If coffee shops, malls and the gym have lost their indoor-leisure charm, Artnear, an app for the iPhone and BlackBerry, offers an alternative.
The app maps nearby contemporary art exhibits. Turn it on, let it use your location, and it presents a list of exhibitions, arranged by proximity.
It can also be set to look for art in a region you intend to visit, including overseas. You can search by artist name, which will show any places that artist is being exhibited.
There are two versions of the app: Artnear, which is free (but you will see ads), and Artnear Pro for $4.99, which has no ads and lets you bookmark shows you want to remember.
The weakness of Artnear is that it’s not completely comprehensive. For instance, if you look up the Louvre, you will see only one exhibition.
Fortunately, Artnear often lists a link to a museum’s home page, so you can just tap to get more information.