As hosts of the world-renowned Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Van Cliburn Foundation has shown a commitment to classical music cultivation. From Bass Performance Hall's mezzanine or orchestra II seating (back right, left, or center orchestra section, typically in rows BBB–B), experience the euphoric euphony of award-winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who makes her Dallas–Fort Worth debut, MacArthur Fellow Stephen Hough, or Olga Kern, the returning Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medalist.
The Modern Art Museum's architecturally impressive, aqua-hovering, glass-walled building contains 53,000 square feet of gallery space and more than 2,600 works of contemporary art (approximately 500 works are viewable at a time) from around the world. The permanent collection boasts pieces by such heavy hitters as Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Pollock. Current exhibitions include K-Mart Conceptualism, a display by world-acclaimed artist and longtime Fort Worth resident Vernon Fischer. The exhibit, on display until January 2, 2011, juxtaposes language and images into visually literary and literally visual artsperiences (the Dallas Morning News calls the works "monumentally powerful").
With more than 90 artifacts on display, Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea offers new, exciting interpretations of the Mesoamerican civilization. Head to the Kimbell Art Museum's architecturally renowned building and browse the Mayans' fascinating carved stone monuments, artifacts crafted from jade and gold, and sculpted figurines. From the shell-and-quartz carving of a frog to an intricately painted plate with the Mayan maize god, the Fiery Pool exhibit explores the Mesoamerican's spiritual relationship with the sea, intriguing both anthropologic buffs and those who believe other cultures only exist in their ancient-society-on-the-bottom yogurt cups. Designed by American architect Louis I. Kahn, the museum's subtle use of space and materials, along with its inventive use of natural light enhances the enjoyment of the art.
Owners Maarten and Hanna Vanderstoel created Van Grow Studio of the Arts to promote creative thinking and problem solving in children through artistic crafts. Boasting degrees in fine arts and studio arts, respectively, Maarten and Hanna teach most of the classes and prepare the curricula for all of the studio's camps. TCU graduate Alma Worrell manages the open studio and paint-your-own-pottery rooms, which are also accessible to adults. Van Grow's upbeat instructors nurture creativity and confidence across three age groups, offering classes, parties, and workshops to pique a wide range of interests. Courses foster each student's individual vision, rather than a mastery of technique, and help to develop motor skills, self-esteem, and the ability to sculpt gummy-bear replicas of Rodin's The Thinker.
Since opening in 1961, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art has built up a world-class collection of more than 200,000 pieces, including 19th- and 20th-century canvases from Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Those masterworks share space with works by artists Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, among others, a collection of American photographs, and one of the country's earliest daguerreotypes. Special exhibitions delve more deeply into such styles as American modernism, abstract art, and landscape photography. The museum also strives to educate visitors through children's programs, book clubs, and lectures by artists and scholars on topics such as why it is unsafe to eat the fruit painted in still lifes.
Blanketing more than 100 acres, Fort Worth Botanic Garden houses several disparate gardens that welcome locals and tourists whether they want quiet reflection or a social stroll amid arboreal beauty. The Fragrance Garden lives up to its name by engaging olfactory zones with a dozen uniquely scented plants. In the 7-acre Japanese Garden, visitors commune with plants and animals, including the pond's koi fish and their pet minnows.