Top 10 places to visit for art lovers in Riverside, California

posted in: Art, Things To Do 2

Being that Riverside is our businesses hometown, it was only natural we compile the best places to visit for art lovers in Riverside, California.  We love Riverside and its rich passion for the arts! It’s a great city to be able to grow as an artist and get involved with the community and with other local artists. There are some great hidden gems filled with incredibly creative artwork of all magnitudes and mediums. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite Riverside art galleries, places to draw inspiration, inspire, and even create your own art. We even included business/gallery hours, dates, times and anything else we felt relevant to make your art exploration even easier. We tried to cover all the bases, but if you know of any other great places to visit for art lovers in Riverside that should be on here, please get in touch!

1. Riverside Art Museum

Riverside Art MuseumRiverside Art Museum (RAM) in Downtown Riverside – 3425 Mission Inn Ave.

The Riverside Art Museum is located in the heart of Downtown Riverside. Showing a mix of solo, group, and permanent collection exhibits featuring traditional and contemporary/modern art, the Riverside Art Museum regularly displays the work of some of the best artists in the world, including Robert Williams, Takashi Murakami, Shag, Kathe Kollwitz, James Gurney, Marc Chagall, Millard Sheets, Shepard Fairey, Corita Kent, and Don O’Neill, as well as exhibits highlighting the works of our talented local members and aspiring high school students.

Normal Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.

  • First Thursdays: On the first Thursday of each month, the museum is open from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. as part of Arts Walk, free of charge.
  • First Sundays: On the first Sunday of each month (October – May), the museum is open from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. as part of First Sundays, free of charge, with crafts and family-friendly activities.
  • Museums on Us: On the first full weekend of each month, show us your Bank of America debit or credit card, along with ID, and get in free.


  • Members, Military and their families (with ID), and Children under 12: Freeli>
  • Students (with ID) and Seniors (65+ with ID): $3
  • General admission: $5


2. Tio’s Tacos – (Southern California’s hidden gem)

Tios Tacos Riverside CATio’s Tacos3948 Mission Inn Ave.

With Love passion and creativity Tio’s Tacos Has become a unique landmark in the city of Riverside since 1990 bringing authentic flavors from Michoacán Mexico paired with an ambiance beyond compare the artist and chef of Tio’s a has breathed a new life into items that were considered useless making them into treasured pieces of art that reflect his infatuation for art food and none less culture. Explore their half acre of amazing elaborate and unique gardens created entirely from recycled objects. <

“I always knew that there were millions of Mexican food restaurants with amazing food but i wanted to create one that was never seen before…” -Martin Sanchez Creator and founder

We highly recommend you to see this one of a kind place for yourself and the profound genius creativity where one man’s trash became another man’s treasure. Proudly brought to you for your enjoyment, by Martin Sanchez And his Family


3. Downtown Riverside Artwalk



Chelz Franzer and her Chelzart booth at the Downtown Riverside Artwalk
Chelz Franzer and her Chelzart booth at the Downtown Riverside Artwalk.

Downtown Riverside Artwalk Lot 44, corner of Lemon & University 

The Riverside Artswalk is a monthly community event that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture in Riverside and the Inland Empire. Visit over 22 downtown locations, including museums, galleries and studios, presenting an eclectic mix of visual and performing arts. Either before or after, enjoy the many entertainment, dining and shopping experiences that downtown Riverside has to offer.

Become a part of the pulse at Riverside Artswalk every First Thursday from 6-9 p.m. Riverside Artswalk First Thursdays is hosted by the Riverside Arts Council and sponsored by the City of Riverside and Riverside Downtown Partnership.



4. Gallery of Progressive Arts (GOPA)

Gallery of Progressive Arts Riverside (GOPA)
Gallery of Progressive Arts (GOPA)3595 University Ave. Suite A

One of our favorite Riverside art galleries is The Gallery of Progressive Art. A venue dedicated to displaying art and artists seeking to expand their artistic presence.

Gallery hours: Thurs: 6 pm – 10pm


5. Paint and Sip with The Paint Sesh

Neon Painting Party in Los Angeles Area
Paint and Sip with The Paint SeshMultiple locations in Riverside and Southern California

If you’re feeling inspired after checking out your favorite galleries and museums, we have the place for you! The Paint Sesh is a painting experience for creative souls at heart. Let loose with fun music, drinks and some acrylic paint. Thier friendly instructor, will guide you step-by-step through the class to create your own masterpiece. They even encourage thier customers to embrace their free-spirit artistic selves & paint whatever they want to! If you’re looking to have some fun by being creative, they are your art therapy outlet with multiple locations in Riverside.  Who knows, you might just discover your inner Frida or Van Gogh in the process.


