My morning at the Casa de la Cultura

With all the decisions I have made in my time, one of the best was to move to the island of Cozumel.  I’ve had the opportunity to explore ancient ruins, walk on beautiful beaches, wander through open air markets, and check out the lively nightlife.  But, this time I had a yearning for a bit of culture and, as luck would have it, I have made a new friend who knew exactly where I could go.  The Casa de la Cultura, located on Benito Juarez and 50 ave., is a haven for the artist in all of us.  It is where to go for plays, workshops, concerts, and art exhibitions for those days when just a bit of culture is what we are craving.

Yesterday I explored their newest art show, “Mar Nuestro,” which was full of creative examples from local artists.  I won’t be able to list  all their names, but here’s just a sampling of those whose works I was able to enjoy:  Alberran, Bulas, Canto, Carcamo, Mari, and Petit de Murat.    All the contributing artists are from here, and all of the pieces displayed were their interpretations of “Mar Nuestro,” or, in translation,  “Our Sea.”   As I walked around  I saw paintings, miniature sculptures, and one eclectic combination that just made me smile.  It was going to be a good morning.

After a short time I realized that not only were the art pieces for sale, but they were incredibly affordable.  At first, when I looked at prices such as $850, or $8,500, I assumed that they were in U.S. dollars.  Most art exhibits are typically so far out of my range that I resign myself to that “you can look, but you certainly can’t touch” attitude.  But, when I realized the prices were in pesos I began to look a lot more closely.  I’m almost at that point where I can start searching for the artwork that will help my apartment to feel more like a home.  And these were prices I could afford, mostly, and still be able to pay my rent.   So, needless to say, I got a bit more excited.

It didn’t hurt that my friend is also an artist since it made for interesting discussions, comparisons, and opinions.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one who will stand in front of a Jackson Pollock and quote Nietzsche’s “one must still have chaos………to give birth to a dancing star.” That last part is a true story, by the way.  You see, it’s not that I can’t enjoy a Pollock, but having once lived in New York, where I visited many galleries,  I’ve had the displeasure to hear the black clad  pontificate (sorry, the only word that comes to mind).  Usually, when that would begin, I’d start to smile, than giggle and would have to just walk away.  But, thankfully, yesterday’s conversation didn’t go that route.  We just talked about the colors, reality vs. surrealism, the choice of frames, or whether or not we just plain liked something.  I was relieved.

One thing that I was nervous about, though, was borrowing someone’s camera.  I have my eye on a beauty with all the bells and whistles I could ask for, but I need to budget and had already sold mine to help get me started.  Now I don’t usually use any type of Photoshop tricks, but I was glad to discover that my computer has a built in photo program.  Let’s just say that some of my photos yesterday were not meant for public viewing.  But, I was able to compensate, I think.  I guess I’m just hoping that I did them justice.

We spent quite a bit of time on the first floor, but, eventually, wandered upstairs to see the rest.  Now, I’m not sure of the particular order of the pieces, but there were great examples of interpretation in both places.  However, just in case there was a reason for the order, let me point out that I’ve just displayed them here in a way that I liked, not necessarily in accordance to the exhibit itself. And, due to my experimenting with a new camera, I have often left out the frames that they all possessed.  It seems that I now have the occasional difficulty with getting the straightest, clearest shots, especially when using a digital that I have to hold out in front of me.   But, my friend was patient, which was a good thing since I needed to take most of the shots more than once.

After wandering the hall upstairs we came back down and I started to look a bit more at the pieces that seemed to be  tucked away.   There were a few almost hidden under the stairs and I really liked the theme of one of them.  A painting of an angelic woman reaching upwards caught my eye.  It took me a while to get the pic I wanted because the skin tones were lovely.  I made a few comments about it and then my friend smiled.  It turned out to be one of his, which made me glad that I’d noticed it.  That could have been awkward.

After that I looked around and realized how much I’d missed.  Although the exhibit wasn’t particularly large, I can tend to get so focused on one thing that I miss a lot of what else is around me.  I took the camera back out and saw that there was a woman’s face over there, a cross made of metal over that way, and a piece that actually did remind me, just a bit, of Pollock after all.  I had to smile since that is one artist that I can, as mentioned before, appreciate, but don’t understand.  Still, it was a great piece and had a flow to it that reminded me of waves in the sunset.  Maybe I could quote Nietzsche after all?  No, a few fun sculptures caught my eye before I could start and I began to work with angles to see how I could photograph them since they  were under glass.  Thankful for the glass doors that allowed natural light I didn’t have to worry about using a flash and got a few snapshots of them as well.  They were just fun to look at, as an adult anyway.  Not sure they should sit on a child’s nightstand, but that’s just me.

