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The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America: Discover Creative Communities, Fresh Air, and Affordable Living Paperback – October, 1998

2.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The 100 Best Small Art Towns In America: Where To Discover Creative Communities, Fresh Air, And Affordable Living profiles and ranks the top towns across the country with information on population, economics, real estate, climate, recreation, and local arts organizations. Included are quotes from local artists and extended profiles on ten towns. Criteria for selection as on of the 100 best small art towns include: location, quality of life, available cultural activities, the economic impact of the arts on each town, an active local arts agency, galleries, art festivals and the opinion of artists within each community. The 100 Best Small Towns In America also includes a bonus section on the very best spots in Canada! -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 3rd edition (October 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562614053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562614058
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Villani writes about creative communities and creativity-driven individuals. His work has appeared in Art in America, Vanity Fair, The Christian Science Monitor, Art News, Urban Land, Southern Living, U.S. News & World Report, Native Peoples, Sunset, Country Home, Southern Accents, and Southwest Art.


He's author of 'The 100 Best Art Towns in America', released in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2005. Published by The Countryman Press, this national guidebook examines small communities where artists and creative enterprises have reshaped local economies, energized business districts, and improved communities' quality of life.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Villani's The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America is essentially a once over lightly and don't take it to heart book. The demographic information is interesting but the economics and information on the "small" "art" towns in America is highly problematic. First off--I don't know too many real artists who can afford $200,000 for a shack with a view or even the $150,000 he posits as bottom line living. We need a reality check here. What he lists as "art" is mind boggling everything from beer fests to bakeouts. He misses entirely the poetry festival in Bisbee and does no rating at all of the quality of the art produced or carried by these galleries. His profiles are without depth and don't give you any real insights into how it might be to really live in most of these towns as a working artist. If you are retired, have a good income, etc. you might be able to use this as a first step but after that you are on your own. I went into the realestate net and found prices on various places that contrast with his, I am an arts person so I know some of the communities he describes--and he is all wrong about living the artistic life in New Mexico, etc. Save your money and check this out at the library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to help research places to move to. I think the title is misleading as some of the top places were not affordable! I think it's a great book for people that are researching vacation destinations... but if you are looking to move and basing your research on this book... you need to supplement it with others! I also thought they left some other appropriate selections out... so it didn't seem to be as complete as I would have liked. Regardless, it's interesting to see towns grouped together under this umbrella of art town and I did enjoy reading it.
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By A Customer on January 9, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The information in this book is available for free on several websites. Places Rated and Find Your Place will give you much more information for free. I found the information on Minnesota towns to be way outdated and just plain wrong. Save your cash, use the web.
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Format: Paperback
By Georganne Beck-Wilson Columnist for the Little Rock Free Press, Little Rock, Ar and resident of Hot Springs.
So you've grown tired of the rat-race of city life, the noise, hustle and bustle, high cost of living and just too darn many people. You think you might like to move to a smaller town but - God forbid - what would you do without the theatre, good restaraunts and of course, art galleries? John Villani can solve that problem for you. The author of The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America-Discover Creative Communities, Fresh Air and Affordable Living (John Muir Publications, $16.95) has done the footwork, so-to-speak, and can guide you in helping to find that perfect place to live or maybe just a special weekend getaway. In the completely revised third edition, this handy guide can help you find the best art town to visit that is near you - and what makes it so special; discover why small towns are perfect places to buy high-quality art at a price you can live with; and, what to see and do if you are trying to cram a trip into a few days. There are interviews with gallery owners who discuss why their town is the best place to be and what brought them there. The book provides essentials such as population, art events, art spaces, hangouts, bookstores, public radio stations and addresses for the chamber of commerce in each town. This new addition has completely new and updated facts on communities making repeat appearances, and for the first time, includes profiles of local artists. Hot Springs has bragging rights on this section. Out of only seven profiles, Hot Springs has not only one, but two, focusing on writer and painter Carole Katchen and Jeanie Linders, Executive Producer of the Hot Springs Street Painting Festival.
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Format: Paperback
Three and a half stars from me, really. I like the fact that the book includes Canada as well. For completeness, maybe it should have included Mexico as well. To me, the book reads more like a tourist guide. There is not really enough information or tables of comparison, to use the book as a guide to select a new hometown from. Still, it does highlight a lot of places to look at, that one would otherwise have by-passed. From that point of view, maybe it will make a contribution to the economies of the artist communities presented. I think we need a similar resource for Australia.
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Format: Paperback
This is a concise reference tool for finding communities to visit or move to.
Three years ago I launched a search for a new home town. Big city life no longer appealed. I used every resource I could find and then hit the road and visited about two dozen towns over two years. Many factors and many data points refined the search, and this book was a useful tool. The town I decided to live in was very much as described, and many of the other towns that I visited were also as described in this book. If you are searching, use multiple resources as a sort of check and balance, but make this one of them.
Happy in the Rockies
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By A Customer on March 6, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I visited Berea, Kentucky because of this book's description and was very disappointed. The only interesting thing to see was Mitchell Tole's Art Gallery. We spent part of a day there and left. It made me question the validity of the book.
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