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.
A brilliant mind hidden by an outrageous hat…the Mad Hatter was a guest at the Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland’s adventures. Today, the Mad Hatter lives in Eureka Springs and every year, he throws a big party in October called the Mad Hatter Ball!
Whimsical hats and outrageous costumes are part of the fun at the Annual Mad Hatter’s Ball in Eureka Springs.
The Mad Hatter’s Ball is the largest fundraising event for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts and is held in the Crystal Dining Room at the Historic 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. A silent auction touts fantastic works of art and gift packages, allowing guests to support the schools mission “to cultivate, promote and encourage artistic expression by providing art education opportunities in a unique environment of beauty and creativity!” Guests are required to wear wild hats and costumes….the crazier…the better. Enjoy great food, hat contests and a whole lot of dancing. Tickets are available at ESSA.
Explore the incredible photographic possibilities of the iphone, ipad with this workshop. Edward C. Robison III takes you on a tour of Autumn in the Ozarks and shows you how to create and edit beautiful photos using apps for the iphone, ipad and ipod touch.
Robison has photographed landscapes throughout the United States and currently resides in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Robison’s photographs have been featured in the Sierra Club’s Calendar and can also be seen on the Arkansas Art Trail.
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.