Discover the new you with a day in one of Eureka Springs Spas. A destination for healing for centuries, Eureka Springs is home to one of the largest spas in northwest Arkansas. New Moon Spa offers the latest in treatments. Prefer something smaller? Individual trained therapists offer personalized services.
There is so much to see and do on the trail. Get more great vacation ideas and itineraries.
Winter is a beautiful time to visit the Ozark Mountains and the Arkansas Art Trail takes you right to the best places. Following the trail is a great way to get familiar with this part of the Natural State. Even if you have visited before, the Arkansas Art Trail will introduce you to something new.
Northwest Arkansas is home to some of the greatest motorcycle rides in Arkansas and the nation. From the Pig Trail to Eureka Springs, Arkansas’ roads wind through the mountains and race wild rivers. See eagle, elk and more as you enjoy breathtaking scenery. With so many things to do along the way, you are sure to return for more unforgettable rides. EurekaSpringsMotorcycleRides.com just launched a new website and included the Arkansas Art Trail. Designed with motorcycle enthusiasts in mind, the routes work just as well for any mode of transportation so pack your bags and hit the road for fun and inspiration this fall.
Spring is blooming in the Ozark Mountains. Plan to spend spring break in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Whether you visit the Ozarks every year or are new to the area, a trip along the Arkansas Art Trail is an easy way to explore the Ozarks. Take a road trip and spend a couple of days or weeks as you experience one breathtaking vista after another. Visit historical sites and natural settings made meaningful by local culture and artistic communities. Here are some ideas for things to do along the trail this spring.
Have Some Bloomin’ Fun…Stroll by clumps of daffodils as you hike one of many trails through the Ozark Mountains. Capture scenes of blooming dogwoods and a variety of native wildflowers along the Buffalo National River or Pea Ridge Military Park. Visit the natural springs of Eureka Springs. More than a dozen postage stamp green spaces surround the dozens of natural springs that dot Eureka Springs. Visit the impeccably manicured springs by car or on foot.
Get back to your roots. Celebrate American heritage with some good ole mountain music in the mountain town of Eureka Springs during the Bluegrass Festival the second weekend in August. Attend an authentic Banjo Rally later in the month. You don’t play the banjo? Don’t worry, spectators are welcome. Let music uplift your spirit with an old fashioned Gospel Concert in the historic Auditorium in downtown Eureka Springs. Visit the Official Eureka Springs Calendar of Events for more details.
Eureka Springs is home to dozens of art galleries and is recognized as a Top 25 Art Destination by American Style Magazine.
Explore local flavor. Watch a cooking demonstration by Karen Gros in Eureka Springs. Join Karen in her provencial-style home for cooking demonstrations of seasonal, French inspired food. Want to try your hand a preparation? Karen will teach you to prepare the dishes on your own with a hands-on cooking class and tasting lunch. Dishes feature locally produced foods from Foundation Farm and Serenity Farms of Eureka Springs.
Discover the Art of vacation. Enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of downtown Eureka Springs with a gallery stroll. Discover world class art in dozens of galleries. Stop to enjoy a glass of wine between galleries and listen to street musicians as you stroll from one gallery to the next. Find a treasure made by a local artist at the Holiday Island Art Show. Find inspiration with an art film at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
All along the recently opened Arkansas Art Trail, travelers can find places where art is hung like Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; places where art is made like the artist village of Eureka Springs; and places that inspire such art like the hills and hollows of The Ozarks. During April, the trail creators have also created a series of special workshops and exhibits entitled “April Art Experiences”. These efforts come from a partnership between the Arkansas Art Trail and the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, located in Eureka Springs on top of Crescent Mountain.
The first “art experience” features well-respected Eureka Springs artist, Larry Mansker. This Kansas City native has made the most of the Trail’s vistas with a focus on the panoramic views of Eureka Springs. “Whether ones view is from a mountaintop or at street level, the eye can be trained to see things in a happy mood that expresses the brighter aspects of being alive,” Mansker explained.
Mansker’s exclusive package, entitled “Artist Studio Tour”, will be held at both the Crescent and at the artist’s private studio all on the evening of April 15, 2012. The event begins with a tour of the 1886 Crescent Hotel and its eclectic art collection. The tour will be led by hotel Vice-President of Operations and Development Jack Moyer. The tour includes the commissioned display of Larry Mansker’s detailed murals that depict local scenes enhanced by popular local activities.
Detail of mural by Eureka Springs artist, Larry Mansker. April's "Art Experiences" include a tour of Mansker's private art studio and dinner with the artist.
Following the hotel sojourn will be an intimate, artist-led tour of Mansker’s studio. Wine and cheese will be served as the artist shares his private collection and workspace. Attendees will then return to the hotel for an artistically inspired dinner in the elegant Crystal Dining Room Restaurant.
“This gathering is designed to be both intimate and revealing,” said Mansker. “I want attendees to get a true feel of the elements of design –line, texture, contrast, composition and color- that create that happy mood in my paintings. I want to teach attendees how to ‘feel’ a painting with their emotions rather than simply gazing upon it with their eyes.”
