Find Inspiration on Your Summer Travels by Car or Plane


It’s road trip time! You’re packed, the car is ready and you have your Durango Arts Center membership card downloaded on your phone so you have free entry to more than 1,000 museums, botanical gardens, aquariums and zoos nationwide.

Here are some points of interest that are artistic, culturally enriching and entertaining, and all within driving distance of Durango:

  • Start here. In Durango, we have the Powerhouse Science Center, The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Museum, the Animas Museum and the Durango Arts Center’s Barbara Conrad Gallery and Artisan’s Market. Locals and tourists alike enjoy all that we have to offer, and we are so fortunate to have these cultural gems.
  • In Ignacio is the Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center that hosts five galleries vibrant with historical and rich cultural exhibits.
  • Farmington is in our backyard and hosts three resources for all ages: The River Nature Center, Farmington Museum and the E3 Children’s Museum & Science Center. You can make a day of it here and be home in time for dinner.

In Santa Fe, there are several museums on Museum Hill as well as the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, which is downtown. According to, it’s the country’s only museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists. They have some summer exhibits worthy of a visit.

Heading to the Front Range? Make sure to check out the Museum of Boulder. Exhibiting through June 18 is the 25th anniversary of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, which celebrates the global friendship and exchange between Boulder and her sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I hear the tea market is an outstanding cultural experience.

If you’re flying, there are some marvelous exhibits happening in the big cities. Here is a selection of noteworthy ones I’d love to visit:

  • In North Carolina at the Asheville Art Museum, you’ll find “Altruistic Genius: Buckminster Fuller’s Plans to Save the Planet.” This exhibit introduces visitors to Fuller’s strategies for the sustainability of humans and the planet relating to housing, transportation, mathematics and engineering. Up through Aug. 21.
  • Heading to Texas? If you “dig” Mayan culture, religion and history, the exhibit “Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art,” is open through Sept. 3 at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. In Abilene, at the Grace Museum, “Susan Kae Grant: Shadowing Grace” is a powerful exhibit of light and shadow. It runs through Sept. 16.
  • If you love cars like I do and you happen to be in Ohio, check out “Top Brass,” a rare car collection of early Brass-era automobiles on view at the Western Reserve Historical Society/Crawford Auto Aviation Museum through Oct. 8.
  • If you’re in California and love whimsical textile art, check out “Ferne Jacobs: A Personal World” through Sept. 24 at the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art in Claremont.
  • Romantic portrayals of the West and photos of ranching women are featured at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana, with “Through Her Lens: The Photographs of Barbara Van Cleve” through June 25.

Did I mention that all of these exhibits are free to enjoy with a DAC membership card? For more information, visit Safe travels and happy trails!

In the theater

  • A Night of Improv: 7 p.m. June 9. Tickets: $10/$15.
  • 13th Annual 10-Minute Play Festival Readings: 7:30 p.m. June 16. Free.
  • Youth Theater Performances of “Mr. Groundhog Wants the Day Off” and “How to Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play”: 7 p.m. June 23-24 and 2 p.m. June 25. Tickets: $10/$15.
  • Durango Playfest: Various events and showtimes begin June 27. Visit for tickets and passes.

Art classes and gallery events

  • The Looking Glass Collective exhibit “Art Inspired by Nature” featuring 14 established local artists: Through June 16. Free.
  • Call to Artists for the Member’s Exhibit: $35 application fee. Must be a DAC member to apply. Join or renew and submit online.
  • Artisan’s Market: Open noon-6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
  • Adult summer classes and youth summer camps are open for online registration. Scholarships available.

Source: Durango Herald