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A Deeper Dive Into American Art: 6 Unexpected Art Meccas in the United States

Tourists oftentimes rely on big cities to discover the art scene of countries. Destinations like Paris, New York, Tokyo and London are the ones usually regarded as artistic hotspots. You would be surprised, however, at how art also thrives in little towns. In these places away from the metropolis, art speaks volumes about the culture and tradition of residents.
Here are some of the quirky small towns in the Americas that will give you a good taste of the arts and culture.

6. Friday Harbor, Washington


This idyllic seaport town in San Juan Harbor has galleries and outdoor markets where you can find hidden treasures like colorful paintings, jewelry and fiber glass. At the epicenter of the art scene here is the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, where unique collections are on display, including work from artists who use natural materials like wood and rocks for their craft. Also make sure to visit the San Juan Community Theater to see performances from renowned musicians, theater artists and dance companies.

5. San Juan, Puerto Rico


The Caribbean culture is vibrant and evident in Puerto Rico’s largest and capital city. Even the colonial homes lining the streets of Old San Juan, painted with bright colors, are works of art in themselves. Also in the Old Town, you can find 15 art galleries that will surely satisfy your hunger for some local art. There are also indie concerts here and the Santurce es Ley Festival for the music lovers. What more can we expect from the place where the career of the great cellist, Pedro Casals, flourished?

4. Carmel, California


As early as 1910, it was reported that 60 percent of the population of this seaside city had devoted their lives to the arts. Up to this day, Carmel continues to attract and inspire poets, photographers and art enthusiasts with its unique charm. Art lovers should definitely join the Carmel Art Tour, a 90-minute guided walking tour showcasing the best of Carmel’s paintings, sculptures and photography.

3. Fredericksburg, Texas


The art scene in this Texan city derives inspiration from its rough and rolling landscape and its history of German settlement. In this place where classical artists like Dresden and Friedrich Richard Petri once walked, the artistic tradition lives on. Visit the Koch Gallery if you want to see Native American art, including rugs and pottery. Twenty-one other art galleries here should also be visited to see and even take home local art from various points in history.

2. Taos, New Mexico


This town in New Mexico is the perfect showcase of native culture and the arts. Go to the town’s many art galleries and you can find all kinds of native stuff including baskets, arrows and wooden instruments. The beautiful paintings and sculptures in these art galleries undeniably drew inspiration from the landscape of this place, from the hills to the blue skies. Be sure to go to Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site with 1,000-year-old adobe buildings.

1. Salida, Colorado


Being located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, you would expect this city to be all about the native art. You will be surprised, however, how eccentric and eclectic the art scene in Salida is. Stroll through its art galleries and you will encounter funky and quirky art pieces mixed with the more refined ones. The creative energy here is palpable, with painters, potters and sculptors staging various events within the year.

Art is everywhere. It can be found, usually in its rawest form, in unexpected places like small towns away from big cities. It’s time you widen your art horizon and include these surprising art meccas.

Originally posted 2017-04-24 05:49:48.

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