The“Artist Studio Tour” package, based on two people per package, includes overnight lodging and breakfast at the Crescent Hotel, the private studio tour and reception, and dinner in the Crystal Dining Room Restaurant with the artist. Participation is limited to the first 10 reservations with package rates beginning at $199. For full package and workshop details call the Crescent Hotel at 800-342-9766.
“Each moment of the year has its own beauty…every hour a picture which was never seen before… shall never be seen again.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Imagine a place where rare images of beauty were displayed every hour, delicate works of art which had never been seen before can be seen only once. Emerson believed these images were created by nature every moment. Waiting be discovered, nature’s most creative work is on display on the Arkansas Art Trail. Visitors discover places where art and nature come together and where threads of discovery, exploration and reverence for the American landscape weave compelling tapestries that illustrate the American experience … past and present.
During the month of April, in partnership with the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, the Arkansas Art Trail introduces the American Experience as celebrated in Arkansas. Through art, music, dance and literature in ways that are as enigmatic as the Arkansas landscape.
The Arkansas Art Trail was inspired by the Hudson River School Art Trail. In the 19th century, artists of the Hudson River School captured iconic landscapes of the northeast with paint. Following the example of American writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, they sought an “original relation to the universe” through a life of simplicity and independence. In the process, American artists defined what it was to be American helped to shape a national identity that valued individualism and rugged beauty.
Today, artists are still creating defining work. The American landscape, both rugged and fragile, is an inspiration. The Arkansas Art Trail highlights unique architecture created with purpose and fundamental connections to the land. It stops for breathtaking vistas and wild rivers, and introduces visitors to the artists working in the Arkansas landscape. The trail offers a deeper look at the side of Arkansas many have never seen.
April’s art experiences are limited but with year round appeal, visitors to the Arkansas Art Trail are sure to discover moments of beauty “never seen before.” A visit to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art provides an opportunity to see original 19th century Hudson River School paintings and a stop in Eureka Springs , a Top 25 Arts Destination, allows visitors to watch regional artists paint in plein aire or get creative with an art class, enjoy the music of esteemed international musicians or sit down to an authentic hootenanny, experience life in a historic town or marvel in contemporary architecture that celebrates the beauty of the outdoors.
Here are just a few of April’s Art Experiences:
Artist Studio Tour – April 15, 2012 Take a docent led tour of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa and see local artist, Larry Mansker’s murals. Meet Mansker in his art studio for a glass of wine and then settle down for a splendid dinner with the docent and Mansker at the Chef’s table in the Crystal Dining Room Restaurant.
Painting of downtown Eureka Springs by Larry Mansker.
• 1 night stay in a Premium Room, breakfast included • Studio Tour for Two • Dinner with Artist in the Crystal Dining Room Restaurant for Two (Artist Studio Tour is limited to 20 people.)
Photography Exhibit & Workshop – April 19-20, 2012 Explore the Ozarks with renowned landscape photographer and local artist, Edward C. Robison III. Follow Robison to some of his favorite photo spots and shoot at sunset then join Robison the following morning. See some of his photographs of the Ozarks and review photos taken the day before.
Package includes: • 1 night stay in a Premium Room, breakfast included. • April 19th & 20th- 4 hour photo tour of the Ozarks and morning workshop
Landscape photographer Edward C. Robison III.
(Photography Exhibit & Workshop is limited to 12 people.)
Meet an Artist in Residence – April 24-26, 2012 Learn to paint abstract birds, flowers and landscapes with artist Karrie Evenson. Evenson will be working in residence at the Crescent Hotel. Meet Evenson and watch her paint on the evening of April 25th. Enjoy wine and cheese.
Package Includes: • Stay in a Premium Room, breakfast included • Attend 2 workshop classes per day for two people • Attend the wine & cheese reception on Wednesday, April 25th with Artist.
Edward sits at the table overlooking the Crescent garden in Eureka Springs. With a contemplative smile he begins his story. “We had to helicopter into a remote part of the canyon and repel down,” he says calmly.
Inspiration point in the autumn captured by Eureka Springs photographer, Edward C. Robison III.
Edward C. Robison III is an accomplished landscape photographer. His connection to nature and his recognition of what is sacred are profound in his photographs. It is what draws people to his work.
It was an internship with renowned landscape photographer Michael Fatali that led Edward to a remote slot canyon in Utah. Having helicoptered in, Edward found himself in an isolated place where few people ever have the chance or courage to travel to; it changed him. Surrounded by natural beauty and mentored by Fatali, Edward found his purpose. Fatali openly acknowledges that he photographs, “places of mystery” where he feels, “at peace with the power of the Earth’s spirit.” Fatali believes his photographs are reflections of the “light and power” of nature. His influence on Edward’s work is unmistakable. Edward’s richly layered yet masterfully simple photographs are meditative moments. They allow the viewer to intimately connect with a sacred space in nature that they may have never witnessed on their own.
