Art galleries in La Paz have been springing up like cactus flowers after the rains. Many are within an easy walk from one another. Here’s where to look. Also listed here are some shops that feature work by Mexican artisans.
The French cultural centre hosts exhibitions of art. There’a almost always something new to see, and admission is free. Centro Cultural Roger de Conynk is on Revolución 635 between Morelos and Guadalupe Victoria. Posted hours last spring were Monday through Friday 5 to 9 p.m, and on Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s the site of films, live performances of music, roundtable discussions and other special events.
This is mainly an English-language bookstore, but you will find lots of art on the shelves and walls at Independencia #518, between Serdan and G. Prieto. Some of what you’ll see: engravings by La Paz artist Rojo, jewelry by La Reyna Sofia and paintings by San Miguel de Allende artist Carmelo Gutierrez. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Phone number is (612)125 9114
Sidne Byars, an artist, collector and real-estate agent, established her first art gallery in La Paz more than 13 years ago. The first group of artists to be featured are Diedier Saint-Melin, Ivan Gudarrama, Anthony Rojas and Francisco Merino. You will also find original pieces that are functional – a clock, a lazy susan, a piece of furniture. The gallery recently moved from its location on the Malecón. The Art House is at Revolucion 655, between Victoria and Morelos (and between a vivero and Alianza Francesa). It’s a beautiful venue for art — spacious grounds, a casa antigua with plenty of room for art to breathe and a place of reflection (or coffee). For more information, contact Sidne Byars Herrero at 612 125 9599 or Cel 612 127 3191. (Updated April 9, 2011)
Bagel Shop y La Galería
The gallery is upstairs from the bagel shop at Belisario Dominguez between 5 de Mayo and Constitución. Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Mondays. Phone: 12 55878. The upstairs gallery is also a meeting space, available to community groups. Wife-and-husband owners of the Bagel Shop y La Galería are Patty Del Valle and Fabrizio Rozas, who is also an artist. The first show features work by Fabrizio and by his father, Archivaldo Rozas. (Updated Aug. 3, 2011)
Casa del Artesano Sudcaliforniano
This cooperative sells regional arts and crafts in wood, shell, clay, weaving, cultured pearls and more. Open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., on the Malecón and Bravo, next to the old skateboard park. Information: 128-8707
This lovely gallery on Madero between Independencia and Belisario Dominguez specializes in the work of Mexican artisans and artists. It’s in the same block and two doors down from Colibrí, another shop that cries out for browsing. Posted hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. A café in the gallery opened Jan. 22 with a show of photographs by Alexandre Robertson Dufour Name of the gallery café: La Envidia de Dali café (the envy of Dali). Telephone: 612 124-2528.
Centro Cultural La Paz
The old city hall on 16 de Septiembre at the corner of Belisario Dominguez has undergone a major renovation to become a venue for art exhibitions and other cultural events. At the Centro Cultural, there are now art and photography displays. The Centro Cultural La Paz is home to the CÓDEX Península and the Salón de la Plástica Sudcaliforniana. Below is a description of the exhibitions that opened in September 2010.
The centre’s CÓDEX Península features a photography show. The collective exhibition Hombre, Naturaleza y Cultura (man, nature and culture) is an exhibition of photos that strive to show the special characteristics that make up the cultural identity of California Sur;
The centre’s Salón de la Plástica Sudcaliforniana features an exhibition of work by 18 artists. The participating Baja California Sur artists were selected by curator José Luís Alcubilla Suárez last spring through a state competition. The artist are Julieta Sánchez-Hidalgo Hernández, Fernando Tames Batha, Efrén Olalde Sanchez, Yandi Monardo, Marina Verdugo Díaz Bonilla, Gabriel Rodríguez, Vicente Cedillo, Nora E. White Toole, Francisco Barrón, Francisco Merino Orea, Fernando Osmar Ramírez Ochoa, Helga Kune, Lilia Magallón, Peter Cole, Aleta, Margarita Ruíz, Aníbal Angulo, Carlos Díaz and Guillermo Valle Peralta.
Hours for Centro Cultural La Paz: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and closed Monday. Phone number is (612) 122-0065. E-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org (updated Sept. 14, 2010)
Centro de Artes y Cultural Populares de Baja California Sur
This is the site of the old Casa de Gobierno del Territorio on Madero across from Jardín Velasco, between Independencia and 5 de Mayo. Exhibitions that opened in September include ceramics from Tonalá and leather work in Baja California Sur. (Updated Sept. 14, 2010)
This well-established store (“hummingbird” in English) sells muebles rústicos (traditional furniture) and the work of Mexican artisans. Along with its new neighbour, Casa Parra, Colibrí has good potential for gift-giving and browsing. It’s on Madero at the corner of Independencia. Hours posted: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 4 to 8 p.m.
