Plan a Road Trip to See More Art

It’s summer and it’s time to get in the car and head out on the open road.

I grew up in Oklahoma City. While there is plenty to see and do in OKC, what was really cool was the proximity to numerous art venues in Tulsa, Fort Worth, Dallas, Wichita, Kansas City, and points beyond. (For those of you on the East Coast and abroad who can’t imagine a three-hour-or-longer road trip, you’re missing out.)

There were a number of times I decided an exhibit or event was not to be missed. Among them:

Michelle LaRae

Michelle LaRae, Going to the Beach in a 1940 Ford. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches. ©The Artist

My first opportunity to write for Fiberarts magazine. My mother and I loaded up the car and road tripped to Arrowmont in eastern Tennessee. We spent Thanksgiving there–next to Dollywood and all of the outlet stores–and took in a wonderful exhibit of contemporary quilts.

The touring production of “Still/Here” by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company when it made it to Lawrence, KS. This was one of the best experiences of my life.

The Magritte retrospective at the Menil Collection in Houston, TX. WOW! And another chance to see the nearby Rothko Chapel (one of my favorite places on earth).

The Richard Diebenkorn and Sean Scully retrospectives at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Later, I returned to see their newly opened building (fabulous!) and was bowled over by the Philip Guston show.

The Gates–Christo and Jean-Claude’s installation in Central Park in 2005. Okay, it wasn’t a road trip, but it was an event that took us to New York.

A road trip I made by myself to evaluate informal family learning at museums and discovery centers in Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. I came upon–quite accidentally–the City Museum in St. Louis, which was so cool. They had an exhibit with a shoe theme that had a shoe theater (instead of puppet theater). I’ll never forget it!

The day I drove from Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma to see the ancient site of Spiro Mounds.

Don’t stay in your comfortable world. Escape! As an artist, you should explore and experience everything the art world has to offer.

Go out of your way to see more art. You never know when you’ll come upon a life-altering or art-altering experience.

Where are you headed?

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10 comments to Plan a Road Trip to See More Art

  • I’m on my way to Santa Fe this summer to visit galleries and meet a couple of women artists in the area that I made connections with through linkedin. Should be a great trip and I am certainly ready to be refreshed and inspired! I’m planning on doing some “good work’ when I get back.

  • Sari

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117421308275146&ref=ts I donated 3 paintings to this event, & now I have to actually drive up there to deliver them…The venue is on a lake called Musselman Lake in a place called Stouffville…I’m going to drive up & loiter around this town only an hour away from me but which I have never been to…I’m hoping it will be so beautiful there that my next painting will arrive in my head while loitering…(does Nature count as an art gallery?)

  • My wife and I drove down to VA from Baltimore to check out the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News and the newly expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Both were great and I came home inspired and a tiny bit smarter.

  • Hi Alyson,

    It’s absolutely true that seeing art in museums in other cities expands your
    horizons (literally and figuratively). Your post is great too for people like
    me who have done their major travelling for this year, yet can still see
    some of what you saw through your links. Thanks again.

    Barbara

  • Loveland, Colorado, bronze sculpture mecca of the Rockies, is on our calendar later this year. I can’t wait to walk through the sculpture park there and spend time enjoying the wide variety of work there.

  • This is such crazy timing! I’ve been conflicted about driving out to Pittsburgh for the day (it’s a 4.5 hour trip, so a long day) to check out Luke & Eloy gallery while the Contain exhibit is on. I know it would be a roadtrip to see my own work, but I’ve never been there and there are all kinds of other great metal artists who are in the exhibit, included David Huang who is my bowl idol. This post might be the omen I’ve been looking for to convince me that it’s not that far.

  • Hi Alyson Thanks for sharing your road trip. I am currently on mine travelling around Australia with my husband and 2 children in a caravan we have been travelling now for 7 months and still have another couple to go before we head home to Queensland Australia.There is so much i do not know about Art, that’s why I love your blog. I recently added it to blogs I Love. It is so inspiring and motivating and PRACTICAL! I was so taken with the Rothko Chapel that I did my own personel post on it. I’ve put it on my TODO list before I die. All best and thanks. sincerely Candice Herne

  • connie solberg

    Just back from a trip over the North Sea from Norway to Denmark, by ferry, to see Per Kirkeby in Aarhus at the Aros. I don’t hesitiate to jump on a plane to somewhere to see inspiring art. In Europe, it’s actually easier to hop to London/Paris/Oslo, etc. It’s actually more of a “project” to drive around Norway to see something…..Go alone, or get a small group together and share costs and inspiration. If you go somewhere with people who are marginally interested, you’ll end up in shopping centers, or cafes.

  • Jon Elliott

    Basically, I don’t know what I’m doing. I have a “Fan Page” on “Facebook”, it’s under JD Elliott. If you can get that, then you can see my paintings. Or I can send them to somebody.

  • Keisha

    Ohhh I am reading this late but my sister and I just visited Homestead Heritage Craft Village in Waco, Tx!!! Is was amazing. It took us an hour and 30 to get there but it was worth it. Will never forget all the gorgeous pottery, fiber art, and food that the community of people there make themselves!!!!