Move over, Bilbao?A vibrant contemporary art hub is taking root in the mountain forests of Brazil's southeastern highlands.
While major cities across the globe scramble to build starchitect-designed art museums, deep within the Brazilian mata (dense forest) one of the most ambitious contemporary art centers in recent years is growing. The 3,000-acre Inhotim (Brumadinho; 55-31/3227-0001; inhotim.org.br) is a publicly funded cultural hybrid, including a seven-gallery museum and sculpture park, 87 acres of botanical gardens, and a 1,000-acre ecological preserve. Inaugurated last October, Inhotim's collection includes more than 400 works by major Brazilian and international artists, and two new art pavilions are set to open early next year. Also in the
works: site-specific installations by U.S. artists Doug Aitken and Matthew Barney, an artist-in-residency program, and a sustainable hotel and spa. Getting There Inhotim is 75 minutes by car from Belo Horizonte, which is a one-hour flight from Rio. Where to stay Hotel Fazenda Horizonte Belo (55-31/3261-1515; hotelfazendahorizontebelo.com.br; doubles from $126) and Pousada Nossa Fazendinha (55-31/3571-0110; nossafazendinha.com.br; doubles from $105) are set on working farms, close to Brumadinho.