6. Center For Social Justice & Civil Liberties

Center For Social Justice & Civil Liberties
Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties3855 Market St

The Center’s mission is to broaden awareness of social justice and civil liberties by providing insights into the American experience, both past and present. It houses a research museum and art gallery highlighting significant events that shaped the history of our region and nation. During your visit, you will discover compelling stories of courage and have an opportunity to reflect on moments documenting the ongoing fight for equality for all. Much of your visit to the center will be self-guided, allowing you to take in the information at your own pace.


7. Pain Sugar Gallery

Pain Sugar Gallery
Pain Sugar Gallery3635 9th St.

Another one of our favorite Riverside art galleries is Pain Sugar Gallery. An extension of Urge Palette Art Supplies located right next door. Established in October of 2017 this space highlights some incredible art and extremely talented artists.

“Yes, we love beautiful and intriguing art as much as anyone, but we are also interested in the content of art and the direction of the artist. We care about the relationships between artist and communities both locally and globally. That is where we put our love, and these are some of the individuals we represent.” – Pain Sugar Gallery

Drop by and view the latest installments from the many talented individuals they share with the public.


8. Riverside Community Arts Association

Riverside Community Arts Association
Riverside Community Arts Association3860 Lemon St.

Riverside Community Arts Association promotes arts & culture education and appreciation, locally and internationally, through exhibits, workshops and community partnerships. Visit the Riverside Community Arts Association Center and experience the energy of the exciting downtown Riverside arts scene!

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00am to 3:00pm – Or by appointment


9. Culver Center for the Arts

Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts in Riverside, CA
Culver Center for the Arts3834 Main St.

California Museum of Photography

The California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTS is devoted to showing the work of contemporary artists who use photography, collaborating with UCR faculty and students to bring their varied expertise to the public in exhibitionary form, and to preserving and making accessible its vast holdings of photography and related apparatus.

Jack and Marilyn Sweeney Art Gallery

The Sweeney Art Gallery presents significant regional, national, and international art, and hosts annual MFA and Senior Show exhibitions for students in UCR’s Department of Art. As an artistic laboratory, the gallery engages diverse audiences with exhibitions committed to experimentation, innovation, and the exploration of art in our time. Since 2010, the Sweeney Art Gallery is located in the Culver Center, and exhibitions frequently expand into the Culver Atrium.

The Sweeney’s permanent collection focuses on work produced since 1990.

Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts

The Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts hosts art installations, a weekly film program, and musical, dance, and theatrical performances in a dynamic setting. Recognizing that artists play a crucial role in society, the Culver Center also hosts a robust program of lectures, symposia, and community forums with artists, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers, and musicians. The main level is home to an expansive atrium gallery beneath a 40’ high skylight, the Sweeney Art Gallery, a 72-seat screening room, and a forthcoming café. On the second level, the Culver Center houses a Media Lab, two dance studios with sprung wood floors, a black box equipped with green screen, and a sound recording studio. In the lower level, the California Museum of Photography’s important Keystone-Mast Collection of stereographs is preserved in state-of-the-art seismically isolated cabinets.

Public/Gallery Hours:

Culver Center of the Arts

Tuesday – Thursday: 12pm – 5pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 7pm

Sunday: 11am – 4pm

California Museum of Photography:

Tuesday – Saturday: 12pm – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm

First Thursdays – Downtown Riverside Art Walk:

5pm – 8pm ($5 Admission in December)

First Sundays – Family Events (October through May):

11am – 4pm (FREE Admission)


General admission: $6.00
Seniors, Jurors, and Veterans (must show ID): $3.00
College Students (must show valid ID): Free
Children under 12 accompanied by an adult: Free
UCR Faculty and Staff (must show valid ID): Free
Museum Members: Free

*Includes California Museum of Photography & the Culver Center of the Arts



10. Urge Palette

Urge Palette Riverside, CAUrge Palette3635 9th St.
We love to support local business! Urge Palette is a great independent art materials store located in the heart of downtown. Their operation is a darling 1000 sq. ft. space, but with an extensive catalog of materials to choose from. Whether you’re a beginner looking to dabble with a new medium or a full-time working artist Urge Palette has what you need to create your works. They also provide printing services. If you are looking for artist prints, banners, or business cards, they can help assist you.


Follow Chris:

Artist / Owner @ The Paint Sesh

I'm an Illustrator, Painter, Photographer, Sculptor and jack of many trades.. I just like to create. What's your creative escape?

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2 responses to “Top 10 places to visit for art lovers in Riverside, California”

  1. Ai says:

    Thanks for the mention of the Riverside Art Museum! If you haven’t checked out Mind & Mill, you should. They rotate exhibits in their office space and it’s open to the public. Division 9 Gallery next to RCAA is great, too. Back to the Grind also usually has local art up on their walls.

    • Chris Perez says:

      Of course 🙂 We love the museum! And many thanks for the other suggestions. It was really hard to narrow all of the options to 10 but I think I’ll have to add those to the list anyway.

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