DREAMSCAPES WINTER/SPRING 2022
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TRAVEL SLEUTH: THE GALLERY GUIDE
 
(2022 - Winter/Spring Issue)

Writer: ILONA KAUREMSZKY



The personal ties we make peering at great art are immeasurable. In the absence of visiting the real deal during these unchartered times, arts-deprived folks have found an alternative path, turning to the internet for inspiration. Some art seekers have gone even further by clicking on videos, anticipating a eureka moment of inspiration, as other art-starved patrons suss out poignant paintings online in collections once frequented en masse at beloved institutions.

ARTFUL WELLNESS

The healing properties in seeing art have even shifted into a new genre known as restorative travel. It’s when your endorphins get a charge. Virtual museum visits undoubtedly have seen an uptick in these pandemic times. It’s anyone’s guess the number of times people have peered at Mona Lisa’s smile. If you haven’t seen the world’s most famous painting, head to the Salle des États in Room 711, Denon Wing, Level 1 at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Or even easier, view louvre.fr/en/explore/the-palace/from-the-mona-lisa-to-the-wedding-feast-at-cana

As one insider explains, art therapy is a great way to help manage stress and overall mental well-being. “The interpretation of art subconsciously helps to open the mind to process behaviours and feelings, which can be very impactful in reducing stress and anxiety,” says Rebecca Platt, Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing at BodyHoliday, a luxury wellness resort situated by a secluded cove amid white sand and blue sea in St. Lucia.

“When we’re worried about the physical health of those we love, looking at art, even on a screen, can be an escape and a mental breather,” adds Hillary Brown, Director of Communications at the Georgia Museum of Art, an art museum in Athens, Georgia that has been showcasing online exhibitions. georgiamuseum.org/category/online-exhibit/

POP CULTURE BOOST

As you’re waiting to re-enter the world of travel consider these two destinations for a pop culture jolt.

In Tinseltown, America, cinefiles can immerse in movies at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which opened this past fall. The grandiose cinema vault in Los Angeles draws on the unique resources of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Inside the nearly 30,000-square-metre film fortress, located near the favourite celebrity hangout, The Grove, there are permanent and temporary exhibitions, plus a multisensory simulation that let visitors re-enact the famous Oscars night with their own Academy Award ceremony. academymuseum.org/en

For Jeff Koons fans, a visit to Qatar this winter or early spring will offer a look at the whimsical renditions from the ’80s contemporary artist whose work is being celebrated at the Qatar Museums Gallery—Al Riwaq in Doha. Jeff Koons: Lost in America is the artist’s first exhibition in the Gulf region, and yes, there’s a Mona Lisa tribute being featured in his piece called, Gazing Ball (2016). qm.org.qa/en/visit/museums-and-galleries/al-riwaq/

To help rid the February blahs, here’s our Online Guide to Museums and Galleries Making an Impact:

CANADA

Canadian art history is made accessible to a 21st-century audience through a dynamic digital library from the Art Canada Institute. Over 30 online exhibitions from Norval Morrisseau’s Spiritual Vision to Black Art Matters are available in this curated digital collection that even includes art books from The Canadian Online Art Book Project. aci-iac.ca/online-exhibitions

In Toronto, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art has been regularly staging free online programs that help shape our understanding of the enriching world of pottery and all its spin-offs from the past to present forms. The museum has partnered with the Google Cultural Institute through a rich interactive experience. artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-george-r-gardiner-museum-of-ceramic-art

From the Association of Manitoba Museums, check out “A Museum Called Manitoba” that combines digital collections from two monumental anniversaries into one cohesive website. Only a click away, you can see artifacts on virtual display from Canada’s Confederation and the 150th anniversary of Manitoba. museumsmanitoba.com/150/

If you’re feeling blue, perhaps Montreal’s oeuvre of creativity could help uplift the spirit. A rich collection of online exhibitions at the Musée des Beaux-Arts has been curated for 24/7 viewing. See Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism, a digital show highlighting 500 paintings and works from Claude Monet to Paul Signac, and much more. mbam.qc.ca/en/the-museum-from-home/

Ever flipped your shiny dime onto the sailboat side? The embossed stamp of Canada’s renowned racing vessel, the Bluenose has now been elevated to star status at the Canadian Museum of History. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the iconic schooner, the museum has launched a virtual exhibition about its designer, William James Roué (1879–1970). historymuseum.ca/roue/

Unable to make it to Whistler, B.C.? Cultural ambassadors from both the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations invite you inside to experience a virtual tour of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Watch videos, see Indigenous art, read about cultural history, and enjoy 360-degree views of the cultural centre. slcc.ca/virtualtour

FRANCE

Across France, many great museums have put their collections online during the pandemic. In Paris, alone, there are at least 14 museums you can visit virtually. Dial back time to see the City of Light as it appeared in the days of Victor Hugo, the author of Les Misérables and Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the impressionist artists who frequented the illustrious le Parisienne districts like Montmartre and Le Marais. Les Musées de la Ville de Paris, which is a local public institution, has combined the collections of the capital’s museums into one resource. See over 350,000 works online at parismuseescollections.paris.fr/en

France’s Sun King, a.k.a. King Louis XIV, built a pantheon of military glories in Paris known as Les Invalides, which houses the imperial tomb of Emperor Napoleon I, among other national figures of French history. The most recent addition is the tomb of the late great Josephine Baker, the famous Franco-American dancer and French Resistance fighter. musee-armee.fr/en

If you have felt like hiding under a rock, why not consider visiting one of France’s legendary caves? Inside the depths of the Lascaux Caves below the Dordogne Valley, take an interactive underground journey of the prehistoric cave art. The digital archaeological site includes videos, images, and virtual tours. See galloping horses, great bulls and falling aurochs carbon dated back some 17,000 years. archeologie.culture.fr/lascaux/en

VIRTUAL DESTINATION EXPERIENCES

#ExploreCanadaFromHome

See Canada virtually from home. Destination Canada has brought your favourite attractions and places to computer screens. You can download iconic landscapes and legendary experiences across the nation. Head to the website, scroll down, and mouse over a province and click. https://us-keepexploring.canada.travel

Explore the Loire Valley virtually from the comfort of your couch. Take a drone flyover by the Château de Chenonceau (the former home of Catherine de’ Medici) or immerse in a 360°-visit of Château Raoul, a 10th-century fortress. youtu.be/_nWEByrXQvk

For more on France’s Loire Valley visit Google Arts & Culture artsandculture.google.com/project/loire-castles

 
 
 
 
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