With the dawn of the new year comes a wonderful roster of fresh art exhibits at galleries and museums across the country. We asked our editors to identify shows they are looking forward to checking out in the coming months. From contemplative abstractions and tranquil nature scenes to bold societal pieces that make a statement, these five exhibits invite you to view your world in a whole new way. 

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina

Greg Sand, “Migration II,” collage of stamps on postcard, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, $280. 

THE EXHIBIT: Small Works | Big Impact
WHERE: Momentum Gallery, in person and online
RUN DATES: Through January 20, 2021
WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Small Works | Big Impact is an annual exhibition that allows clientele to discover and acquire exquisite original works by Momentum Gallery artists and guests. Small scale works are great options for intimate spaces and make art accessible to many.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS:Momentum Gallery is one of my favorite galleries anywhere. Their collection is stimulating in its diversity and thoughtfully presented to communicate the sense of wonder and discovery in the work,” says Meagan Harris, editor of The Scout Guide Asheville. “Small Works | Big Impact, presented online this year, celebrates traditions of material-based work and a reverence for nature. Curated by gallery owner Jordan Ahlers, this year’s exhibition includes representational and abstract works in a variety of media, narrative sculpture, oil landscapes, art glass, turned wood vessels, graphic collages, original prints, encaustic paintings, ceramics, and more. Additional works are being added as they come in, so check back occasionally to see the evolving display.”


Eleanore Mikus, “Tablet Litho 6,” 1968, lithograph 1968.220.

THE EXHIBIT: Meditations: Eleanore Mikus at Tamarind
WHERE: The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, in person and online
RUN DATES: Through April 18, 2021
WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Beginning in the 1960s, artist Eleanore Mikus (1927–2017) created monochromatic, contemplative abstractions that respond to the light and shadows of their surroundings in an almost sculptural way. The more you look at them, the more you see. These experimental compositions draw you in, rewarding those willing to linger in front of her subtle, sometimes puzzling, pieces with moments of peaceful calm.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “It’s such a treat to have Mikus’s gorgeous lithographies, more than 2,500 Tamarind prints from the 1960s, in one place,” says Leigh Brown, editor of The Scout Guide Forth Worth. “It truly is a meditative experience to sit and consider them for awhile.”


Michael Carson, “Growl,” 48″ x 36″ oil on panel.

THE EXHIBIT: Featured Works by Michael Carson
WHERE: Bonner David Galleries
RUN DATES: Through 2021
WHY IT’S SPECIAL: While we’ve all eagerly been counting the days until the calendar changes from 2020 to 2021, renown figurative artist Michael Carson has been hard at work to present his latest visions of what the future holds. Begin the new year by contemplating and enjoying his visions and see if you might not share a thing or two in common when it comes to the admiration of the human figure.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “You can’t help but be drawn into the nuanced mood of figurative artist Michael Carson’s subject,” says Sasha Clements, editor of The Scout Guide Phoenix and Scottsdale. “The subtleties of movement and expression in his work capture the essence of making a knowing connection with someone. This exhibit inspires you to linger a little longer by beautifully capturing the language our bodies communicate.”

RALEIGH, North Carolina

Raj Patel,“Feeling the Flow,” 18″ x 18″ framed, limited edition, $1195. 

THE EXHIBIT: Exploring Tranquility
WHERE: The Umstead Hotel and Spa Art Gallery
RUN DATES: Through February 2021
WHY IT’S SPECIAL: The Umstead Hotel and Spa is pleased to present a special limited edition prints from artist Raj Patel, based in nearby Cary. Patel’s landscapes focus on exploring and seeing the beauty within nature and by transporting viewers to the beautiful trails of local parks and in particular, William B. Umstead State Park.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “The Umstead has the best art collection and they have a lovely gallery that changes every so often,” says Hopie Avery, editor of The Scout Guide Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill. “Anytime I am in the area, I love to swing by the gallery to see what’s new. The art is top notch and of works by local or regionally renowned artists.” 


Kehinde Wiley, “Marechal Floriano Peixoto II,” from “The World Stage: Brazil” series, 2009, oil on canvas, 107 x 83 inches. Collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of Roberts Projects.

THE EXHIBIT: The World Stage: Contemporary Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family
WHERE: Boise Art Museum
RUN DATES: March 6, 2021 – July 11, 2021
WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Featuring 90 contemporary artworks by 35 American artists of diverse backgrounds, The World Stage showcases prominent names from the 20th-century art canon alongside today’s global influencers. The artwork in this exhibition has particular relevance to the current conditions of our world, the major cultural shift in our nation prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement, and the roles of museums and collectors in society during times like this. Each artwork represents the individual experience and perspective of its maker to engage with larger global issues.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “We’re excited to see works from so many influential American artists together in one place,” says Allie Mann, editor of The Scout Guide Boise. “The notable artists include Jacob Lawrence, Robert Rauschenberg, Mildred Howard, and Kehinde Wiley, who is best known for painting the presidential portrait of Barack Obama. This is the type of exhibit you would see only in larger metropolitan museums.”