For decades one of Mexico‘s most popular and beloved resort cities, Puerto Vallarta has become reknowned for not just its beaches, dining, nightlife, and ecotourism, but also its art galleries, fed by astonishing talents both local and expat. And it’s that vibrant arts scene that kicks into especially high gear for six months each year in the form of a weekly “open house” at a key handful of galleries displaying a mix of traditional and cutting edge, Mexican and international.
Running this season from late October through the month of May, the 22nd edition of ArtWalk features a self-guided itinerary, every Wednesday from 6 to 10 pm, covering 13 galleries in the city’s historic centre serving up cocktails to accompany some of the most innovative of Mexico contemporary art – and sometimes even having the artists themselves on hand. Here’s a quick rundown of the participating galleries:
Specialising in contemporary Mexico folk art (top), the works here update the traditions of the country’s precolumbian peoples for the 21st century in a colourful and provocative way.
Contemporary ceramics, from objects such as vases to wall-hanging pieces.
The “Gallery of Pots” also focusses on ceramics, but a special kind from the town of Mata Ortíz in Chihuahua province of Mexico’s north: recreations of the distinctive pottery of the precolumbian Mogollón culture (below) found in the nearby ruins of Casas Grandes.
Galeria de Ollas
Another collection of art of Mexico’s traditional peoples, this time a mix of antiques and contemporary works, run by three women passionate about the topic.
Abstract, surrealist, and figurative works from emerging talents in Mexico and beyond.
Marking its 30th anniversary in 2017, one of the country’s finest galleries offers an eclectic mix of Mexican works (example below), sprinkled with international artists, from abstract to representational to magic realism. The gallery, incidentally, also runs free weekly tours of the sculptures of the malecón seafront promenade.
Claudia Casillas/Galería Pacífico
Another well established gallery, of some 20 years’ standing, it’s also a highly eclectic mix of paintings and sculptures, curated by collector Jean Pierre Renucci.
To art, Nordsouth adds furniture, focussing on interior design with a contemporary flavour. It also has branches in Miami and Montreal.
The oldest and most prestigious PV gallery of all (est. 1971) represents more than 30 artists living and working in Mexico.
Another unusual entry in the list, this gallery-shop creates artesanal jewelry using natural gemstones – most notably Mexican opal from the mines around Querétaro but also Colombian emeralds, and diamonds and pearls from Tahiti.
Caballito de Mar
The focus at the “Seahorse Gallery” is on the artisanry of the past, in the form of antique and vintage jewelry, textiles and ceramics, silverwork (a particularly Mexican speciality), and more.
Paintings, sculpture, drawings, works on paper, jewelry, and sculpture from more than 20 of the Americas’ best up-and-coming artists.