Travelling usually includes a lot of shopping, nonstop sightseeing and plenty of relaxation. But how well do you end up getting to know a city? Art can tell you more about a place you visit that any trinket you buy at a souvenir shoppe. So take some time to really get to know these Cayman Airways gateway cities on your next visit. You’ll see everything from masterpieces to experimental works and vibrant street art.
The Magic City is often thought as being exclusively a party playground, but beneath the dazzling pastels and bright neon there is a nascent cultural scene that’s quickly rising to prominence. Whether wandering through vibrant murals, private collections or picturesque museums, Miami has a variety of offerings to suit every kind of art lover.
Start in Wynwood, the city’s arts district that grew from a collection of warehouses that once housed garment factories and rail yards. It’s now home to art galleries, shoppes, breweries and restaurants. But the murals that decorate every inch of free wall space in the neighbourhood are what bring the tourists by the busload to the area. Prominent artists like Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf and Os Gemeos have all put their stamp in Wynwood.
Want to see all the best street art quickly? Visit Wynwood Walls, the meandering mini-park in the middle of the neighbourhood founded by the late Tony Goldman, the real estate developer who pioneered Wynwood.
North of Wynwood lies the Miami Design District, an area better known these days for its luxury shopping but that still remains home to some of the best art found in the city. Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, which is showing the first American museum presentation of German artist Thomas Bayrle. The show closes March 26 and will be the final exhibition at the museum’s temporary home at the Moore Building. The museum will reopen in December at its permanent building just a few blocks away.
However, no visit to Miami is complete without a visit to the Herzog and de Meuron-designed building that houses the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Overlooking Biscayne Bay, the vistas are almost as nice as the art found inside. Beyond the art hanging on its walls, PAMM hosts talks in its auditorium and parties on the terrace regularly.
Everything is bigger in Texas — and that certainly applies to Dallas’ art scene. Thanks to a tight-knit art community and supportive patrons, the city is able to compete with scenes on either coast.
The Dallas Design District has quickly become an entertainment district with plenty of shoppes and restaurants. However, art spaces have also played an important role in the area’s resurgence. Founded in 2007, the Goss-Michael Foundation focuses on contemporary British art with a collection that includes works by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Marc Quinn.
The Dallas Art District is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the United States. From nine performing art spaces and three art museums, the area attracts visitors and locals alike. The Dallas Museum of Art has called the district home since 1984, with a collection of over 24,000 objects and 159,000 square feet of exhibition space. The museum’s focus is broad, including early African and European pieces, decorative arts and contemporary works.
Looking to get some fresh air while exploring art a bit more temporary in nature? Deep Ellum, a neighbourhood just east of downtown, has a long, rich history of street art. Both commissioned works and graffiti, a form of expression that’s been tied to this area since the 1980s, seem to cover every available space in the neighbourhood.
Spaces like Kettle Art Gallery, CentralTrak and 500X Gallery can also be found in Deep Ellum. But if you’re looking to get a closer look at the neighbourhood, visit during its Second Saturday art walk or take a guided mural tour. From April 7 through 10, the area really comes alive during the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, which combines art, music, food and even a pet parade.
Arguably the epicentre of arts in the Americas, New York has a long, rich history of being home to some of the most celebrated artists and galleries for at least the last two centuries.
That tradition continues today with areas like the Lower East Side and Chelsea in Manhattan, and Bushwick and Dumbo in Brooklyn. There you’ll find everything from established galleries hawking blue-chip art to experimental spaces where creativity roams free.
The Lower East Side is home to over 200 galleries, and it shows no sign of slowing down. A lot of credit in establishing the area goes to the New Museum, which opened its 235 Bowery location in 2007. The seven-storey, 58,700-square-foot space is home to some of the best contemporary art with a collection of over 1,000 pieces. Beyond the museum, galleries like Cuchifritos Gallery & Project Space, CANADA and Miguel Abreu Gallery take advantage of the characteristic storefronts in the Lower East Side to attract passersby.
