Celebrate Worldwide Art Day With These Free Events and Activities

From free museums to sand sculpting competitions, here are the best ways to celebrate.

Aug. 9 is Worldwide Art Day: a day for celebrating, exploring and enjoying art of all genres and by all artists. And what better way to celebrate and explore art than to do so for free?

Since summer can get expensive — between summer camp for kids, vacations and back-to-school shopping — saving some money by doing free activities should be quite welcome. So, to help you save more money in August, here are the best free activities for Worldwide Art Day.

become a photographer
Martin Dimitrov / iStock.com

Become a Photographer

If you have a smartphone, you probably already have a powerful camera capable of producing extraordinary art — and you can make it even better by using some free apps. For example, VSCO and Snapseed are great apps to help you make the most of your phone’s camera. The most powerful app, however, is your mind.

“A lot of people use their cameras to document their lives,” said professional photographer Sarah Sloboda of Sarah Sloboda Photography. “But for the sake of art, it’s cool to think of it as a canvas and paintbrush at the same time. Take a walk and really look around at your surroundings. Go beyond the mindset of the camera as a way of recording a moment, and think about the lines and shapes you see.”

Once you get a few good shots, create an Instagram account to showcase your work and network with other photographers.

celebrate with an art walk
WilliamSherman / iStock.com

Celebrate Art With an Art Walk

Art walks give you an opportunity to enjoy art while also getting outside. Explore your city with a stroll through art exhibitions and art-related activities while supporting local talent. Los Angeles has at least one art walk twice a month, and Long Beach and San Diego have art walks in August as well. The fun isn’t limited to Southern California either: Art walks are widely popular and take place in August everywhere from Miami to Bozeman, Mont.

experience some sidewalk chalk art
Jodi Jacobson / iStock.com

Experience Some Sidewalk Chalk Art

Cities across the country like Denver, Pasadena, Calif., Clearwater Beach, Fla., and Savannah, Ga., hold festivals celebrating one of the world’s most unique and amazing art forms: chalk art. Watch artists use nothing but chalk and concrete to bring extraordinary 3-D creations to life. AmazingStreetPainting.com maintains a list of free festivals throughout the year. If you wish to create some street chalk art yourself, there is usually a nominal fee, but experiencing a chalk art festival and enjoying the art is completely free.

give graffiti a chance
Casarsa / iStock.com

Give Graffiti a Chance

Take part in one of the many urban art festivals — sometimes called graffiti festivals, mural festivals or street art festivals — that take place throughout the summer. For example, the Jersey Fresh Jam in Trenton, N.J., begins in August. Graffiti has long been associated with vandalism, but is now viewed as a legitimate art form. Festivals across the world celebrate its entry into the mainstream. Baltimore, Coney Island and San Francisco are among the many cities that host these urban art festivals, so check your city’s local calendar to see how you can get involved in events like these.

take advantage of free museum days
monkeybusinessimages / iStock.com

Take Advantage of Free Museum Days

If you live close to an art museum, even if it isn’t typically a free museum, you might be able to go on a day when they offer free admission. For instance, the Denver Art Museum is free on the first Saturday of every month, the de Young Museum in San Francisco is free the first Tuesday of every month and museums across Houston offer free entry during designated times throughout the year. Check your local museum’s website or call to see if they offer a free admission day you can enjoy.

sand sculpting contest
wanderluster / iStock.com

Go to a Sand Sculpting Contest

Shore towns across the country host annual sand sculpting competitions every summer, and most are open to the public for free. From creations by master artists to contests open to amateurs, watch — or even enter — one of these sand sculpting contest. These competitions improve upon the natural beauty of the beach.

watch monks perform sand mandala
zanskar / iStock.com

Watch Monks Perform Sand Mandala

For centuries, Tibetan monks have painstakingly created unimaginably intricate and beautiful works of art made from individual grains of sand. These works, called mandalas, represent different aspects of their religion, and the monks create them by hand over the course of several days while chanting and praying. Once completed, the monks destroy them by washing the sand away.

This creation and destruction represents the fleeting nature of beauty and life. You can enjoy a sand mandala art experience this August in Canada, Texas, Virginia and more.

take a free art class
smirart / iStock.com

Take a Free Art Class

Believe it or not, it is possible to find a free art class. Some artists offer free — yes, truly free — art classes that include oil painting, colored pencil drawing, pen-and-ink drawing and more. Study.com and The Artists Network also offer many free art lessons and tutorials, some of which can be taken for academic credit for free.

create art on your own
valentinrussanov / iStock.com

Create Art on Your Own

The biggest way to celebrate the world of art, however, is to contribute to it yourself. You can find free YouTube tutorials to watch and learn from. After all, art is what you decide to make it — and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. Explore different mediums and enjoy different types this summer as you celebrate Worldwide Art Day.

