Global Inspiration: Art Around the World

Picture of female guest observing student art work at the Toronto Centre for the Arts Gallery

Art inspiration is everywhere — from traditional sources such as museums and galleries to Instagram and the many festivals around the world that spotlight visual arts. If you’re looking for art that goes beyond the Warhols at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City or the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, we’ve got you covered. While it would take pages and pages of writing to tell you about all the incredible global art sources, here are a few that are making a splash among art lovers.

  1. Art Basel (various locations): While this art fair started in Basel, Switzerland, it’s now staged in Miami and Hong Kong as well. Without a doubt, Art Basel is the most well-known art show in the world, attracting a huge crowd of everyone from art collectors and aspiring artists to students. The Hong Kong show focuses on premier galleries from Asia and beyond, Basel’s show features 291 of the world’s leading galleries and showcases more than 4,000 artists, and the Miami edition exhibits the leading galleries of North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
  2. Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Cape Town, South Africa): When it opened in September 2017 as one of the newest additions to the global arts scene, the Zeitz Museum was one of the world’s most anticipated museums. With seven of its nine floors housing 100 galleries of 21st century art from Africa and its Diaspora, it is also set to become one of Africa’s most important cultural attractions, according to travel fare meta search engine Momondo. It features the artwork of artists from countries such as Kenya, Angola, Gabon, Egypt, Benin and Malawi. The museum also hosts events, traveling exhibits, panel discussions and educational programming.
  3. FIAC (Paris, France): Staged in the heart of Paris, Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, better known as FIAC, takes over popular locations such as Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Tuileries Gardens, the Musée Eugène Delacroix and Place Vendôme. It’s one of the top festivals for contemporary art with as many as 193 galleries from 25 countries taking part. FIAC allows both established and up-and-coming galleries to partake, with a sector devoted to the emerging galleries. A major perk of the fair is its Marcel Duchamp Prize, which, according to Wikipedia, "aims to contribute to the international influence of the French scene by confirming the notoriety of an artist residing in France, working in the field of visual arts."
  4. Art Dubai (United Arab Emirates): Launched in 2006, Art Dubai has been dubbed one of the top art festivals in the Middle East. It brings together more than 90 galleries — divided into contemporary, modern, residents and Bawwaba (a new section showcasing works created within 12 months of the fair or conceived specifically for the fair) sections — from more than 40 different countries. For many festival goers, Art Dubai is an opportunity to discover emerging talent from parts of the world that are often under-represented in other big shows.

If the art scene is where you can see yourself working, you’ll need a strong arts foundation. Centennial College’s School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design offers an Art and Design Fundamentals program through which students nurture their artistic talents and discover their path into a creative career. Beyond preparing students for a career in the arts, the certificate program opens doors to areas such as animation, game arts, product design, interior design, graphic design, art management and more.

By: Izabela Szydlo

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