Not to be outdone, the Whitney Museum of American Art, originally founded in 1931, has experienced some major upgrades with its new location in the Meatpacking District. Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, its stunning views almost surpass the vast collection of modern and contemporary American art on view — more than 60,000 square feet of indoor galleries and outdoor exhibition space.
However, as rents rise, artists continue to look for cheaper alternatives off the island in areas like Brooklyn. Dumbo was one of those areas artists flocked to thanks to its close proximity to the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Galleries like Klompching and A.I.R. call the area home. The best way to explore the area is during its First Thursday gallery walk when galleries stay open until 9 p.m. and showcase new exhibits and performances.
Not to be outdone is the borough of Queens. Its Long Island City neighbourhood is anchored by MoMA PS1, the contemporary arm of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. As one of the oldest nonprofit art institutions in the United States, PS1’s mission isn’t to collect art for its permanent collection. Instead, it devotes its times and energy to putting on an aggressive array of exhibitions — more than 50 a year — of experimental art.
However, Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood continues to be the city’s centre for some of the best galleries and art institutions. Casey Kaplan Gallery, Gagosian Gallery and Hauser & Wirth all showcase the best in contemporary art and are respected galleries worldwide.
For all its Midwestern sensibility, the art scene in Chicago easily rivals that on either coast. From powerhouse museums to carefully curated galleries, the Windy City is just as important to America’s cultural landscape as its coastal brethren.
Proof of that comes at the Art Institute of Chicago, which is home to more than 300,000 pieces that include masterworks like Grant Wood’s American Gothic and Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. You could spend an entire day here and still not see everything this museum has to offer.
With the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago nearby, many galleries call the River North neighbourhood home. Ken Saunders Gallery, Richard Norton Gallery, and Weinberg/Newton Gallery, the latter which focuses on exhibitions focusing on a social justice issues, all reside in the area. While the area doesn’t have a formal art walk, the first Fridays of the month are generally the day galleries stay open late and the public hops from space to space.
Located in the Lower West Side, Pilsen, a traditionally working-class Mexican neighbourhood, has lured artists and galleries to the area with cheap rent. It’s now home to the Chicago Arts District, where galleries can be found along the main drag, Halsted Street and the surrounding area. Carlos & Dominguez Fine Arts Gallery, Chicago Art Department and Chicago Urban Art Society are all located in this area. The Arts District holds a Second Friday art walk for those looking to see a lot of art at once.
For something a little quirkier and uniquely Chicago, visit Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Focusing on works that showcase untrained artists and little mainstream influence, the museum has relished its role in showcasing intuitive and outsider art. Its permanent collection includes more than 1,100 works and the Henry Danger Room Collection, a permanent installation.
Recently named one of the top five most culturally diverse and integrated urban areas in the country by the U.S. Census Bureau, Tampa is rich in art and museums. The city was recently awarded one of the “Top Arts Destinations” by American Style Magazine, too. And it’s its eclectic selection of arts offerings that puts it on the map.
If modern and contemporary pieces are what you’re after, head to the Tampa Museum of Art. During Fourth Friday, downtown Tampa comes to life here. You can meet at the museum and experience all the participating cultural venues along the Riverwalk — and enjoy pay-as-you-will admission to the museum.
For a taste of history, explore the Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa campus. The National Historic Landmark offers period-themed events, as well as rooms filled with opulent antiques and artefacts from its gilded 1890s-era Tampa Bay Hotel days.
Located in neighbouring St. Petersburg, The Dali Museum is well worth a visit. It houses one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of his work — and the largest outside of Europe. But the art isn’t only indoors. The museum is housed in one of the most stunning buildings in the city, with glass window ceilings and spiral staircases that showcase the architectural masterpiece.
Visit These destinations with Cayman Airways
Cayman Airways offers non-stop flights from Grand Cayman to each of these art-friendly gateways.To book your flight, call 345-949-2311 or 1-800-4-CAYMAN, contact your local agent, or visit caymanairways.com.
Author: Daniel Guzman