WO Presents Summer Selects: Inspiration from around the world

From London to Brazil, our network has compiled a global list of galleries, open spaces, restaurants, book and events to discover this summer

Recommended by Markus Hutchins, Head of Brand Strategy, Messenger at Facebook 

I would recommend people check out the Pedalpalooza Bike Festival out of Portland. It’s a set of organized bike rides throughout the summer that each have different themes. One ride I participated in had us biking to four different parks, where stand up comics performed at each stop. Upcoming rides include: Golden Girls and Grateful Dead themes. It’s a great way to see the city from a whole new perspective. 

Recommended by Mary Ping, Founder of Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I am looking forward to seeing Wu Tsang's immense installation at the Guggenheim featuring the legendary Beverly Glenn-Copeland. Taking advantage of the full height of the oculus of the rotunda in the museum, the vertical textile projection entitled Anthem "cultivates moments of quiet, rest, and reflection" as stated in the exhibition notes. I've been a long-time fan of Tsang's work. A MacArthur Genius grant recipient, Tsang's brilliant, poignant, and powerful films and installations continuously investigate forgotten histories and voices, anchoring their significance and creating an altar for them in the world's memory. 

Recommended by Ben Palmer, Creative Director at MR PORTER

Oldie but a goodie - one of my favorite day trips out of London is The Company Shed on Mersea island. It’s still as good as ever – no frills, locally caught seafood served in a canteen environment, and BYOB&W (bring your own bread and wine), and then you can walk it all off along the coast. Also located in Central London and running throughout August, is a solo exhibition by Ethiopian painter Tesfaye Urgessa at Saatchi Yates. You really lose yourself in his striking, large scale figurative and abstract oil canvases, I think they’re just fantastic.

Recommended by Renato Winning, Global Head of Branding and Creative Direction, Natura

After many bookstores closed their doors all over Brazil, including São Paulo, a newly and beautiful space dedicated to the passion of reading was opened on the ground floor of the historic and iconic building Copan from Oscar Niemeyer. ‘Megafauna’ was born with the proposal to expand the idea of ​​a bookstore, creating a space for reflection, curation and content creation in the center of São Paulo. One of Megafauna's differentials is the assembly of its collection, guided by the search for diversity and quality.  The curatorship of the books is guided at the same time by the variety of publishers – from small houses to large groups – and by the choice of titles that contribute to broadening the critical perspective, in line with the proposal to make the bookstore a space for debate and reflection. In addition, the space also has a cafe with a menu created by Bel Coelho, one of the most prestigious chefs in the city. The space was designed by Anna Ferrari with a modern Brazilian style driven by excess reduction.

Recommended by Nicole Aponte, Engagement Manager, WO

“The way of an artist is an entirely different way. It is a way of surrender. He must surrender his own mind.” This little nugget of wisdom comes from the talented abstract painter, Agnes Martin. If you’re familiar with her work, her stunning grids, soft lines, and serene colors seize the eye and a peculiar sensation washes over you. In the octagonal room at the SFMOMA, I could sit for hours and internalize her quiet and powerful pieces pondering the idea of surrender–surrendering to my process, my place in the world, my thoughts, my failures and vulnerabilities. “Writings” is a beautiful compilation of poetic thoughts, journal entries, and letters giving us a glimpse into her conceptual process. Introspective and insightful, I identified deeply with the writings in this book as an artist and creative.

Recommended by Leon St-Amour, Head of Creative at Christie's, Europe, Africa and the Middle East

This summer, why not hop over to the V&A instead and transport yourself to an exotic world, rich with color and vibrancy. Epic Iran is a presentation of more than 300 objects, ranging from sculpture, ceramics, carpets, textiles, photography and film, is a distillation of 5,000 years of Iranian art, design and tradition. It's a mind-expanding experience. The ten sections of the exhibition are intended to convey the notion of a journey through a city, complete with gatehouse, gardens, palace, and library. Visitors will discover the impact on Iranian civilization of its dramatic landscapes, the earliest known writing, its poetry, trade and the lavish architecture that has established the most extensive empire of the pre-Roman world.

