When most of us think of summer, we think of sand and beach. But for some of us that can’t easily escape to the cool blue waters or are trying to avoid those aging and cancer causing UV rays, a little bit of air conditioned fun may keep us entertained and cool during the summer months. A trip to an art exhibit will provide you with an incredible experience and perhaps a weekend full of new and interesting places and people:
Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors Art Exhibit
If you weren’t able to see the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors art exhibit at the Hirschhorn Gallery in DC, you can still catch the exhibit this summer in Seattle. There are six dazzling mirrored rooms and there were infinitely long lines at the Hirschhorn to see this exhibit. Two or three people at a time are able to stop inside mirrored rooms that take you to a land of polka dots or infinite lights. It was an impossible ticket to get in DC (without also buying a membership to the museum) but may be more manageable at the Seattle Art Museum (June 30-Sept. 10, 2017) or later in Los Angeles, Ontario, Canada or Cleveland. Hint: If you go early in the a.m., start at the end of the exhibit first. And don’t forget to read everything on line about the exhibit and what it has to offer. It will make the exhibit more navigable and exciting. It is thrilling.
The Frederic Bazille Exhibit (“The Birth of Impressionism“) at the National Gallery of Art in DC continues until July 9, 2017, and is well worth the trek to DC. It is located in the modern art wing (or East Building) of the National Gallery and provides an incredible insight on the influence of the impressionists on a young artist who was killed in 1870 when he was only 29 in the Franco-Prussian Wars. His work is compared to some of his predecessors and mentors, including Renoir, Monet and Manet and you can see paintings by them, as well. Some of his work has also been x-rayed leading to a dozen or so compositions hidden under the paint surface of his other works. An interesting exhibit that focuses on the development of an artist, the growth of impressionism and life in Paris in the 1860s.
Have you ever been to Bentonville, Arkansas? I know it is not an easy weekend excursion for most and might require some driving, but the forest surrounding the Ozark Mountains and the Crystal Bridges museum will exhibit the glass work of Dale Chihuly from June 3 to August 14, 2017. There will be indoor and outdoor installations of new works by the artist, as well as some of his more recognizable works. There is actually a great new hotel, The 21c Museum Hotel, and some good restaurants in Bentonville. Plus, you can go to the Museum of Native American History and The Walmart Museum. There is enough to do to fill up a weekend of activities.
You can travel to Boston any time before July 9, 2017 to the Museum of Fine Arts to see a selection of paintings, sculptures and drawings of Henri Matisse. These artworks are set in the context of a “studio collection” where you can also see the objects he surrounded himself with as inspiration for his work. Plus you can have a lobster or a lobster roll!
Other exhibits and museums to consider: a trip to NYC to go to the MOMA or the Metropolitan Museum of Art or even the Calder exhibit at the Whitney Museum in the 2 Meatpacking District. There are also some other incredible museums in NY that are well worth the visit, including the New York City History Museum, where you can see sculptures of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr recreating their famous duel and the Tenements Museum on the lower east side. And in the summer most New Yorkers leave for the weekend to go to the Hamptons so you can get reservations at one of those restaurants that is always booked.
Also, although a trip to Chicago allows you to visit the famous Art Institute (with its incredible collection of impressionist paintings, including the painting which inspired the musical, Sunday in the Park with George, by George Seurat), there are other museums that provide enough to fill up an entire week, including the Planetarium, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum. And you can go to a lawn concert at Grant Park or attend a performance of Hamilton and spend a little less than New York prices.
Finally, I often find that I have overlooked the great museum or art exhibit that is in my own backyard. So, check out what your city has to offer or create your own artistic event (sculpting, anyone?). Skip the surf and find the right fit for all the art that interests you this summer.