Art Experiences in Exotic Locations

( Kiwi art lovers will have the opportunity to visit unusual art-filled destinations with a series of special tours to exotic locations in 2016.

House of Travel Ellerslie’s owner Glen Armstrong organises bespoke tours for art aficionados, and says Kiwis are keen to add some of the world’s most exciting art locations to their itineraries.

“Traditional art locations such as Italy, France and New York are always popular, but there are some really unusual places that are proving drawcards for New Zealand art lovers in the coming year,” says Armstrong.

In 2016 and beyond, tours will include exotic locations such as the Naoshima Islands in Japan, Moorish Spain, and closer to home, New Plymouth!

Naoshima is a good example, Armstrong says, of a “cult destination” for art-lovers which has a concentrated number of modern art museums, impressive architecture and sculptures on a series of islands in the Seto Inland Sea in rural Japan.

Meanwhile, a tour through the cities and culture of Andalusia will give a feel for the Moorish south, including Toledo, Granada, Seville and Cordoba.

“Both of these destinations are not the typical kinds of places that many New Zealanders visit for a holiday, but if you love art, they are locations that offer so much and shouldn’t be missed,” says Armstrong,

Closer to home, Armstrong says there is also a demand for local art tours that give people a chance to meet collectors and artists, and showcase the different kinds of work being created in various regions.

“New Plymouth, and regional tours of areas such as Christchurch and Otago, are all on the list,” says Armstrong. “A recent tour to Gisborne was really well-subscribed and enjoyed, so there is definitely a demand for more like that.”

A new direct route to Houston set to open later this year could also see a tour created to visit previously hard-to-reach American art destinations.

Locations that could be visited include quirky ‘art town’ Marfa in West Texas; gallery space SITE Santa Fe, which has played host to eight international biennial exhibitions; and the celebrated Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Dallas.

“I have always wanted to plan a visit to take in some of the amazing art and architecture on offer in that part of the world, and now that opportunity is here,” he says.

“Texas is a pilgrimage worth making, and there is already plenty of interest from people wanting to visit these incredible places with fellow locals who are passionate and also serious about art, so I hope to add a tour for 2017 along these lines.”

A knowledgeable art historian, Armstrong has been creating up to six art tours a year for the past eight years, and says the range of places Kiwi travellers visit is constantly expanding.

The art tours usually consist of around 14-16 people, and are planned up to a year in advance.

Media Release 29 May 2015.