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A guide to gallery hopping near the Sacramento Hostel

Sacramento has a lot to offer, and any visit to the state capital should include farm-to-fork food, craft beer, and locally brewed coffee. But while the culinary landscape of Sacto is in full bloom at the moment, during their Year of Food, the local art scene is just as lush.

Art galleries abound in Sacramento, and many have cropped up in recent years. The proliferation of artists and galleries led to the creation of the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk, which has been growing in popularity since it started back in 2009.

There are galleries scattered throughout Sacramento that specialize in everything from fine art photography to concrete sculptures, and they're all worth a visit, but for a taste of the art scene nearest to the Sacramento Hostel, these six galleries offer fresh, eclectic art within walking distance. Now that's hyper local! Check out this map to find where they're located. 

The one-stop shop

The Sacramento Art Complex, located in the heart of midtown Sacramento, features more than 20 working artists of all ages and genres, under the same roof. The complex includes a diverse array of artistry: metal and ceramic sculptures, painting and pastels, photography, hand-forged jewelry, antiquities, hand-crafted tapestry, and more. It's a two-story complex that contains Gallery 2110's Main Gallery, the Loft Gallery, the Sculpture Garden and Sculpture Patio, and Artists' Studios.

If you only do one "artsy" thing in Sacramento, a visit to the complex should probably be it. They have almost every genre of contemporary art on display, as well as a three-dimensional sculpture studio in the garden. Current exhibits perfectly illustrate the diversity of their aesthetic. The Main Gallery is exhibiting the work of abstract painter Carol Dalton, whose work explores the wildness, as well as the peace and beauty, within the ever-changing environment of both the natural and manmade worlds. The Loft Gallery features the work of the self-taught experimental artist Laura Caron whose textured, three-dimensional paintings are surreal, visual poems about cultural diversity.   

The co-op

Another gallery in a similar vein is the Artists Collaborative Gallery. This cooperative gallery has been in existence for more than 30 years and features the work of award-winning artists from a wide variety of creative backgrounds. They sell everything from jewelry and pottery to paintings and photography, all made by local, Sacramento artists. As an artists collaborative, they also offer really great prices -- in case you happen to have room in your backpack for an original piece of Sacramento-made artwork.

The museum-meets-gallery

To experience a greater scope of contemporary art that spans local and international artists, find the Center for Contemporary Art Sacramento (CCAS) in midtown. CCAS is a cross between a gallery space and a small museum. It's a member-supported, nonprofit organization that, in their words, "is dedicated to the advancement and appreciation of new and experimental art by international, national, and regional artists." They host curated exhibits by a wide variety of artists and admission is donated-based. 

Other galleries

Elliot Fouts is a beautiful gallery that is also on the fancier side -- but don't worry, looking is free! They specialize in original fine art, with an emphasis on landscape and still life painting. Smith Gallery, a large gallery located in downtown Sacramento, offers an extensive selection of fine art, which mostly consists of California landscapes and Sacramento images. B. Sakata Garo Gallery in midtown is also a purveyor of fine art, but with a different aesthetic. They are dealers of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, and prints of the contemporary, international variety. Their current exhibit features the artwork of Squeak Carnwath, a contemporary expressionist whose work has been featured at SFMOMA and the Brooklyn Museum.

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If You Go 

Stay at the Sacramento Hostel and hop, walk, or skip to some galleries.