Immersing yourself in the local art culture is a great way to really soak up the creative hustle and bustle of your community. Start by taking advantage of the free or discounted admission many museums offer on specific days or with student/armed forces identification. Read on for ways to tap into local art outreach programs and explore the art scene in your neighborhood.
Your first stop should be art museums in your area. Keep tabs on current exhibitions or upcoming events like tours, lectures, and performances by following museums on Instagram and Twitter. Consider yourself a patron of the arts by becoming a member with an annual monetary contribution. Members often get privileged access to special events and discounted rates.
You’ll want to hit up art walks and gallery shows next. This is one of the best ways to learn more about local art and artists in a more intimate way. Chances are you’ll be able to talk one-on-one with artists about their art and be grouped with like-minded art lovers who can offer their unique opinions. After all, art is a dialogue, right? Connecting with these new found artists and friends on social media will help you stay abreast of future happenings. Be sure to linger around reception tables to pick up any flyers or handouts with events you may be interested in.
Get involved in the art making itself by signing up for art classes at a local college or art space. Usually class sizes are limited which makes for an intimate learning experience. Post pictures of both the process of creating as well as final art pieces online and always remember to hashtag your city and community groups to help spread the word! Art classes for kids tend to be available more often and are well worth the trip if you have bored little ones at home. If you find yourself in a city with few options, start an art night yourself.
Since all art isn’t kept indoors, you should head outside to take in all of your city’s art attractions. You’ll learn the most about your city’s art scene from the locals. There are many architecture, sculpture, and graffiti sights to be seen that are accessible by foot, bike, boat, and bus tours. A greater knowledge and a newly cultivated appreciation of your city is all part of investing in local art!
When you feel comfortable and ready to explore outside of your city, check out art festivals both large like Art Basel, Sundance, and SXSW and small, like ART Santa Fe and Uptown Art Festival in Minneapolis. Do a little online research to see what festivals or conventions are being held in your area. Some festivals can go on for a few days to several months at a time, so keep that in mind when planning and purchasing tickets. You’ll notice that the community itself is very much an integral piece of the art experience.