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August 2013
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Growing Merida Art World

No short blog post could begin to talk about everything that is going on in the art world in Merida. Merida has never been the seat of art in Mexico (that would have to be Mexico City…), but in the last ten years, the art world in Merida has continued to expand, encompassing more and more artists from around the world, different kinds of art and an ever-expanding audience of art patrons.

Fernando Castro Pacheco art in Merida YucatanArt in Merida initially centered around the MACAY, Merida’s contemporary art museum just off the Plaza Grande, and the Archaeological Museum on Paseo de Montejo. There were various artists in Merida, such as Fernando Castro Pacheco and Alberto Castillo (now both deceased), who studied abroad and in Mexico City and then returned to paint in Merida. Pacheco became famous around Mexico for his unique and colorful style, examples of which can be seen in the murals in the Governor’s Palace on the Plaza Grande in Merida. Alberto Castillo, a less recognized painter, was a favorite among visitors and locals alike for his more naive but no less colorful style.

Over the last ten or so years, many artists have converged on Merida, attracted by the same set of amenities that the rest of us are drawn to: inexpensive living, laid back life style, large houses to be renovated, access to modern amenities and great food, to name a few! People like Melva Medina and Abel Vazquez came to Merida from Morelia and Oaxaca respectively. Other artists have come from places like New York City, such as fabric designer Luli Sanchez or Harold McAnaney… not to exhibit or sell their art, but to have a quiet and inspirational place to create their art. Some of the most exciting art comes from street artists that may or may not be selling their works on Graffiti in Merida Yucatanany given night on the streets outside the Peon Contreras Theater, and from some of the fine graffiti artists who have taken their art to new and beautiful works on walls throughout the city.

Also over the last ten years, art museums and art galleries have proliferated in Merida, ranging from the City Art Museum in the old and renovated Post Office to the Soho Galleries and others in Santa Ana and Santiago, which sell art from local artists as well as from artists in Cuba and other nearby Latin American countries.

Art is everywhere in Merida now… from the ESAY art school in the old Railroad Station to the art market on Paseo de Montejo every Sunday morning. If you love art, come to Merida!