El Jardin del Arte
This is the gallery and workshop at the home of artist Helga Kuhne, who also teaches classes here. Location is Insurgentes 1220, (La Posada area) between Tesoro and Fantasma. Telephone: 12 3 18 11 home; 044 612 103 25 11 Cel. You can also see Helga’s work at an exhibit opening Nov. 27 at Galería Kaleos (see Events page for that date).
GABO’s Galeria La Bajadita
The artist Gabo recently reopened his gallery at Independencia 106, a half-block from the Malecón. Title of the first show: “25 Años Después.” On exhibit: works by Mauro Gómez, Gabriel Rodriguez, Leonardo Diaz, Gabo and Anibal Angulo. Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (updated Dec. 6, 2010)
Galería de Arte Carlos Olachea
Exhibits change every few weeks at this major gallery, which is next to Teatro de la Ciudad at Unidad Cultural, Navarro and Héroes de Independencia. Admission is free. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also check out the vestibule of Teatro de la Ciudad for other changing exhibits.
Galería de Arte Tonantzin
The gallery owners were once lawyers in Mexico City, but they developed a passion for art. Last year they moved to La Paz, which, says Moíses, enchanted them immediately. Tonantzin (the name has connections to both the Aztec goddess and the Virgin Mary) is not just an art gallery, but a cultural space for live performances. You'll find prehistoric pieces and contemporary Sudcalifornian and Latin American artists (such as the gigantic piece pictured at the top of this page). There are concerts of live music in the gallery courtyard some evenings. Space at the gallery is also available to rent for private events, meetings, exhibitions, courses or workshops. Location: Constitución 320 (between Aquiles Serdán and Revolución), the same block as the post office. Phone number: 044-612-154-8136. Posted hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
The gallery, which opened December 2009, features exhibitions, workshops, art and interior decorating. It’s at Revolución 590, at the corner of Juarez. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Lucia Frausto at email@example.com or phone 612-1256973.
This gallery is in The Art Shop, Guillermo Prieto #189, between Reforma and Independencia. The phones are, 6121220145/6121223945, and they have reproduccion of Leonardo Diaz and Anibal Lopez.
Galeria La Encantada
This new art gallery has exhibitions of paintings and sculpture, as well as a wine bar, deli and occasional live acoustic music in the courtyard. Location is Belisario Dominguez 1245 (between 5 de Mayo and Callejón Constitución). Artist Lila Magallón and her partner, Massimiliano Zingaro, have renovated a century-old house in the heart of La Paz’s historic district to create a gallery that is, itself, a work of art. Hours for La Encantada after the opening: Tuesday through Saturday, gallery and wine bar are open 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org You can read more about this new gallery on the FEATURES page. (updated Feb. 9, 2011)
This new gallery, opened by Edmundo Pedraza, is at Marcelo Rubio 1640, between 16 de Septiembre and Degollado. Posted hours: Monday through Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Gallery phone 12 31456; Cellphone 612 14 82473. Website is http://www.nautilusgaleria.com/ Email is mailto:email@example.com
“The little hands” is a a tiny treasure of a shop featuring high-quality Mexican handcrafts. You will see folk art, clothing, jewelry and pieces of craftsmanship from around Mexcio. Take a look at the shop mascot, Perla — she’s a Xoloitzcuintli (Perro Azteca or Mexican Hairless Dog). The shop is next door to Allende Books and Hotel Angel Azul on Independencia at the corner of G. Prieto, Hours are 10 to 2, Monday through Saturday. Also by appointment. Call 044 612 135 5939 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Las Tres Vírgenes
It’s actually a restaurant, but this stately old mansion-turned-restaurant also features paintings by La Paz artist Ulla Behn. You can drop by whenever the restaurant is open at 1130 Madero (between Constitución and Hidalgo).
Museo Regional de Antropología e Historia
The anthropology museum sometimes features exhibits by artists or photographers whose work relates to history or anthropology. Posted hours: Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The interesting museum gift shop has slightly different hours. The museum is at Altamirano and 5 de Mayo. For information, call 122-0162.
Teatro de la Ciudad
This is a major venue for live performances of theatre, dance and music. But the lobby is home to art exhibitions. The theatre is next door to Galería de Arte Carlos Olachea at Navarro and Héroes de Independencia. The site is called Unidad Cultural Profr. Jesús Castro Agúndez.
This building was born at the start of the Mexican Revolution: Teatro Juárez turns 100 years old Sept. 15. The theatre is on Belisario Dominguez between 16 de Septiembre and Independencia. The old theatre begins its second century of life with new seats, beautiful new galley space for art exhibitions, public bathrooms that rival those of four-star hotels and a peekaboo view onto the courtyard of the Centro Cultural nextdoor. (updated Sept. 14, 2010)