Basilio Badillo and Surroundings: A Tour of 5 Art Galleries
One of the things that most excites art lovers when they stroll through the Romantic Zone, specifically along Basilio Badillo Street and its surroundings, is the variety of art galleries they can find on their way. Some are even just a few steps from each other.
To appreciate and enjoy the art assembled on this bohemian-looking street, the Vallarta Lifestyles editorial team undertook the task of visiting five galleries that stand out for their trajectory, approach and the artists they represent.
Basilio Badillo 269, Emiliano Zapata
Galleria Dante was inaugurated in 1988, and this warm and welcoming venue currently has more than 60 artists exhibiting their works, including paintings and sculptures. It is a space founded by Canadians Joseph, Claire and Gena Guarniere, an entrepreneurial family that saw in a large old house in the Romantic Zone the ideal place to begin and continue a success story in the destination.
At Galleria Dante, one of the destination’s largest and most eclectic galleries, the works of emerging and internationally renowned artists converge throughout its eight rooms arranged in European style, with a beautiful and pleasant outdoor patio.
Today, of the total number of artists exhibiting here, 70 percent are painters and 30 percent are sculptors. Also, 85 percent are Mexican and the remaining 15 percent are foreigners from Canada, Cuba, Colombia, Italy and the United States.
Arte & Cerámica by Patricia Gawle
Basilio Badillo 325, Emiliano Zapata
Arte & Cerámica by Patricia Gawle began in 2008. In this cozy space, you can admire whimsical clay sculptures, as well as paintings on clay, oil paintings, paintings on tiles and small mementos in the shape of hearts and/or birds.
One could say that the work of Patricia Gawle, who studied Fine Arts at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, is “narrative,” as it is accompanied by a poem written by her. Nature, animals, humans and the way these three interact is the inspiration that shapes each of her artistic works.
In addition to showcasing her unique creations at Arte & Cerámica by Patricia Gawle, the artist offers classes and workshops that introduce participants to the world of ceramic art. The clay, which is the raw material she uses, is brought directly from El Tuito, where she also takes the opportunity to show the different phases involved in the development of her works.
Basilio Badillo 252, Emiliano Zapata
Founded in 2010, Galería Contempo has become one of the most representative venues for Mexico’s new artistic generation, as both its founder, Rodolfo Choperena, and his partner, Carlos Blanco, have been responsible for bringing and presenting some of the most representative pictorial and sculptural works of the emerging talent found in different parts of our country.
Galería Contempo distinguishes itself by exhibiting innovative works done with different materials and techniques. While the paintings encompass hyperrealistic, abstract and even contemporary trends, the sculptures are based on marine elements, objects of daily life and animals with modifications that give them an extraordinary appearance.
Currently, only 16 artists are exhibited in this minimalist two-level space. Of them, 70 percent are Mexican (from León, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Mexicali), and the rest are from the United States or Canada, but based in this destination.
Kathleen Carrillo Galleries
Constitution 325, Emiliano Zapata
The story of Kathleen Carrillo Galleries began in 2008 with a small gallery in El Centro. The gallery then moved to another space on Basilio Badillo Street, and for the past six years it has been firmly established in its current location.
For decades, artist Kathleen Carrillo, who studied Fine Arts with a concentration in Painting and Printmaking at the University of Oklahoma, has been illustrating and working on canvas with acrylic paints.
Currently, in addition to offering painting classes and workshops in her studio, she exhibits 10 different art collections, which are inspired by the experiences she has had over the years. Among them are Architectural Whimsy, Friends and Divas, Garden Girls, Smok’in and Abstracts: Juxtapositions of Life, which is the most recent collection she is working on.
Venustiano Carranza 268 L-2, Emiliano Zapata
Peyote People began in 2001 with a collection of artists from Oaxaca, Michoacán, Jalisco and Nayarit. Since then, the specific focus of the works exhibited is based on the “contemporary ancestral” trend, seeking to show the practices of our country’s ancient cultures, but with an avant-garde and more colorful touch.
This space reveals how Mexican art has evolved to give collectors a renewed vision of ancient traditions, which have been discreetly adapted to new shapes, colors and techniques. Thus, you can see beaded vessels and sculptures, paintings made with yarn, colorful wooden alebrijes and decorative clay figures, among other works.
More than 95 percent of the artists exhibiting at Peyote People are Mexican, and the rest are from Central and South American countries.