Downtown Aurora is home to a number of galleries, museums, and festivals for every art lover’s taste. In recent year’s, downtown Aurora has become a burgeoning arts community and an exciting mecca of art resulting in new artist festivals.
Aurora hosts a spontaneous art walk on the first Friday of every month at various downtown venues. From February through December, more than two dozen venues in downtown Aurora open their doors to art, music, and more.
Alley Art Festival
From noon to 5 p.m. on the last Saturday of August, more than 60 artists set up along the pedestrian-friendly Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora.
Annual Block Party
Party on the street on First Fridays in August as Stolp Avenue closes to vehicular traffic and welcomes live music, family-friendly activities, and live art.
Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery
23 E. Galena Blvd.
Paramount’s upstairs gallery is grand with large walls full of exquisite works of art. Opens seasonally during First Fridays and features prominent local artists. Open to the public during performances.
Aurora Art Studios
50 E. Galena Blvd.
Aurora Art Studios is a cooperative of area artists featuring water color, pen and ink sketches and mixed media work. The studios also hosts open gallery events, and features local artists. Aurora Art Studios is open by appointment only. They host an open house annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Aurora Public Art
David L. Pierce Art & History Center
20 E. Downer Pl.
One of the oldest buildings in downtown Aurora is home to both the Aurora Historical Society and Aurora Public Art. The David L. Pierce Art and History Center (lovingly known to locals as “The DLP”) at 20 E. Downer Pl. is a three-story limestone-faced structure that was restored and reopened to the public as a museum in 1996; it was renamed in honor of the former mayor in 2003.
The third floor features rotating art exhibits. Hours are Wed through Sat from noon to 4 p.m.
It is free to visit. Donations are appreciated.
If These Walls Could Talk
32 S. Stolp Ave
If These Walls Could Talk is a new custom frame shop and gallery located on Stolp Island in Aurora. Customers are encouraged to bring their art and memories for framing that will last a lifetime. The shop offers gallery space to display their work, and is open every First Fridays with a new exhibit.
Brick Gallery at Endiro Coffee
29 W. New York St.
Endiro Coffee’s lower level showcases artwork with opening receptions during First Fridays.
Gary Brown Art
7 S. Broadway
Enjoy a curated art show and live music during First Fridays at Gary Brown’s art studio off of Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora.
Benton Street (across from SciTech)
Santori Public Library
20 E. Downer Pl. (next to David L. Pierce Art & History Center)
Painted Utility Boxes
Bunnie Reiss :: Fox River Trail/New York Street underpass :: Commissioned by Aurora Public Art
Ruben Aguirre :: Broadway/Benton overpass :: Commissioned by Aurora Public Art
Josh Schultz & Rebekah Axtell :: S. LaSalle/E. Benton at Calla Lily Victorian Tea Room, 83 S. LaSalle St. :: Commissioned by Aurora Public Art
Sam Cervantes :: Wings at La France Bakery, 118 E. Galena Blvd.
Pierre Lucero :: Commissioned by Sergio Furniture, 36 W. Downer Pl.
Aurora mural by Josh Schultz :: 5 S. Lake St. at Galena Boulevard :: Commissioned by Aurora Downtown
Want to find out about Aurora Downtown’s public art opportunities? If you are an artist looking to become involved in Aurora Downtown events and art happenings, then add your name to our Call for Artists database below.