Living on the island of Cozumel has continued to be an experience worth documenting. Seldom a day goes by without a new and unexpected event and tonight was yet another example of all that can be found here in paradise. I had the opportunity to be a part of something exciting, opening night at the Bliss Art Gallery.
I was invited by Mariano Petit De Murat, a local artist and muralist who also happens to be a friend. Some months past I’d asked him to paint a large mural for me on my outside deck. Not only did he do a wonderful job, but, while busily working (and covered in paint spatters), we’d also had the opportunity to chat about life, the arts, and the tribulations of the heart. He was someone who I was immediately comfortable with so, when he and his lovely lady stopped by to give me an invitation to an opening, I didn’t hesitate to say, “yes.” I called a few friends to join me, set aside the night, threw on some of my nicer togs and off we went.
The gallery is located on the second floor of the Forum Shops on the corner of Rafael Melgar and 10 norte. But, before the official opening ceremonies began, there was a reception held in the D / Lounge, which has a lovely view overlooking the ocean. Now, this is where I should mention that this was not a casual affair, no. Very pretty people wearing very impressive ensembles were everywhere I looked. Champagne was served, along with hors d’oeuvre, and the conversation was lively. As I began to walk around and look at the art that was displayed in the lounge area I was happy to discover that I recognized quite a few of the other attendees. So, hugs and kisses all around, it looked to be a good evening.
Now, I do want to mention that, although I will have some photos of just a few of the pieces on display, I often will not include the frames. That was just a personal choice on my part. That said, there was quite an impressive display of work. Much of it would be considered, by today’s definition, contemporary art and included works in metal, watercolor, and acrylic along with digital designs, and lithographs. All will continue to be on sale and all by local artists. For informational purposes here are the names of the artists whose work will be available at the Bliss: Jose Luis Cuevas, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Dr. Atl, Fernando Andriachi, Carlos Mérida, Francisco Corsas, Fidel Corpus, Minerva Marí, Laura Hoyo, Addy Bacelis, Eddy Escalante, Lucio Frias, Greg Dietrich, and Mariano Petit De Murat.
The reception lasted for about an hour and, I have to admit, it was a delightful change from my usual fare of flip-flop activities. As a former academic, and a woman who was raised by a father who enthusiastically supported the arts, I’ll be the first to say, I soaked it all in like a sponge. I just walked around with my camera taking photos of folks who also seemed to relish the opportunity to dress a bit more elegantly, talk to friends, and all while sipping their chilled champagne under the light of the setting sun. Yes, I wax poetic, but, bear with me, it was just that lovely. However, after a few moments more, Mariano let me know that we needed to meander across the hall to the gallery itself since it was time for the official ceremony to begin.
At this point there were dozens of people gathered to help the artists celebrate. Some of the history of how the idea began was shared, the individual artists were introduced to the crowd, and then the ribbon was cut. Applause broke out, cameras flashed, and the gallery was officially opened.
I maneuvered my way around to take a few more shots of different pieces. I have to say, there is some serious talent on this island. I don’t mean to sound surprised, I’ve seen many examples of creative thinking since I’ve moved here, but this was the first time I saw so much in one place. The gallery itself is not large, but it is tastefully decorated with leather seating, strategic track lighting, and all surrounded by quite a diverse collection. I can only hope that my little camera does them justice, but this is where I’ll suggest that folks go themselves to really see the works as they are meant to be seen, and appreciated.
Now, while I had been busily wandering around, I realized that I had abandoned my friends. I went to look for them and we agreed that it had been quite the night, but it was time to start for home. I turned back to the gallery for another quick shot, held my camera up high and clicked. Walking over to Mariano to say goodbye I saw that he was quite busy with other guests. Catching his eye I waved ‘goodnight’ and began to go down the stairs. Once out in the street I saw that it was yet another lovely evening on our little island. And, as we headed down Melgar to get to my friends’ vehicle, I saw what would be my last shot of the night. I can’t help myself, there’s just something about the ocean at dusk that assures me that moving to Cozumel was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Whether it be a snorkel trip, traipsing through ruins, or attending a cultural event, this island continues to assure me that I’ll never be bored. Salud!
p.s. here are just a few more shots of the night, it really was a lot of fun