Take a self-guided tour of Fort Bragg’s galleries and immerse in our utterly original art scene.
Fort Bragg’s utterly original art scene is anchored by a tight-knit community of artists and makers who showcase and sell their work and commune together at galleries and studios across the city. Take a trip downtown and get to know our homegrown art and artists—and maybe take a piece home for yourself.
Founded in 1986 by a group of local artists, Northcoast Artists Gallery, 362 N. Main St., was Fort Bragg’s first artist co-op, and today plays a central role in our arts community. Drop into the Edgewater Gallery right next door, 356 N. Main St., another spot where local makers and creatives exhibit a range of artistic media, from fine art to sculpture and jewelry.
After Edgewater, pop around the corner to Erin Dertner Gallery & Framing, 125 E. Laurel St. #A, featuring the work of local artist and teacher Erin Dertner, who also hosts workshops on-site. Then, walk up Laurel to Franklin Street, make a right and enter the Mendocino Coast Photography Gallery, 357 N. Franklin St. This co-op showcases the work of five area photographers who specialize in wildlife, landscape and fine art photography, and whose work can be both admired and purchased on-site.
A few doors down, the artist-run Partners Gallery, 335 N. Franklin St., is a favorite destination for contemporary art on the North Coast. New shows are mounted monthly, with First Friday receptions to meet the artists from 5–8 p.m.
Adjacent to Partners Gallery is Art Explorers, 333 N. Franklin St., a nonprofit creative arts program that provides both a studio home and an exhibition space for over 25 local student-artists with developmental disabilities whose work runs the gamut from watercolor and collage to acrylic and felt pen.
For the last leg of your gallery tour, you’ll want to hop in the car and drive a few miles south down Highway 1 till you arrive at the Glass Fire Art Glass Gallery, 18320 N. Hwy 1. This glass blowing studio and gallery specializes in gorgeous handmade lighting fixtures like chandeliers, lamps, and intricate, colorful JellyFish Lights. Call ahead to find out when you can watch a demo.
While you’re planning your galleries trip, consider timing it to align with Fort Bragg’s monthly First Friday celebration, during which time local museums, galleries, and shops keep extended hours (5 p.m.–8 p.m.) and feature wine, hors d’oeuvres and a great opportunity to mingle with locals while admiring the art and artifacts.