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Old 05-11-2007, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
80 posts, read 435,867 times
Reputation: 57

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In reading over references to John Villani's books on art towns in America, an article in USA Today from 2005 on "10 great places for big-city art, small-town feel" (John Villani also contributed to this piece), a "Best Art Towns" list from America's 100 Best Places to Retire, and my own travel experiences, here is my list of best art towns for retirement (in alphabetical order):
  • Beaufort and Hilton Head, SC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Hot Springs, AR
  • Lewisburg, WV
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Wilmington, NC
Honorable mentions go to Abingdon, VA; New Orleans, LA; Ojai, CA; and Sedona, AZ.

I love the low country art of Betty Anglin Smith in Charleston. I remember being at a wonderful art show in Scottsdale a number of years ago. But for my number one choice, I am convinced that if I had to buy a piece of art of a certain size or price range within the next three days (let's say an inheritance in the fashion of Brewster's Millions depended on it), I would immediately get on a plane and head toward Santa Fe for its wide-ranging selection for a variety of tastes. A recent visit [2005] to Santa Fe's Canyon Road and other areas of the city left me greatly impressed with the art scene there. Generally speaking, I found the sales professionals in the various galleries to be knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and unpretentious.

Please feel free to add your comments on these or other towns that have great art communities.
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,910,412 times
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I started a thread on art towns, not necessarily retirement towns, in General Forum quite awhile ago.

Here's the link:

Artist Towns - Nationally and in your Neck of the Woods!
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
1,848 posts, read 6,248,832 times
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The southwest seems to have a lot of Art towns. Toas New Mexico and Tubac AZ being two small places.
Although these places are nice to visit I don't think I'd move somewhere just for the art. You can always just go for a vacation.
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,910,412 times
Reputation: 3840
Well, I lived in Taos (NM) and found it unbearable--too small, no art "community" just a series of galleries making money on incoming tourists.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
80 posts, read 435,867 times
Reputation: 57
ontheroad-

Thanks for the link to the other thread. I did find it to be informative. There's still a difference, though, between great art towns and art towns for retirement.

waterlily, people retire and move to different locations for some seemingly unimaginable reasons. Based on the existence of lists for art towns, I don't think this is less important for some people. I do believe, though, that they still weigh a factor like a good arts community against other recreational opportunities, shopping, weather, cost of living, etc. when selecting a community to move to.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,910,412 times
Reputation: 3840
Not only are there differences between great art towns and art towns for retirement, no two people agree what an art town is, nor do they all agree on what art is.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:14 PM
 
Location: WA
5,395 posts, read 21,393,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
...no two people agree what an art town is, nor do they all agree on what art is.
How true. I have been to a good number of 'art' shows that did not contain any art IMO.
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Old 05-20-2007, 09:14 AM
 
Location: new orleans
182 posts, read 751,933 times
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article in today's paper lists Pittsburgh as the best mid sized town for art, not necessarily for retirement, but just another survey/opinion on what an "art town" is. The list was compiled by AmericanStyle magazine.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:57 AM
 
4 posts, read 19,025 times
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Glad I found this site! We're pondering our next move, and would like to find an art town that also has a nice climate....not too hot or too humid. It also has to be affordable for semi-retired folks, so I'm afraid Santa Fe is out. Unfortunately....LOL. We are gardeners, husband is a woodworker/guitarmaker and I'm an artist/writer.

We're in central TX right now, and although places like Kerrville are nice, the climate is getting way too hot for me.

bobbi c.
Earthly Gardener
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:10 PM
 
6,253 posts, read 4,728,813 times
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I think we all have some different ideas about what constitutes an "art town." I would omit the places that are vacation/convention locations with galleries geared towards making money off tourists. I would also want to expand the criteria to include museums and music, especially classical music. For enthusiam and creativity I would give points to locations with art schools and/or music conservatories.
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