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The Five College Area: A Home for Art Lovers

There’s much to love about the Five College region of Northampton, Massachusetts — a diverse community, flourishing local businesses, and an abundance of natural parks and walking trails. Besides these amenities, the area is also filled with many venues that focus on the visual arts.

At Maple and Main Realty, our agents are highly skilled in helping buyers and sellers locate ideal commercial and residential properties in the Northampton area of MA. Here, we discuss the various museums and galleries in the region that make it the ideal place for art lovers to live.

Uncover Art History at These Museums

Person on bench admiring artwork in an art museum

Rich with a wide variety of artistic mediums and historic and contemporary themes, there are plenty of museums to visit in the Five College area. The Five College area boasts multiple art museums that focus on different types of art. The following are a handful of art museums to visit:

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

This museum is dedicated to one of the most widely celebrated children’s book illustrators in modern history — Eric Carle. Located in Amherst, it collects and preserves children’s book art and illustrations from a variety of artists, as well as from the museum’s namesake.

Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum was established in 1876, making it one of the longest-standing teaching museums in the country. It contains more than 24,000 works of art from all over the world and continues to acquire new pieces to enhance the teaching experience.

Residing in Western MA, the land surrounding Mount Holyoke College was historically home to many Indigenous communities. As such, a significant portion of the museum’s efforts involves collaborating with these communities to look critically at art history and identify its ties to colonialism.

University Museum of Contemporary Art

As part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, this teaching museum exposes students and members of the community to various contemporary art exhibits. It also delivers several educational programs and welcomes visiting artists to further enrich audiences with one-of-a-kind cultural experiences.

Smith College Museum of Art

Acknowledged as a leading academic museum, Smith College Museum of Art sees around 35,000 visitors from all over the world every year. The museum boasts a highly diverse collection of 27,000 objects that span multiple cultures and periods — from sculptures of antiquity to digital artwork. The permanent collection is large enough that galleries go through a regular rotation, meaning guests may experience something new every time they visit the Smith College Museum of Art.

Experience Artwork at These Galleries

As awe-inspiring as art museums may be, you may wish to encounter art outside the traditional, educational setting. Luckily, the Five College area also offers several distinct art galleries where guests can peruse unique artwork, such as:

R. Michelson Galleries

The largest commercial art gallery in Western MA, R. Michelson Galleries has featured many pieces that now sit in some of the most revered art museums in the country. The gallery is very eclectic, spotlighting a wide range of different art, including:

  • Watercolor and oil paintings
  • Prints
  • Sculptures
  • Fine art
  • Children’s book illustrations

William Baczek Fine Arts

William Baczek Fine Arts was created in 1996 in Northampton, MA, and highlights art from diverse media, such as painting, photography, and printmaking. The gallery also hosts numerous solo and group exhibitions annually.

A.P.E., Ltd. Gallery

Available Potential Enterprises, Ltd. provides around 2,000 sq. ft. of public space for contemporary artists to develop and ultimately display their work. Overseen by a group of artists, volunteers, and a few paid workers, this space is available for visual arts, performances, and similar events.

Northampton and Easthampton Art Studios

In the Northampton and Easthampton areas, several artists’ studios offer open weekends at least once a year. The following are just a handful of studios in the region to visit:

  • Brushworks Arts & Industry (Florence)
  • Cottage Street Studios (Easthampton)
  • Eastworks (Easthampton)

Explore Properties in the Five College Area

If you want to be surrounded by more opportunities to view artwork, consider moving to the Five College area of Northampton, MA. For assistance with the home-buying process, turn to the Realtors at Maple and Main Realty. Our real estate agency utilizes the latest technology and an exceptional level of professionalism to help home buyers and sellers across the Northampton, MA area, including Hampshire and Franklin Counties. Contact us today to learn more about our services.