Artwalk, where you can explore the neighborhood with live music, tasty food and tons of art.
Explore more Artsy Places
The village also hosts some incredible chefs. Chef David at the Bird Rock Taco Shack is an artist at heart, and puts all of his creative juices into tacos that everyone loves. He also just opened a much-anticipated restaurant called Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, where he serves yummy southern fare amidst live music on a big back patio.
Other dining spots in the village include Ortygia, a local Sicilian-French fusion restaurant run by Chef Gaetano. He’s another culinary artist that makes masterpieces out of food. And Arte Caffe, the Italian bakery, is no different. The handcrafted baked goods here are next level.
For more art in town, you can check out the Bradenton Farmer’s Market where Mainly Art hosts many different artists selling their goods. Or you can try Island Gallery West on Anna Maria Island, a fantastic gallery filled with the paintings, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry and more from local artists. This is definitely a great place to find a treasure to take home with you.
Finally, for a more immersive artistic experience in Bradenton, head to the ArtCenter Manatee, where you can attend art classes, visit galleries or purchase gifts from their gift shop. Every two weeks, they host Nights Out where adults can come learn a bunch of different art forms, including glass, painting, clay, jewelry, fiber and more.
Be sure to check out the amazing exhibits that are running when you visit, too. In January, you’ll find A Secret Garden – a whimsical scene with fountains, ceramic totems, botanical paintings and other works from various artists. In February, the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society will feature watercolor artists from all across the Gulf coast. This annual show is known for it’s beautiful interpretations of the coast we all love.
For any travelers out there who love art, make sure to add The Bradenton Area to your list. There is color seeping out of the city limits, waiting for you to dive in.