Art, Courtesy of Puerto Vallarta

22 Apr

Dangling high over the ocean, looking out to Puerto Vallarta, we are allowed an opportunity to take it all in; the array of greens that coat the mountains casually sink down and over a quaint town of white and terracotta rooftops.  Surveying the scene, we happen upon an anomaly of sorts; a twelve-ton whale, hovering in place at the entrance of Puerto Vallarta’s marina area.

“Vallarta’s Whale”, sculpted by Octavio Gonzalez, was born solely from observation and imagination.  Said one Gonzalez’s students, “Master Octavio has a tape measure in his eyes, lead in his forehead, and volume in his hands.”  The weight of the bronzed whale rests on a point whose surface measures less than one square meter; a homage to women as an essential point of balance in the family and a monumental signifier of Puerto Vallarta’s bustling art scene.

On January 31, 2008, Bridged and Brian Lott opened doors to Gallery Internacional in Vallarta Marina, showcasing a worldwide variety of art and attracting an endless crowd.  That night, in particular, the works of celebrated Puerto Vallarta oil painter, Clemente Hernandez Garcia, a.k.a. Teocalich, was under spotlight.  Fur and Feathers was a compilation of Garcia’s 40 years painting his hometown of Vallarta and the neighboring pueblos.

Wandering from the night’s focal exhibit, I was given the opportunity to sample the Gallery’s other attractions; lending definition to the International name.  The collection spans the likes of Shona sculptures, stone carvings and basketry from Africa, and original art by owner, Bridged Lott.  The variety of Gallery Internacional made crossing into the different rooms one of the more disconcerting parts of my evening as the mediums and themes and origins of the art had the ability to change, without warning, at the turn of a corner.

The night would eventually wane to memory to the music of Joe King Carrasco.  His unique style of “Nuevo Wavo-Surfer-Reggae” tranced a generous crowd, even enticing a few to dance along.  And so as the event neared its slated conclusion, people casually broke away and off elsewhere.  It was one of those situations where you don’t know everyone is leaving until you are the only one left.  I stuck around a little while longer, as though waiting for notification of a secret after-party or for the band to play one last song, but the doors closed and I was alone, walking back to my room at Melia Puerto Vallarta, engrained with a newfound understanding of the Puerto Vallarta Art Community’s passion.

About Gallery Internacional:

There is something to be said about someone who spends the first thirty years of their life in a field of science, only to devote the next thirty to art.  Not that she was unable to make up her mind, but that as she became enamored by something unfamiliar, she found it in her to drop what she was doing and dedicate all of her resources, and essentially a familiar life, to painting.

Bridged Lott, the Gallery’s curator that I speak of, expressed an exceptional pride in her sidelined status.  “I am so lucky,” said Bridged, “having lived in Africa and Europe and now in Canada and Mexico, I have been exposed to a variety of art and decor and find myself naturally drawn to beautiful, colourful things.”  Even as an accomplished artist with exhibits in both Canada and Mexico and pieces in the collections of private individuals on 3 continents, she is still able to maintain a proactive role in her craft by playing host to some the world’s finest art at Gallery Internacional.

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