The cool rooms of a museum are almost a vacation in the summertime, and the walls of a good exhibit can be as transportive as any real-world trip. At Colors of the Oasis at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the textiles of Central Asia are what style editor Laura Cassidy called a riot of color when the show opened this spring.
But even better? A free plane ticket.
Through the end of July, visitors to SAAM in Volunteer Park can register on site to win a trip for two to Uzbekistan, where you’ll take the 15-day Silk Road Odyssey: Caravan Across Uzbekistan tour. It includes a camel ride through the Kyzyl Kum Desert, a night in a nomadic yurt camp, visits to local artisans, and a peek at the Savitsky Collection in the Nukus Museum of Art (it’s in Nukus in the Karakalpakstan Republic, and yes, we’ll wait here while you go Google that).
Geography lesson aside, the trip explores the world of SAAM’s ikat show, which collects some 60 colorful robes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The abstract patterns signified affluence and were sometimes layered together. The art of making them means "binding clouds," reports the show’s curator, and is a delicate, complicated process. Seattle Met‘s Cassidy longed for a live demonstration when she first saw the show—winning this trip may be the only way you’ll get it.
Seattle Asian Art Museum closes the show on August 5, but entries for the big prize close on July 31. It’s a trip worth $8,890; surely that merits a mini-trip to SAAM.