Planning a vacation this summer? Cue up your road-trip playlist! Kick up your feet! And check-out these four arts-centric destinations.
I’ve spent the last few weeks scouring the internet. Why? To find you affordable accommodations and not only that but also local culinary, musical, and visual arts that will feed your soul. And just maybe inspire your lessons for the upcoming academic year. In an attempt to shed some light on cities that might not break the bank quite as much as NYC or SF, I have tried to spotlight smaller cities that still offer a depth of arts opportunities.
I barely scratch the surface with these suggestions… So please feel free to chime-in and share your summer get-away ideas in the comments below!
Asheville, North Carolina
The bungalows of Asheville sprung up during the Arts and Crafts movement which flourished between 1880 and 1920. This particular home advertises a 5 minute walk to Downtown and the River Arts District making the location of this bungalow hard to beat.
In an effort to avoid the chaos of parking, stay in this sweet cottage– very centrally located with a private balcony overlooking the city. The host even provides breakfast for their guests included with the cost of the stay.
Asheville Art Museum
The art museum offers behind-the-scenes and hands-on workshops for adults! Check out a class on Alchemy that teachers three different techniques for creating image transfers, offered on Saturday, July 14th. Or learn about remaining flexible in your art and creating paintings that explore the use of layers at the workshop Delicious Ambiguity on August 11th.
Asheville has some of the most beautiful murals I have seen outside of Baltimore and Portland and photographs taken here can serve as great artful thinking inspiration throughout the upcoming academic year. Take a self-guided drive of the River Arts District murals and take a break for a drink at Burial Beer Co. where a mural of Tom Selleck and Sloth from The Goonies by Gus Cutty will keep watch and inspire some unique lesson ideas!
John C. Campbell Folk School
Okay so this art school is two hours south-west of Asheville but I had to include it on our listing for readers who might be able to hit up a class on their way to or from the city. This school offers classes on all folk arts from basket-weaving to square-dancing to shape note singing (the arts integration possibilities are unavoidable). Most classes take place between 9am-12 and 1:30- 4:30 and last either an entire week, or a weekend. But the school is open for self-directed tours during all daylight hours everyday (including studios)!
River City Loft
Stay in a renovated old 1890’s building that used to house Byck’s Department Store, close to the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts and downtown Louisville- with the bonus of included parking.
Okay so I admit, I am only including this residence for its novelty. Coming in at just under a grand per night, this is not in most teacher’s ideal price range. However it is jam-packed with art and shares a building with the 21c Museum! This museum curates exhibitions and installations that “reflect the global nature of contemporary culture”… and house a restaurant and a spa! If nothing else – it’s worth browsing the pictures included of the space!
Speed Art Museum
The Speed Art Museum offers free drawing materials for sketching museum artworks every Saturday, no registration required. They also have a summer jam-packed full of short workshops. Try the Back to Basics Watercolor 2 hour Class on July 14th. Or maybe the Back to Basics Mixed Media Mania on August 11th suits you more. Note: The 3rd Friday of every month the museum stays open until 10pm and offers a mix of music performances, cash bar and food along with open galleries and tours.
Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts
Join the KMAC April through August 2018 to experience the exhibition Spin: Turning Records into Art which showcases artist made records and record covers alongside projects by contemporary artists who have used those same records to make sculptures and installations. Leave feeling inspired to develop a lesson linking music, visual arts, and language arts where students create record covers as a reflection on a written text.
Note: The museum is closed on Mondays.
Check out the Flame Run gallery where the glass work of artists from all over the world are on display with a rotational display every two months. Then head over to the Mark Payton Glass Center to attend a “Flame Your Own” or a “Walk-in Workshop” event.
Embrace the great outdoors in the true spirit of Oregon and stay at a cabin on a farm! This cabin was an original settlement cabin built in 1911 and is only a 10 minute drive from downtown Bend.
This residence includes kayaks for paddling and a patio seating area that is practically guaranteed to make you whip out your sketchbook and do some visual journaling. Free wi-fi and walking distance to Drake Park makes this little lake-side cottage an appealing place to stow away.
A “micro-model for global movement towards sustainability” this gallery and studio collective promotes grassroots craft culture and focuses on sustainable art! They are open seven days per week from at least 9am- 2pm (and longer Tuesday through Sunday). Consider registering for a figure drawing salon, or taking one of their many classes. Their July 7th Creative Writing Workshop may provide ample connections between visual and language arts. And their Recycle in Style class on the 19th is bound to inspire great connections between science and jewelry making!
Bend Art Center
Explore printmaking and the art of the letter press through woodcut and monotype printing workshops! The Bend art center contains the A6 Print Studio, which works to expand appreciation for traditional printing and bookmaking techniques (dating back to the 15th century)! Dive through history and art connections as you learn about using both traditional and contemporary printing processes. Bring home valuable and unique skills you can share with your students!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Is there a cuter term for a small house than “casita”? No there is not! Immerse yourself in Santa Fe architecture (specifically the Pueblo Revival movement of the 1920’s and 30’s and stay at this home within walking distance to Museum Hill!
This quaint garden home has a description note that reads “Santa Fe is at 7000 feet elevation. Summers are cooler than most cities and the dry air and late season monsoons keep our city wonderfully temperate. Homes in Santa Fe generally do not have air conditioning as it is only needed occasionally and only for an hour or two. If you are accustomed to constant refrigerated air, we suggest that a local hotel may be a better choice for your visit.” Quick someone do a science project on this! Does the exterior stucco coating help cool homes? Is it the adobe style that helps keep these homes cooler? There is a science standard in there somewhere!
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Opened in 1997 just over a decade after Georgia O’Keeffe passed away, this museum offers insight into the life and work of it’s namesake artist. Check out the museum’s collection of over 3,000 works including O’Keeffe originals and many other fabulous works of modern art. Not able to make it to the museum or even Santa Fe? Check out the Teacher Resources Tab on their website for a handful of great ways to share the work of this artist in your classroom!
Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return
Combine storytelling, music, visual art, media arts, and science in this “explorable, immersive. art installation filled with technology and fantastic environments to inspire visitors of all ages.” A collaborative artwork of over 100 artists, Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return claims to be a children’s museum, an art gallery, a jungle gym, and a fantasy novel all wrapped into one!
Santa Fe School of Cooking
Located in the heart of downtown, this internationally acclaimed cooking school offers hands-on cooking classes, demonstrations, and longer workshop programs in addition to local restaurant walking tours! Learn more about how to cook in an authentic Southwestern style by attending the “Red Chile Workshop” on July 5th. Or combine culinary and visual arts in the “O’Keeffe Cooking Class” on the 20th!
Laura Wixon graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2012 with Bachelors in Art Studio and Art History and English Language. In 2013 she stayed at SMCM and completed the Masters in Teaching Program with endorsements in elementary education, special education, art education k-12, and secondary English education (6-12). She taught as a Language Arts teacher for two years at Bates Middle School before moving into their Arts Integration Specialist position, which she has held the past two years.