If you’re looking for some new cities in the US to visit with a happening art scene, a new survey found that the top ten cities for art might not be the ones we most often associate with art. First some background, though.
This survey takes population into consideration to find US cities with a large number or art organizations per capita. When population isn’t factored in, New York, LA, San Francisco continue to top the most artsy cities. Apartmentguide, though, looked at cities with populations larger than 100,000 people, according to the latest US Census Bureau and scoured 8 million commercially available business listings for art-related businesses. Businesses that fell into the categories of art galleries, museums, fine arts, art organizations and schools, art centres, and art supplies businesses fit the bill. These figures were transposed to find out the following chart toppers:
Charleston, South Carolina
This southern town tops the charts in more than just charm and hospitality, it ranks number one on this survey of art-infused cities. Charleston, lovingly referred to as Chucktown by its residents, boasts a number of art-related entities including the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and dozens of gallery and exhibitions spaces, all within walking distance. Visitors can also venture out to see some impressive private collections in the holding of historic plantations just outside of downtown. In addition to these jewels, Charleston is home to a number of art festivals like MOJA Arts Festival, Piccolo Spoleto, and Kulture Klash.
The neon lights of this coastal city land at second place, somewhat unsurprisingly as it has become the home of the internationally recognized show: Art Basel. Art Basel, which spans five days and nine locations, has attracted nearly 80,000 people from more than 30 countries and highlighted the works of over 4,000 artists from 200 galleries, worldwide. Wynwood Arts District is another major factor in Miami’s hot spot. It features around 100 museums, galleries, and studios making art incredibly accessible to residents and visitors.
Just across the Central Bay from San Francisco, Berkeley isn’t only rich in the scientific and mathematics research that come out of University of California – Berkeley. The university also features the Berkeley Art Museum, which is often recognized alongside the Pacific Film Archive known as BAMPFA. Between the two organizations, BAMPFA houses more than 35,000 pieces in their collections from old master paintings to an extensive film archive. Berkeley is also home to the Berkeley Art Centre, a non-profit, located in the middle of Live Oak Park that features rotating exhibitions and outdoor artworks as well.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Back over to Florida, the number four spot is taken by Fort Lauderdale, which has flown under the art radar for years despite an incredibly rich art scene. What sets this Florida city apart from the crowd is it is more focused on public artworks and free galleries as opposed to private galleries. FATVillage, or the Flagler Arts and Technology Village, is a major attraction in Fort Lauderdale spanning four blocks of redeveloped warehouses that have been made into galleries and artists’ spaces.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Often known as NOLA, this vibrant city is another city that tops the charts and really isn’t too surprising when you seriously consider it. The city oozes with history, culture, and art. There are countless galleries, tons of stunning architectural examples, and fantastic centres for artistic exploration. In fact, NOLA boasts four major districts for finding art: the French Quarter, Bywater, Marigny, and the Garden District. Each of which are packed with tiny shops featuring local artists and their works. New Orleans is also the home to Prospect, a major, city-wide art exhibition that involves the entire city.
For the entire list of 50 cities, visit this site and see how it compares to a list of some of the more usual art capitals.