Puerto Vallarta is an art mecca where artists from all over show their work in the many galleries. One thing we do every week is hit the galleries, checking out the art scene and then going for a cocktail and dinner afterwards. It truly is a cultural event.
Now that high season is fast approaching, the art galleries in Centro Historico are getting ready to start wednesday evening Artwalk, a self guided tour of 13 galleries all within a few block radius of each other. The maps are found everywhere, just keep your eyes open for them in any gallery or store you may be shopping in. But if you go to Artwalks website at www.vallartaartwalk.com, you can view the most recent map.
Artwalk is free, a price we all enjoy, and many galleries serve wine and snacks while you peruse around the gallery. This is a great chance to see the many talented artists works from all over but mostly Mexico. In fact, last december we purchased a beautiful painting at Galeria Corsica from an artist who resides in Yalepa, a small fishing village just south of Vallarta.
There are also many restaurants to stop into when you have had your fill of the art world. I highly recommend Cafe Des Artistes, Hacienda San Angel or Mama Rosa.
Artwalk map 2011
There are a ton of art galleries in Vallarta and each one is special in a unique way. Galeria Olinala
Museum/Art Gallery is no exception. This small space is host to a huge collection of authentic historic dance masks collected from villages and towns by the gallery director Breswter Brockman. The gallery is located on Lazero Cardenas 274 Col. Emiliano Zapata.
Now what are these dance masks I speak of? Many different cultures have used masks in their storytelling and dances. These masks would create a character for the actor and range from a quite simple design to quite extravagant with hair and glass eyes. Walking around Vallarta you will see masks everywhere, some new and kitschy and some very old and beautiful worth mucho dinero.
Anyway, we walk in and start poking about. After perusing through we start chatting with the curator who informs us the director/artist Brewster Brockman actually goes out to small villages and announces to the people that he is collecting masks. Quite fascinating I thought! Its hard to imagine that people would just have these masks laying about but then I remember that parts of Mexico are still relatively untouched by modern amenities like in Canada. Sheila, the curator at the gallery, encouraged me to take photos for my blog after explaining the background of these beautiful pieces of folk art. Now the hard part is picking one out!