Exploring The Arts In Puerto Vallarta
While most tourists visit Puerto Vallarta to experience the beaches, resorts and unmatched natural beauty, there is a more creative allure just beneath the surface. Though Puerto Vallarta is far from a sprawling city, the community houses more galleries than any Mexican destination outside the capital. Throughout the years, artists and aficionados have flocked to the majestic landscape of Puerto Vallarta. The results can be seen throughout the galleries of the city – in everything from painting, sculpture and ceramics to jewelry, literature and fashion. Yet, even if you don’t step inside any of Puerto Vallarta’s galleries, you will still find yourself surrounded by art – courtesy of public sculptures throughout the city and the paintings lining the walls of local restaurants. Regardless of where you set foot in this gorgeous city, you are sure to be overwhelmed by the powerful creative spirit.
Inside the galleries of Puerto Vallarta, you will find everything from folk art to the most challenging contemporary compositions of the region’s vibrant art scene. One of the most well-known galleries is the Galeria Arte Latinoamericano – a two-story collection of Puerto Vallarta’s finest painters and sculptors. Another great destination for locally produced work is Galeria Dante. Featuring more than 50 artists from the Puerto Vallarta community, this gallery has been awarded top honors in numerous publications.
While there is a strong focus on locally produced artwork in Puerto Vallarta, don’t be surprised to find some famous names on the walls. For instance, Galeria Omar Alonso has displayed works by documentary photographer Sebastiao Salgado and European artists such as Wouter Deruytter and Michal Macku. Galeria Corsica – a popular destination for collectors – features artists championed by Mexico City’s Museum of Modern Art. The Galerie des Artistes – a space known for its many rooms of unique pieces – has also been known to exhibit works by Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco.
One of the most celebrated art forms of Mexico is Mata Ortiz pottery, an elegant craft on display in a pair of galleries. Both Galeria Mata Ortiz and Galeria de Ollas feature some of the best ceramic work you will find anywhere in the world. You can also find traditional work produced by the Huichol – a tribe residing in the mountains outside Puerto Vallarta – at Galeria Piramide. Not only will you be able to see incredible examples of traditional bead and woven art, you can witness these indigenous artisans working at the gallery.
One of the most popular events in Puerto Vallarta is the Old Town Art Walk that takes place each Wednesday during the tourism season – generally October to April. On these special evenings, you will find at least 17 galleries open late to display everything from the newest work of local artists to treasured paintings by Old Masters. You can enjoy this self-guided walking tour at your own pace with the assistance of detailed maps available at any of the galleries or your resort. The Old Town is also a great place to dine, but make sure to save some room for complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
No visit to Puerto Vallarta is complete without a stroll down the city’s famed boardwalk – the Malecon. Besides offering a beautiful view of Banderas Bay, the Malecon serves as an outdoor sculpture museum. Beginning at the north end of the boardwalk, you will encounter Mathis Lidice’s “Los Milenios” – one of the most photographed sites in Puerto Vallarta. Tourists are also known to gather around the “Rotonda del Mar,” a unique assemblage of chairs by local artist Alejandro Colunga. If you want to learn more about the sculptures of the Malecon or the artists behind them, don’t miss the Tuesday morning tour offered by Gary Thompson – owner of the Galleria Pacifico. Ramiz Barquet – one of the city’s most celebrated artists – is often on hand to discuss his famous work “La Nostalgia” and offer a unique perspective on the region’s artistic culture.
Most importantly, Puerto Vallarta has something for everyone’s taste and price range – making it easy to come home with a piece of this beautiful city. Regardless of when you visit Puerto Vallarta, the city will have plenty to inspire your creative side. The Puerto Vallarta art scene is always expanding, incorporating new styles and concepts to reflect the ideas of artists and visitors alike.