Monday, March 25, 2013

Awesome Art Getaways

In March we celebrate birthdays of two famous artists: Michelangelo (March 6) and Vincent Van Gogh (March 30).  In order to pay tribute to the wondrous works of these and other artists, here are some of the top, 'not-so-obvious' Art Getaway Destinations.

Florence, Italy
Explore opera and art in the city where the world's first opera was written and some of the greatest Renaissance art created. Guests can experience (hands on) opera-singing and art classes as part of their stay at one of Florence's most iconic hotels, Hotel Savoy, with tours to cultural hotspots like the Pitti Palace and tickets to the opera.

Opera Masterclass - The opera masterclass, which can be covered in a single day or two half-days, includes a guided walk to the courtyard of the Pitti Palace where the first ever opera was performed in 1600. The session also includes a music academic on the history of Italian opera and how to listen to opera and comprehend it, as well as a singing lesson with a specialist in vocal technique. Guests can also attend an opera.

Art Masterclass - The art masterclass includes a lesson in drawing or painting in the style of one of three great Italian masters - Leonardo, Michelangelo or Caravaggio - and a guided visit to see their work in the Uffizi Gallery. The three-hour lesson takes place in the morning and the gallery visit takes place over two hours in the afternoon and is also guided by the art teacher.

Sculpture Package - During a two-day course, guests will learn how to model and sculpt with clay and will create their own masterpiece to bring back home as a very special souvenir.

Sarasota, FL
Those who say arts and culture shrunk to scale with the economy have not been to Sarasota lately.  Sarasota and her string of eight islands are tucked into the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida 60 miles south of Tampa.  Famous for its sandy, white beaches, clear war waters and beach town feel, the area is vibrant with art and culture offerings, including:
*The Ringling Estate - renowned for its architecture that resembles a Venetian Gothic palace, the founder of the famous circus left his estate to the state of Florida where it now houses more than 600 Baroque masterpieces.  Also on the grounds is the Asolo Theater, an 18th century playhouse originally constructed in Italy, The Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center.
*Home to 5 professional theater companies, including the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and two community theaters
*Acclaimed Sarasota Ballet
*Sarasota Orchestra & its Sarasota Music Festival, Artist Series Concerts
*Sarasota Opera House
*Jazz Club of Sarasota
*Ringling College of Art & Design
*Clyde Butcher Art Gallery
*Sarasota Season of Sculpture
*Towles Court Artist colony - named “Top 10 Artist Colonies”

Oakland, CA
Oakland was named as one of the top 12 arts destinations in U.S. by, and named as #5 place to visit in the world in 2012 by the New York Times

Home to more than 41 arts-related organizations, and 28 arts-related businesses
, Oakland's monthly art walk, Art Murmur, draws up to 20,000 people each month
.  And, Oakland has more artists per capita than any other city in the U.S., aside from Brooklyn.

Fredricksburg, TX
Named among the "Top Five Western Art Towns" by Southwest Art magazine in 2004, Fredericksburg, TX has continued its tradition as a gathering place for rich, productive interaction between artists, which in turn draws art lovers and collectors.  The town is home to 13 art galleries where the Fredericksburg arts community is gearing up for the Oil Painters of America National Show, which will take place at Fredericksburg's Insight Gallery this May.

First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg is held the first Friday of each month all year long. During First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg the galleries remain open until 8:00 p.m., serve Texas Hill Country wine, host show opening receptions, demonstrations and more.  Fredericksburg is also home to the Fredericksburg Art School, which hosts a number of art classes and workshops throughout the year.

Delray Beach, FL
Delray Beach is a charming little beach town with a large arts community, where Key West meets Manhattan, is located south of West Palm Beach on the east coast of south Florida and was voted Most Fun Small Town in the USA last year by Rand McNally, USA Today and the Travel Channel.  The City embraces the Arts and has helped make many of the institutions outlined below, happen.

* Artists Alley - a group of studios and galleries where you can find artists at work; hold once a month Open Studios night.

* Arts Garage - Eclectic venue where you can Bring Your Own Whatever and experience world renowned talent in performance series' such as Jazz Project, Classical Explosion and Urban Underground

* Pineapple Grove Arts District - Area of town with murals and sculptures all over the street, art galleries, home to Artists Alley. Soon to come the Arts Warehouse.

* Art House - Showcases modern art and installation art. Also provides classes.

* Kevro's Art Bar - Art and a music, art shoes, poetry slams.

* Vino Van Gogh - Become an artist yourself while listening to music and drinking wine, and you get to take home your work of art.

* Delray Beach Center for the Arts - The grounds include the Cornell Museum, Crest Theatre, Vintage Gymnasium and Outdoor Pavilion. Free concerts in season every Friday night.

* Has two amazing cultural institutions, the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens and the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, one of only a few museums dedicated to African American culture in Florida.

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