Edward brings a love of the landscape to his work. Growing up in the great outdoors, he attributes his passion for nature to time spent exploring with his father. His acute perception to the natural processes surrounding him inspired his creativity early. He began capturing nature’s moments with paint on canvas. As a young adult he followed his passion with formal art studies. Edward studied at the Kansas City Institute of Art, an institutional leader in visual arts education. “The Kansas City Institute stressed the importance of substance in art,” Edward says. “It is where I learned just how important it is to incorporate a strong spiritual element in my work.”
More than just the likenesses of a place under beautiful light, Edward’s photographs are like the quite hum of bees in a field or a softly stirring breeze through woodland trees. They nudge the viewer to joie de vivre, an exuberant enjoyment of life. With what he describes as a “sensitivity and energetic connection with nature,” he finds and captures the beauty of nature in less suspecting places. “I think I see things differently,” Edward confesses. “My appreciation of nature allows me to find the sacred in my own backyard. I try to show others what I have discovered through my work.”
Hawksbill Crag in the Buffalo River National Park captured by Edward C. Robison III.
Although Edward has photographed Yellowstone and other high profile sites, he is perhaps most recognized for his photographs of less famous (less traveled) places in the central United States and most recently in Arkansas. The ethereal qualities of Edward’s photographs have naturally placed them in the internationally acclaimed Sierra Club Desk Calendar 4 years in a row and although he could call anywhere home, Edward C. Robison and his family still live in Eureka Springs where he continues to find beauty in his backyard. His work is featured on the Arkansas Art Trail. His book, Postcards from Eureka, he records the beauty of the quirkly little Ozark Mountain town, Eureka Springs. His gallery, Sacred Earth, is located just west of Eureka Springs on the Arkansas Art Trail and catalogs his progress and travels. His work can be viewed and prints can be obtained from the Sacred Earth Gallery website.
If you are looking for things to do that will inspire you then Northwest Arkansas may be just the place to visit. If you are not familiar with the state you may think that you have to go to Little Rock, Arkansas to find cultural attractions but that is not true. In fact there are many tourist places in Arkansas that encourage tourists to discover unique ways of life through interesting and engaging cultural activities. Cultural activities keep American heritage alive. Consider participating in one of these five cultural activities with roots in Ozark living:
1. Foreign Interests
Carnegie Library in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Who thought you could travel the world from a small town. In the quirky little town of Eureka Springs, they enjoy experiencing different cultures through foreign film. From Jordan to Demark to France and beyond, foreign films touch on subjects that are important to all people, regardless of where we call home. Don’t speak Dutch? Don’t worry, the films are subtitled. You might be surprised how much you will understand just paying attention to body language. Sometimes, words get in the way. Films are screened in the Eureka Springs Carnegie Library. The library is a beautiful building located in the heart of a quaint little mountain town. Nestled next to the Crescent Spring, one of the many natural springs this town was named for, the library sits at the original entry to the famous Crescent Hotel which sits high on the mountain overlooking the town.
Speaking of films, the 1929 Lyric Theater in Harrison was built to screen the “talkies.” Find the Lyric Theater on the Arkansas Art Trail.
2. Music Traditions
Northwest Arkansas is a mountainous region with a strong music tradition. Today, music is still an important part of everyday life. From classical to old-time music, intimate gatherings enjoy each other as they play acoustic instruments to sonatas, ballads, and folk songs. The Cello Choir is a group of cellists who meet every Saturday at 11am in the beautiful Gavioli Chapel on the historic loop in Eureka Springs. Under diffused light streaming through stained glass, nine or so cellos played by people of all ages play four or more parts. People stroll in and out to listen just a few minutes or the entire hour.
Just outside of Eureka Springs, a hootenanny meets on the historic Berryville town square. A hootenanny, also called a wingding, is an informal group of folks of all ages playing banjos, guitars, fiddles and what have you. Mostly folk music, the hootenanny meets every Friday 7-9pm at the old Grand View Hotel.
The world’s newest art museum just opened in Northwest Arkansas. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art houses an amazing collection of American art ranging from the colonial period through today. With a focus on education, Crystal Bridges offers guests a chance to Draw in the Galleries. Study elements of art while looking at masterworks. Class subjects include Landscape, Portraiture, and Figure Drawing. They are offered every month and registration is required.
Basketmaking or basket weaving is an ancient craft. The Cherokee people of native America have long been respected for their basketmaking skills and best known for their complex “double weave” baskets. Often made from white oak, baskets were valuable articles of commerce throughout history. Today, their value ranges from utilitarian to works of art. Learn to make your own authentic Cherokee “double weave” basket at Fire Om Earth studios and become a link in the chain that keeps American heritage alive.
Stewardship and environmentally conscious thinking is part of today’s culture. Recycling is essential to reducing physical and financial waste and preserves the beautiful natural resources of the Ozark Mountains for future generations. In that spirit, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art teaches art using recycled materials. Bring Your Own Art and make a collage using found objects.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art officially opens soon. In preparation for your visit, here is a compliation of recent articles focusing on various aspects of the museum, its creator, and collection.