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Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday Night Art Walk in San Jose del Cabo

By Carlanne

It is only six miles from the Marquis Los Cabos Resort to San Jose del Cabo, a quaint town that is working hard to freshen its image while maintaining its authenticity and colonial flavor. I spoke with a gentleman who is a small-restaurant business owner with deep involvement in the renovations and repairs of the city. While owners of similar small businesses, most all family-owned and run, need the updating of the town, they are all adamant about keeping their culture and environment intact.

On Thursday evenings there is an Art Walk in the Historic Art District of San Jose del Cabo. Our guide for this evening was Rico who was provided to us by Terramar Destinations. I highly recommend that if you want to have an escort for your evening excursions, you ask for Rico.

Rico entertained us with stories of the region from the 1400s on up through today’s culture and environments. This was a matriarchal society with the belief that women came from the moon and men came from the sun. Until the Jesuits arrived, the community lived in the village where all people were equal and everyone owned everything. There were no "this is mine, and that is yours" attitudes. The Jesuits came and took land to build their churches, insisting the natives wear clothes, learn language and mate only with someone they "married." Lore has it that the women of the village did not agree with the Jesuit, preferring their polygamous ways, and in a few years took back their village and disposed of the Jesuits. We went to the mission church; and while it is not the exact structure built in those early years, it was built on the site of the original church.

From the church we walked through the streets of San Jose del Cabo to various stores, restaurants and art galleries. There are wine tastings, canapés, art and sculptures. I met several of the artists as well as gallery owners during this walk. There is an immense amount of talent on display during these evenings.

One of the first galleries we visited was the Galleria de Ida Victoria, which contains original works of art as well as a custom, preservation frame shop. This is a husband and wife business, she with an art studies background and he with the frame studio inside the gallery. This gallery has been touted by local press to be the “finest gallery south of Los Angeles.” Occupying a tri-level building designed and built specifically to showcase emerging contemporary artists as well as established artists, even the resident cat is welcoming and artistic in her meandering through the property. The gallery is owned by Ida Victoria, who studied art at Tulane University as well as the prestigious Parsons School of Design in NYC. The frame studio is owned by Peter Signorelli. He trained at the American Picture Framing Academy in Connecticut under well-known Gorilla Framer, Paul Casico. After studying with Margaret Walters, a professional preservation framer in Taos, NM, he helped to build the gallery and framing studio. Ida and Peter are available for private home consultations for those interested in collecting and preserving a variety of art.

Also on the walk that evening was the Corsica Galeria De Arte, owned by Jean Pierre Renucci. Corsica is located at Alvaro Obregon 10 in downtown San Jose del Cabo. This gallery is dedicated to the works of contemporary Mexican artists.

Another gallery we visited was Muvezi, owned by Marcelo Pradas, which centers around fine African art. They are working to save lives with art, providing the stones needed for the Shona stone sculptures and malarial medication to the artists, their families and beyond.

As we wandered the streets of the village, we visited several stores, one in which I tasted a sweet Vanilla liqueur (VAI-NIUM Licor de Vanilla) and saw handmade shawls and cloths woven with intricate designs. There were jewerly shops, home decor shops, shops filled with glass and stone. Rico knew where the best shopping bargains, as well as the best quality goods, were located.

There are several restaurants that have yummy margaritas and other snacks for the art walk evening. One we visited, La Panga Antigua, was quite delightful. The owner/chef is Jacobo Turquie, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. The dinner menu looked good enough to eat, although I regretfully had to say no as there were reservations elsewhere for the evening.

For a delightful evening before heading out to dinner, I recommend the Art Walk through the Historic Art District of San Jose del Cabo. There is much to see and do in this historic town and is definitely on the "do not miss list."
As a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) and media maven, Carlanne's passion and mission is to travel, write about and photograph her travels. As a personal travel concierge, she shares that passion with her clients through TopDawg Travel, www.topdawgtravel.com. She can be reached at carlanne@topdawgtravel.com.

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For More Information:

About Terramar DMC
www.terramardestinations.com
(624) 142-9200
Owned and operated by Kim Clapham

Galleria de Ida Victoria
www.idavictoriaarts.com
1128 V. Guerrero

Art District, Colonia Centro
(624) 142-5771
info@idavictoriaarts.com

Corsica Galeria de Arte
www.galeriacorsica.com
(624) 146-9177

Muvezi Fine African Art
www.muvezi.com
(624) 122-2728

La Panga Antigua
www.lapanga.com
(624) 142-4041
Zaragoza #20 Col. Centro