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The Arts are Alive in Gilroy: A Guide to Gilroy’s Art Galleries, Murals, and More

Gilroy, California has a thriving arts scene and several wonderful entertainment venues. Plan a trip to Gilroy to discover art exhibits, craft fairs, murals, art classes, and more. Whether you are a local or visitor, you’ll find something to spark your creative interest in Gilroy!

Art Galleries & Art Studios in Gilroy

View works by regional and international artists at Gilroy’s local galleries and studios—or make your own art! Read on about the variety of artistic options available in historic downtown Gilroy.

  • Gallery 1202: Visit Gallery 1202 to view exciting works by global artists and marginalized artists, along with those who use alternative forms of art and subject matter. This thoughtfully curated gallery hosts in-studio exhibits, virtual exhibitions, and art fairs across the country. 7363 Monterey St.

Colorful paintings on white walls with a large, hanging painting at 6th Street Studios & Art Center

 

  • 6th Street Studios & Art Center: While providing affordable creative space for local artists and art education, 6th Street Studios also hosts a variety of art exhibits, receptions, events (indoors and outdoors), boutiques, monthly art markets (in season) with music, food, and entertainment, along with art classes and paint parties. The owners also coordinate an Art Walk downtown on the third Friday of each month from 5-8 pm, where pedestrians can explore artwork outside of several local businesses. 64 W Sixth Street (just down from The Milias Restaurant).

Picture of blue building of 6th Street Studios & Art Center

 

  • Moya Art Gallery and Studio: View the paintings of local artist Nacho Moya, who highlights his Mexican heritage in much of his artwork. He also holds art classes and paint parties, including virtual ones, and has his own YouTube channel. 7516 Eigleberry St., Suite 100.

Nacho Moya of Moya Art Gallery And Studio poses with a painting

 

  • Gilroy Center for the Arts: The Gilroy Center for the Arts hosts local and rotating art exhibits, art classes, and art boutiques, and features items for sale at the Artisans’ Corner or online. The center also hosts other activities such as open mic nights, outdoor movies, and theater events for Limelight Actors Theater. 7341 Monterey St.

Gilroy Center for the Arts from exterior lit up at night

 

Larger-Than-Life Murals in Gilroy

Do you appreciate a large, al fresco style art? Are you looking for a colorful photo op? Gilroy has a variety of incredible murals to check out in the historic downtown district and other locations throughout the city. Bring some friends and make a scavenger hunt to find them all!

Downtown Gilroy Murals

Walk around downtown Gilroy and explore several colorful murals. Start with a selfie or snapshot in front of the “Gilroy, Garlic Capital of the World” mural, located in a parking area where Fifth Street runs into Monterey Street. This mural pays homage to the city’s earliest families who farmed Gilroy’s famous garlic. Directly across from the garlic mural is a beautiful mural that celebrates the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, with a vineyard scene and a map of wineries along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail. Both murals were painted by Gianni Martino, an artist from Italy.

Mural of Wineries of Santa Clara Valley with a vineyard, a plane, and a water tower

Martino also painted “The World of Coffee” mural inside Fifth Street Coffee, just across the street from the other murals. On the outside of the building, there is another mural of a large Southern Pacific locomotive, which reminds visitors and locals alike of the impact the railroad had on Gilroy after it came through in 1869.

Locomotive mural in downtown Gilroy

Just a block away, turn west on Sixth Street (away from Monterey) and take a left down Gourmet Alley, between The Milias Restaurant and 6th Street Studios & Art Center, and you will find a few more murals painted along the walls. Be sure to walk down a little distance and you will find a colorful mural on the back of the pink Neon Exchange building.

Colorful mural on a pink background wall of the Neon Exchange building downtown Gilroy

At nearly the end of downtown, an expansive, vibrant mural of children engaging in artistic activities is painted on the exterior of the building across the lawn from the Gilroy Center for the Arts, at 7341 Monterey St., between Sixth and Seventh St. This one was painted by a local artist, Sheryl Cathers.

Gilroy Center for the Arts wall mural with colorful pictures of kids painting, taking pictures, dancing, and playing music

Other Murals Throughout Gilroy

There are some other lovely murals hidden in some other places around Gilroy. On the back of the Gilroy Library (350 W. Sixth St.), there is another incredible, detailed mural by Sheryl Cathers depicting an ocean background with islands, pirate ships, and other adventurous scenes inspired by books. There are also two murals along the Uvas Creek/Levee Trail that she has done; one is near Third St as you follow the path under Santa Teresa Blvd., and the other one is near Luchessa Ave. She has also painted several of the utility boxes around town.

Gilroy Library mural with books and ocean scenes with pirate ships and a sunset

Historic Sculptures in Gilroy

If you appreciate sculptures, you may enjoy spotting the bronze sculptures around downtown. Take a picture of our city’s namesake, John Cameron Gilroy, right in front of the Old City Hall restaurant, located at 7400 Monterey St.

John Gilroy statue in downtown Gilroy

Look for the other bronze sculptures along downtown’s Monterey Street, including ones of early landowners striking a business deal and a stagecoach station master taking care of travelers’ horses. They each have a description below about what is depicted in the sculpture, so you can learn some local history while exploring the art, too.

Statue of a station master and a horse on a cement pedestal in downtown Gilroy

Find More to Explore in Gilroy

In addition to all the great art, you’ll find lots more to do in Gilroy, California! For inspiration, check our list of 33 Things to Do in Gilroy and Great Gilroy Getaways trip itineraries. Book a budget-friendly hotel room so you can stay a night or two and try even more wineries in Gilroy.

When you visit, be sure to stop by the California Welcome Center Gilroy. Our friendly staff can help you pick the perfect place to eat and find other fun places to explore. We also have unique gifts and souvenirs of your trip to Gilroy and the Golden State.

 Read More: Check out our companion blog, It’s Showtime: A Guide to Live Entertainment in Gilroy

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