It's unofficially summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere and it's time to get in the car and head out on the open road. Search for cities within a single day’s drive and find out what you might be missing at art venues.
I grew up and used to live in Oklahoma City, which was close 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.)
Image ©Rick Spooner, 1955 Ford Thunderbird
There were a number of times I hopped in the car after deciding an exhibit or event just couldn't be missed. Among them:
►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. In 2004 I returned to see their newly opened building and was bowled over by the Philip Guston show and the wonderful space. I went again last year during my book tour.
►A road trip 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.
Go out of your way to see more art. You never know when you'll come upon a life-altering or art-altering experience. Gas is half the price it was last year, so take advantage of it while you can!
Do you have a favorite art-related road trip? Share it in the comments.