Travel Stories, Travel Trends

Unveiling the Unconventional Art Scenes

Profile photo of Aabiya Noman Baqai

Aabiya Noman Baqai

Writer and Editor at Destination Jeddah

Carevec-Easytouristguides

Our top artistic destinations worldwide.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is the folk art market of the Americas. New Mexico is known as the ‘Land of Enchantment’ and Santa Fe may just be the reason why. It is a beautiful city with natural beauty, traditional crafts and folk festivals. It has also been listed as a UNESCO Creative City in design, crafts and folk art.

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MUST SEE

  • The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and New Mexico Museum of Art, both of which hold O’Keeffe’s works, a famous artist in the region, in addition to modern and contemporary Southwestern art.
  • Canyon Road holds the highest concentration of art galleries in the city which showcase a wide variety of contemporary, Southwestern, experimental, Russian and Native American pieces.
  • Museum of Contemporary Native Artswhich holds contemporary Native American and political art pieces.
  • Pablita VelardeMuseum of Indian Women in the Arts specifically for Native women artists.
  • Site Santa Fe; a contemporary art space.
  • Museum Hill hosts museums such as the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.
  • Crosby Theatre and Santa Fe Opera for musical enlightenment.
  • Music festivals such as the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale.

 

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2019, Plovdiv is a historically rich city dating back to pre-historic Neolithic times, with more than 200 archaeological sites, remains of medieval era walls and towers, Ottoman baths and mosques, and preserved areas from the National Revival period. Plovdiv also hosts musical, theatrical and film events every year.

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MUST SEE

  • Ancient Theatre hosts many events such as the VerdiFestival and the International Folklore Festival.
  • The Roman Odeon, another ancient theater.
  • TheAncient Stadium, used to host great athletic games. Only a small part of the northern section can be seen today.
  • The Roman forum; a historical hub of Bulgarian culture.
  • The Eirene Archaeological complex which has 30 art galleries and numerous museums hosting artifacts and pieces from different eras.
  • The Archaeological Museum which contains a rich collection of art and artifacts from Paleolithicto the early Ottoman period.
  • The Art Gallery of Plovdiv possesses 5,000 pieces of art.
  • The Old Town of Plovdiv; a historic preservation site known for its Bulgarian Renaissance architectural style.
  • Churches, mosques and synagogues such as Saint Constantine, Saint Helena, the Djumaya Mosque and The Sephardic Plovdiv Synagogue.

Accra, Ghana

Another unexpected art destination is Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Though thriving on private investments due to lack of Government support, Accra is steadfast in proving itself as an upcoming art place; breaking the stereotypical perception that art is only for the moneyed classes.

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MUST SEE

  • L’Arte Café; an art gallery filled with sculptures, paintings and trinkets.
  • Rex Cinema; a well-designed and refurbished cinema.
  • Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, where Ghana’s first president was buried, under whom arts and culture thrived.
  • Nubuke Foundation showcases the works of many West African artists and is a hub for cultural activities and creativity.
  • The Du Bois Centre; a research library and manuscript gallery.
  • National Museum and the National Theatre, with distinctive modern Chinese architecture.
  • Jamestown area contains the Ussher Fortand James Fort and also hosts the Chale Woté Festival – an annual street art festival.
  • The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit; the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Accra.

 

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei might not be on the radar for a lot of travelers, but it is a location of thriving arts and design scene with a great mix of Chinese and Japanese cultures. Since 2000, artists, developers and government officials have been transforming abandoned warehouses and factories into art spaces, complete with studios and exhibition space. In addition to the installation art, politically-influenced conceptual work and high technology oriented works which dominate the city.

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MUST SEE

  • Taipei Historical Museum represents cultural collaboration between Taiwan and Mainland China.
  • National Palace Museum showcases Eastern region history exhibitions.
  • Dimension Endowment of Art; a modern gallery space.
  • T. Park; an alternative small gallery featuring works of different artists.
  • Milk Café to watch latest in video art and meet a networked group of artists and intellectuals.
  • Hanart Gallery and the Hanart TZ Gallery showcase artists and architects.
  • Taipei Fine Arts Museum with enormous installations and contemporary art on a large scale.
  • Studio of Lin Honh-Wen where Lin Honh-Wen creates ship-like constructions using small chips of wood, lit from inside with mysterious glows.

 

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