One of the most sophisticated attractions of Puerto Vallarta as a vacation destination is the abundance of galleries, sculptures and art found throughout the main tourist areas of the city. In the Downtown area and Romantic Zone alone, there are enough galleries for you to decorate your whole house with art twice over!
Indeed, Puerto Vallarta has developed a reputation for hosting a great selection of art galleries selling Mexican art, ceramics, contemporary art, photography and prints as well as designer jewelry. If you know a lot about art, you might be quite surprised by the excellent quality and variety of the art on offer in Puerto Vallarta. Garza Blanca‘s hotel lobby also hosts regular art exhibitions by local and national artists and most suites feature paintings or designs by Mexican artists.
Public art is a key feature in Puerto Vallarta, most notably on the Malecon where the seafront promenade is lined by sculptures, some interactive, by renowned Mexican artists like Ramiz Barquet, Alejandro Colunga, Sergio Bustamante and Jonas Gutiérrez. You can even take a tour of the sculptures accompanied by an English speaking guide who is a local gallery owner. In addition to the permanent sculptures, you will also witness a number of creative human statues that move in response to the donation of a coin or stone balancing. The Malecon is also home to many artisans such as those who will prepare a caricature or create Puerto Vallarta sunset paintings with their fingers.
Any mention of art and Puerto Vallarta is not complete without touching on the traditions of the Huichol, who are a local Native American ethnic group. The art of this tribe is particularly distinctive with intricate colored beadwork and threading sealed with beeswax. There are a number of Huichol galleries and stores selling Huichol art in Puerto Vallarta and you may even be lucky enough to encounter a specialized market or fair during your stay.
Famous Local Artists
In addition to the sculptors whose works of art adorn the Malecon, Puerto Vallarta is famous for its homebred or resident artists such as Manuel Lepe Macedo, Javier Niño and Rogelio Díaz. While Niño follows successfully in the naive style initiated by the late Lepe Macedo, Rogelio Díaz exploits a contemporary style, merging magical realism and expressionism is his own distinct flavor.