Recommended by Lizzie Bildner, CMO, Prime Trust 

One of my must-sees for this summer is a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Obama presidential portraits: one of President Obama from Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama. I’m thrilled to have gotten to experience these works by groundbreaking Black artists in my hometown this summer. The portraits are being displayed through August 15.  

Recommended by Mary Rockwell, Director of Innovation Strategy & Design at Carrier

This summer in New York requires a visit to Little Island, a new public park on the Hudson River. Architecture lovers will gawk at the manmade structure of floating flower-shaped columns. Pandemic leave you starved for art? The Island just announced the NY Free Festival which will bring together more than 450 artists in over 160 free performances in August and September. Join me on the Island as it plays host to dance, music, poetry, comedy, and more – set against the blue hues of the harbor, the strong city skyline, and the attendees sparkling in the splendid simplicity of being together again.

Recommended by Tom Furr, VP of Brand at MongoDB

In classic, tough New York style, restaurants have battled throughout the pandemic and the long cold winter and are now beginning to enjoy reduced restrictions and a cheery summer. Sit outside Colonia Verde in Fort Greene and eat all of the Mexican food (their pork chop, in particular is insane), or splurge at Crown Shy in FiDi and go upstairs to their soon to be open cocktail bar Saga. Or if you’re feeling Chinese food, order in from Kings Co Imperial. Welcome back, New York!  

Recommended by Jiminie Ha, Director of Design at Guggenheim

Wolfhouse, a classic mid century modern home located in Newburgh, NY, was built in 1949 by the preeminent American architect Philip Johnson, and commissioned by Benjamin V. Wolf is set atop a hillside just north of the Newburgh-Beacon bridge. It boasts panoramic views of the Hudson River, and bears much in common with Johnson’s most famous home, The Glass House, erected the same year. Meticulously restored to its original condition in 2020, Wolfhouse has now been reimagined as a cultural space with year-round arts programming. Stay at this landmark home and live in the details that preceded the New Canaan Glass House. Be sure to also explore the rest of Hudson Valley, minutes away from Storm King Art Center and DIA Beacon.

Recommended by Drew Litowitz, Senior Designer, WO

The Armand Hammer & The Alchemist concert on August 15th is a free event in Central Park featuring one of New York City’s most promising new hip hop groups, Armand Hammer—the duo of surreal, stream-of-conscious wordsmiths Elucid and Billy Woods. Lyrically, Woods and Elucid craft wry critiques of our post-colonial world, draped seamlessly over woozy, occasionally disorienting production. Their intense music is as playful and soothing as it is unsettling, and will be very exciting to see performed live. Among a host of other enticing acts, the inimitable, experimental noise producer, vocalist, activist, and poet Moor Mother is sure to be a highlight for anybody looking for a raw and unfamiliar musical experience. It’s sure to be a string of urgent performances on a beautiful summer evening in Central Park.

Recommended by Erynn Hughes, strategist, WO

The ORIGINAL Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is one you won’t soon forget. This spacious, 360-degree experience uses cutting-edge light and sound technology to project the iconic artist’s most compelling works. You can almost hear the room full of spectators collectively holding their breaths, waiting for the blues of The Starry Night to take over the floor-to-ceiling gallery. Produced by Lighthouse Immersive, this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit located at Pier 36 in NYC is incredibly popular, with tickets sold-out for weeks. Experience art with breathtaking scale and imagination by planning your visit today. You must go(gh).

Recommended by Abigail De La Paz, studio manager, WO

It’s no secret that a region I love going back to is Scandinavia. When I want to be transported there without leaving the city, I head to Smør in the East Village. In this cozy spot, you’ll find a tasty array of Nordic-inspired breakfast, lunch, and dinner items on the menu. Whatever time of day it is, I highly recommend having a smørrebrød, a Danish open-faced sandwich – the curried herring smørrebrød is my favorite. There’s no wrong answer here, though, so order to your heart’s desire!