When you visit a new area for vacation or for a work commitment, one of the best ways to learn more about the culture is to visit places that fit into the art scene. There are quite a few U.S. cities with amazing art scenes that a lot of people simply aren't aware of.
St. Louis, MO
Many visitors enjoy taking trips to St. Louis to view the famous Gateway Arch, a 630-foot stainless steel structure that is famous around the world, but the art scene is a big draw as well. Three major art museums—Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts—are the cornerstones for the art scene. Underground art events, which started in a 1000-sq. ft. apartment and expanded out to a local restaurant, are held to make art accessible to local residents and visitors. Touring musicians also find a home in St. Louis, with shows at The Pageant, Center of Creative Arts, and the Muny. Be sure to book your stay somewhere near this apex of culture!
Tucson is well-known for its golf scene, but the arts scene is also a great reason to take a trip. Since it's surrounded by beautiful southwest landscapes, many of the local artists have captured the deep colors in their artwork. Each month, the city closes several blocks in the downtown area, opening the streets to a fun festival for live music, street performers, food vendors, and more. For those who appreciate architectural beauty, be sure to check out the historic buildings downtown such as the Hotel Congress and The Rialto.
Among the abandoned warehouses and factories, residents of Detroit are working to rebuild their town and encourage creativity from its residents. One major improvement that residents have seen is the transformation of vacant lots, which are now studios and gardens where people can create beautiful things. The Heidelberg Art Project is another exciting change, where the artist turns discarded objects into art throughout two blocks on the east side of Detroit.
In the last 10 years, Providence has seen a rebirth in the arts and culture of the area. This is mainly due to shifting in the residents who have helped in reclaiming and upgrading old buildings and supporting the addition of walking paths near the rivers. Visitors can now enjoy a gondola ride through downtown, an eclectic mix of old and new, or participate in the lighting of bonfires through a festival that incorporates art and music. The Museum of Art – Rhode Island School of Design has hundreds of displays, along with monthly gallery nights.
Denver has become a much more artsy scene in the past few years, even though it was settled more than 150 years ago. Though the art scene was basically nonexistent 30 or 40 years ago, with the addition of $15.5 million Museum of Contemporary Art, with its cutting-edge works, the city is blossoming as a new art center in the U.S. Throughout the city you'll find amazing murals filling the landscape, along with monthly art walks and more.
The art scene is always different wherever you may visit, so checking out galleries and museums is a fun way to learn more about each area. Comment on your favorite artful destinations below.
Jillena O’Brien writes about everything under the sun and uses her knowledge wisely while watching Jeopardy! and playing trivia games. She lives in Washington State where she spends her time planning more vacations than she could possibly go on and wishing she could see and experience everything in the world.