Art Trips: Solo or with Friends

by Karen Larrabee

Artistic Train Station in London

It seems almost every day lately, a travel memory pops up reminding me that I haven't been anywhere in a while and that it's time to do a local art adventure; easy to do while social distancing and wearing a mask. With the cooler weather, it's a perfect way to get outside without having to do "yard work"!

Street Sculpture in Pisa

Did you now Columbia has a Main Street architectural scavenger hunt?

You can find the particulars for that guided hunt at And there are many cities with similar activities if you find yourself further away. DiscoverSC also has a self-guided cultural scavenger hunt for downtown Columbia (there are LOTS of hidden art gems downtown). There is even a tour of hidden tiny salamander sculptures downtown (see Sally the Salamander Hunt).

One of my favorite unusual cities to look for art is in Las Vegas! Of course there's the extreme variety in architecture and the classic neon signs, but keep a tally of how many murals you see and the winner can splurge for a meal at Picasso where, yes!, you can see original Picassos! And while you are walking through the Bellagio make sure you look up and take in the enormous, colorful Chihuly ceiling. Then look for Chihuly elsewhere in Vegas. The Aria and Wynn Hotel also have wonderful art on display.

Street Mural in Puerto Rico

Before Maria and the multitudes of earthquakes that have taken their toll on Puerto Rico, my favorite thing to do besides looking for beautiful, hidden beaches, thanks to my son-in-law who first pointed it out to me, was to look for the unique and varied street art in all the culturally rich small towns. My travel buddy, Joyce, and I have also explored the art scenes in San Francisco, Chicago, of course, Charleston, all the main cities in Ohio (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo) London, Paris and lots of other cities in France as well as cities in Italy. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are also fabulous art cities, and who goes to New Orleans for the art? Why, me, of course!

Artist building Sand Sculpture in London

So, if you have found yourself with cabin fever, pick a city and go on an art adventure. Any city. Anywhere. Did you know that the IU art museum in Bloomington, Indiana has no right angles? That it was designed by I. M. Pei? It was so strange walking up those steps! So see? Art is here, there, and everywhere; we just need to look for it. And, please, don't forget your camera for the perfect snapshot that you can enter in one of our shows, or to use as inspiration for a future master piece.

Burning Man Exhibit in Cincinnati


About the Author:

Karen Larrabee

I like to define myself as a free-style artist as I love all things creative.

I was born and raised in northern New Jersey where I had many opportunities to visit the museums of NYC. How they inspired me! I then went on to receive a bachelor=s degree in art and education, and a Master=s of Liberal Learning, (yes, a MA.L.L, degree), with concentrations in studio art/art history and art education from Marietta College, Marietta, OH, where I stayed for more than 30 years. While in Ohio, I married, raised a family and taught art until my retirement several years ago. I received many awards for both my teaching and artistic endeavors.

Being an art teacher, I have continuously been exposed to, and engaged in, many media and styles of art, and enjoy the freedom to be creative and experiment artistically. Lately I have been working in mixed media collage, but I also enjoy drawing, water colors, pastels and designing one-of-a-kind home décor pieces. For me, art and life just naturally go hand in hand and SC is giving me a whole new palette to explore and enjoy!

You can see more of Karen's work on this website at, and at Palmetto Fine Arts.

For more Information: Email Karen by clicking HERE.

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