Well,  after about an hour it was time to head home.  I did my usual last walk around and grabbed a couple more pics before we left.  I also made a point of writing down the names of the artists whose work I enjoyed the most.  When interpretive beauty is affordable, I just know I’ll want a few pieces from those artists in the future.  Still, since I am on a budget, I’ll get that camera I need first.  Then, maybe, I can really show works such as these in the best possible manner.  Meanwhile, it was a great morning and I want to thank you for coming along.  Salud!

p.s. I am never compensated for these blogs, but I do like to share good experiences.

Oh, and I’d like to mention that the times for this exhibit are 9-1 and 4-7,  for about six more weeks,  check it out!

19 thoughts on “My morning at the Casa de la Cultura

  1. Not sure who came up with “Mars Nuestro”. It should be “Nuestros Mares”. Mars does not exist in Spanish. It is not the plural of Mar.

    1. thank you Jake, I appreciate all the help with Spanish I can get……………I thought that was what was written on their poster by the front door, but I am often wrong when working with the language and am always grateful when someone takes the time to let me know………………

    2. El nombre correcto de la exposición es “Mar Nuestro”. Muchas gracias a Mexcelia por el tiempo para escribir este hermoso texto y fotografias de nuestra exposición colectiva, a nombre de La Casa de la Cultura Ixchel y del círculo de artistas locales… muchas gracias 🙂

      Minerva Marí
      Directora de la Casa de la
      Cultura IXCHEL
      Artista plástica

      1. Está muy bienvenidos, y ha sido un placer, me gustó la exposición muy habladores ..

        You are very welcome and I enjoyed the exhibition very much, it was my pleasure…………

  2. I, too, am a fan of Mariano’s work – I have several pieces. I also have one of Sarahi’s – the one in your photo! I’ll definitely be making it over there to see the exhibit myself. Wonderful blog! Thanks.

  3. The exhibit really is special……..not too large, but quite diverse. And, Mariano is the one who will be painting a mural for me on my roof deck, after seeing his work I was sold………..glad you liked it Kandy, thanks

  4. Thank you for this wonderful and well written Blog! I´d like to say in behalf of all the participant artists that we sincerely appreciate your support. This time, we all worked towards expressing ourselves in a unique way and we tried to show what our beloved island means to us through our art pieces.

    Thanks again!

    Mariano Petit de Murat

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Mariano, but I have to say that the exhibit was so much fun that it was easy to write about…….there were so many unique ways to interpret the sea, who’d have thought?………………..oh, and have to mention that it was great doing something a little different on the island as well. thanks again

  5. As always – really enjoyed the blog and the pictures. I work all year for my little slice of paradiso – but reading your blog can keep me there in spirit all year. I could make a few little corrections on your Spanish, but I won’t. I think it is great that you are learning and using it – corrections are just all part of learning a language – you will pick them up on your own. You are doing great! It isn’t too different from taking a picture – just listen and tweek it as you go.

  6. Thanks for reading, Cheryl, and am always open to suggestions for my Spanish……my response to Minerva Mari was a google translation, and I’ve heard those can be dicey, but still better than mine:) However, I have learned to keep a sense of humor (some of my mistakes were quite funny……….later, of course) thanks again

  7. Well – generally bienvenidos is a welcome to a place -i.e. home, party, etc. De Nada or por nada is the you’re welcome response to thank you. There would be other ways to express an idea like, “You’re welcome to come with us…” or “They welcomed (received) us with open arms.” The main thing is that you are communicationg and trying. It all comes together with time ☺! That is why i love teaching languages!

    1. thank you for the help, Cheryl, wish I was one of your full-time students, would probably learn much more quickly……….basically I try to just not offend anyone, (or tell them I’m horny when trying to discuss the weather, true story:), but I will keep on trying and might just discard the google translate, doesn’t seem to work well for me……..thanks again

    1. I’m sure you’ll be able to read about it, just not from me. A cold bug had me in its grip (still does) and I’ve decided that the bug (or, whatever this is) isn’t interesting enough for a blog:) Thanks for the kind “request” though…………

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