When you think of Puerto Vallarta, art always comes to mind. It is a mecca for artists and art collectors, with more art galleries and art shops than any other coastal destination in Mexico. Art is not only found in the galleries and museums but on the streets as well, from the sculptures garlanding the seaside promenade and the art exhibits at Pueblo Viejo and Marina Vallarta to the many artistic expressions at different points in the city, created, in the moment, by the artists themselves.
In Puerto Vallarta, you can find art exhibits with the work of the most outstanding contemporary artists from Mexico and abroad, presenting abstract paintings and a selection of traditional styles, such as engravings, watercolors, and oils. There are also collectable items like jewelry pieces, original sculptures, and fine Mexican handcrafts.
The most important galleries are located in the center of the city and near the seaside Malecon (promenade). There are countless art galleries, boutiques, and even a photograph gallery showcasing the work of world-renowned photographers on Leona Vicario Street, considered by many as the most sophisticated street in town, as well as on Corona, Morelos and Juarez Streets. All the galleries are decorated in good taste and feature interesting architectural designs, where artists and art enthusiasts meet and gather.
The Huichol people that inhabit the mountains surrounding Puerto Vallarta (as they have for centuries) enliven the local art scene with their culturally meaningful art in yarn and colorful beads. By purchasing their handcrafts, you are not only enabling them to have a decent and sustainable life; you are also helping to preserve their traditions. Admire the remains of their ancestors' ways of life in pre-Columbian times at the Cuale Museum, a small repository that houses an excellent collection of ancient artifacts, which provides visitors with a broad view of the area's history, culture, folk art, and holds temporary displays of current handcrafts.
Providing an interesting overview of what is available, the famous Art Walking Tours welcome visitors with their warm Mexican hospitality offering complimentary beverages or even hors d'oeuvres and live music. Art in all its forms has an important significance to locals culturally and socially. These free events, open to the general public, are ideal for meeting artists. It has, in fact, become so popular that it is also held inMarina Vallarta and South Zone. If you happen to be in town during an art show, by all means, don't miss it!
Puerto Vallarta: A Paradise for Artists and Art Collectors
- Janine Dávila Madrid