Thursday, April 15, 2021

Tips to tracking art and beauty worldwide in pandemic times

Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo, showcases the work of a single artist, Gustav Vigeland, all outdoors.


Boadicea and Her Daughters is a bronze sculptural group
in London representing the queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe which
took on the Romans. Find her on the western end of
Westminster Bridge in London, one of many strolling treats.


IF YOU'RE yearning for an artful outing during these cautious pandemic times, consider a visit to one of the world's outdoor venues.
My native state of Montana offers Tippet Rise Art Center, featuring large, contemporary outdoor art.
Bruce Keller's native California has hundreds of sculptures in parks, by beaches and along boardwalks.
The art of glass wizard Dale Chihuly
is a mind-expanding art venture.
WHEREVER you live, there are likely places to view art outdoors, whether on a small or grand scale. Many enticing places combine art and nature in venues which may be entirely outdoors or combine indoor and outdoor displays.
You can be in the sun and catch a breeze while having a safe, art-filled experience. Some places limit capacity.  Some aren't "places" at all, but rather sights along the streets to enlarge and enlighten as one strolls by.
 Many European streets offer the walker an outdoor museum experience. Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, London and Tuscan cities show off monuments which educate and uplift without entering a building or buying a ticket. 
THE PANDEMIC has given us renewed appreciation for fresh air. If the weather is pleasant, no sense staying inside. Here are a few outdoor wonders we've enjoyed. Some charge, so check admission details. Research what's near your town.
* Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway: This unique place is the world's largest sculpture park featuring the works of a single artist.  Developed between 1939 and 1949, it showcases the Norwegian sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. The park's 200 large pieces are a mix of bronze, granite and wrought iron, arranged throughout the grounds by the artist. It's free, open every day.
The Boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta is known for
its intriguing sculpture of sea life and more.
*Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle. An indoor-outdoor museum features the life work of inventive glass artist Dale Chihuly with a look at Chihuly’s inspiration and influences. It brings together many elements, including large eye-popping installations, drawings and signature glass pieces.

*Hyde Park to Westminster, London. A pleasant walk through the 350 acres of London's largest "Royal Park" leads to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard. Then take a leisurely one-mile walk to Westminster, and you'll see more than a dozen statues. Of kings, queens, naval heroes and myth makers, one of our favorites is a larger than life Winston Churchill which captures both his humanity and strength.  

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
offers many beautiful bronzes. Bruce
Keller discovers this howling wolf.
*Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. A marvel of modern engineering, the Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles long and 90 feet wide. Its 4,200-foot main span between the two towers was the longest suspension bridge until 1981; its 746-foot towers made it the tallest bridge period until 1993. Definitely a work of art you can bike, walk or drive across.
Surrealist Salvador Dali loved Portlligat; his home
and grounds there form a fascinating art piece.

*The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Palm Springs, Calif. While this unusual zoo and garden is famed for award-winning animal and plant exhibits, it also houses delightful sculptures, ranging from a huge howling wolf to graceful giraffes, foxes, birds and more.

Niki de Saint Phalle's "Magical Circle" offers mosaic
delights, including serpents and other sea creatures. 
* Malecon Boardwalk and Sculpture, Puerto Vallarta. This popular resort city prides itself in its spectacular al fresco bronze sculptures lining the beach boardwalk. We've visited many times. On Tuesdays from mid-November to mid-April, Galleria Pacifico sponsors a free two-hour sculpture walking tour.  

* Salvador Dali's Portlligat. Spain. In the outskirts of the seaside village of CadaquĆ©s in Catalonia’s Costa Brava region, we discovered Salvador Dali’s beloved home in Portlligat. We'd visited his other museum in Figueres, where the surrealist giant was born. Whimsical, vibrant art pieces  provide insight into his quirky creativity.

The "Domo" at Tippet Rise is both an art piece
and concert venue with marvelous sound.

* Niki de Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden, Garavicchio, Grosetto, Italy. Queen Califia's Magical Circle, Kit Karson Park, Escondido, California. This remarkable artist has four parks honoring her work, one near San Diego.  She has many individual sculptural commissions in San Diego, her native France and beloved Italy. Inspired by other surrealists, she artfully weaves stories, myths, history, race and gender issues and more. She died near us, in La Jolla, in 2002, of respiratory illness caused by exposure to chemicals in her art.
YOU GET the idea. Now, go explore art outdoors.  Undiscovered treasures await near you, guaranteed!
Sedona's red rocks are world famous, and we look at the
Arizona city from the back roads via jeep, by train aboard 
Verde Canyon Railroad, and by helicopter. Come along.

UP NEXT: We're off to the inspiring red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, where we'll commune with nature, take an adventurous jeep ride, thrill in a glorious helicopter ride with a splendid bird's eye view of the landscape. We'll also take a wonderful half-day train trip aboard Verde Canyon Railroad Adventure.  And we'll dine on an array of fabulous cuisine.  Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us each week for a fresh view of travel, nature, the arts, family and more:
Please share the links and comment.


  1. Great mix of outdoor art adventures. Keep these coming!

  2. Clever idea. Art all around us if we open our eyes and imaginations.

  3. Such a fun, lively way to view life and outdoor inspirations.