Related: 30 Fun, Cheap Hobbies That Are Perfect for Summer

Jamie Young contributed to the reporting for this article.

Aug. 9 is Worldwide Art Day: a day for celebrating, exploring and enjoying art of all genres and by all artists. And what better way to celebrate and explore art than to do so for free?

Since summer can get expensive — between summer camp for kids, vacations and back-to-school shopping — saving some money by doing free activities should be quite welcome. So, to help you save more money in August, here are the best free activities for Worldwide Art Day.

Related: 30 Fun, Cheap Hobbies That Are Perfect for Summer

Become a Photographer

If you have a smartphone, you probably already have a powerful camera capable of producing extraordinary art — and you can make it even better by using some free apps. For example, VSCO and Snapseed are great apps to help you make the most of your phone’s camera. The most powerful app, however, is your mind.

“A lot of people use their cameras to document their lives,” said professional photographer Sarah Sloboda of Sarah Sloboda Photography. “But for the sake of art, it’s cool to think of it as a canvas and paintbrush at the same time. Take a walk and really look around at your surroundings. Go beyond the mindset of the camera as a way of recording a moment, and think about the lines and shapes you see.”

Once you get a few good shots, create an Instagram account to showcase your work and network with other photographers.

Learn: How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

Celebrate Art With an Art Walk

Art walks give you an opportunity to enjoy art while also getting outside. Explore your city with a stroll through art exhibitions and art-related activities while supporting local talent. Los Angeles has at least one art walk twice a month, and Long Beach and San Diego have art walks in August as well. The fun isn’t limited to Southern California either: Art walks are widely popular and take place in August everywhere from Miami to Bozeman, Mont.

Experience Some Sidewalk Chalk Art

Cities across the country like Denver, Pasadena, Calif., Clearwater Beach, Fla., and Savannah, Ga., hold festivals celebrating one of the world’s most unique and amazing art forms: chalk art. Watch artists use nothing but chalk and concrete to bring extraordinary 3-D creations to life. AmazingStreetPainting.com maintains a list of free festivals throughout the year. If you wish to create some street chalk art yourself, there is usually a nominal fee, but experiencing a chalk art festival and enjoying the art is completely free.

Give Graffiti a Chance

Take part in one of the many urban art festivals — sometimes called graffiti festivals, mural festivals or street art festivals — that take place throughout the summer. For example, the Jersey Fresh Jam in Trenton, N.J., begins in August. Graffiti has long been associated with vandalism, but is now viewed as a legitimate art form. Festivals across the world celebrate its entry into the mainstream. Baltimore, Coney Island and San Francisco are among the many cities that host these urban art festivals, so check your city’s local calendar to see how you can get involved in events like these.

Take Advantage of Free Museum Days

If you live close to an art museum, even if it isn’t typically a free museum, you might be able to go on a day when they offer free admission. For instance, the Denver Art Museum is free on the first Saturday of every month, the de Young Museum in San Francisco is free the first Tuesday of every month and museums across Houston offer free entry during designated times throughout the year. Check your local museum’s website or call to see if they offer a free admission day you can enjoy.

How To: Save Money With Free Museum Days

Go to a Sand Sculpting Contest

Shore towns across the country host annual sand sculpting competitions every summer, and most are open to the public for free. From creations by master artists to contests open to amateurs, watch — or even enter — one of these sand sculpting contest. These competitions improve upon the natural beauty of the beach.

Watch Monks Perform Sand Mandala

For centuries, Tibetan monks have painstakingly created unimaginably intricate and beautiful works of art made from individual grains of sand. These works, called mandalas, represent different aspects of their religion, and the monks create them by hand over the course of several days while chanting and praying. Once completed, the monks destroy them by washing the sand away.

This creation and destruction represents the fleeting nature of beauty and life. You can enjoy a sand mandala art experience this August in Canada, Texas, Virginia and more. 

Take a Free Art Class

Believe it or not, it is possible to find a free art class. Some artists offer free — yes, truly free — art classes that include oil painting, colored pencil drawing, pen-and-ink drawing and more. Study.com and The Artists Network also offer many free art lessons and tutorials, some of which can be taken for academic credit for free.

Create Art on Your Own

The biggest way to celebrate the world of art, however, is to contribute to it yourself. You can find free YouTube tutorials to watch and learn from. After all, art is what you decide to make it  and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. Explore different mediums and enjoy different types this summer as you celebrate Worldwide Art Day.

Jamie Young contributed to the reporting for this article.