Puerto Vallarta's Art Walk
A series of bronze sculptures stretches along the sea walk and are the most photographed elements of the city. In contrast to traditional sculptures in museums, these can be touched and even climbed and this close contact has already given many of them a bright bronze luster.
The "Millenium" spiral sculpture created by Mathis Lidice is located at the beginning of the malecón and represents history and the passage of time. DNA at its base depicts the origin of life and the dove of peace at the top symbolizes hope for the future. There are various historical characters included in the design, such as Charlemagne and Nezahualcoyotl.
"Origin and Destination" is a project by Pedro Tello composed of five sculptures that represent the beginnings of humanity. The boat represents humanity’s search for new horizons; the chimera depicts the rise of machines; the whale shows the rise of humanity in the new millennium; and the obelisk represents the work of humanity through time and history.
The "Nostalgia" sculpture was the first one installed on the malecón and it depicts a couple on a bench, looking towards the sea. Many locals look at this piece of art nostalgically, remembering the love story between the artist Ramiz Barquet and his wife Nelly.
"La Naturaleza Como Madre" (Nature as Mother) is an abstract sculpture by Adrian Reynoso that shows a wave with some human characteristics on a spiral shell and symbolizes the evolution of our planet with nature as the controlling force.
"El Sutil Come Piedras" (The Subtle Rock-Eater) by Jonas Gutierrez is a friendly, chubby man sculpted in metal and rock, reminding observers of happy childhoods and the enjoyment of every single discovery.
"El Unicornio de la Buena Fortuna" (The Good Fortune Unicorn) by Anibal Riebeling dates back to 2011. Its sleek and curvy shape makes it look like a natural part of the malecón.
"Tritón y Sirena," by Carlos Espino, depicts the Greek God of the sea, earthquakes, and the sea-nymph Amphitrite, his wife.
"La Rotonda del Mar" by a famous artist, Alejandro Colunga, is one of the most loved sculpture collections in PV. Both locals and tourists like to take pictures with his work while sitting in one of the anthropomorphic chairs.
"En Búsqueda de la Razón" (In Search of Reason), by Sergio Bustamante, was inaugurated in 1999 for the new millennium. It shows two children climbing a bronze ladder and their mother begging them to get down. The sculpture attracts lots of kids, and tourists flock to it in search of good photo ops.
"El Caballito del Mar" (The Seahorse), by Rafael Zamarripa, has been in Puerto Vallarta since 1976 and has become the city’s symbol. After the renewal of the malecón, the Seahorse was moved to a better spot on the promenade with more visibility.
"La Fuente de la Amistad" (The Friendship Fountain), by James "Bud" Bottoms, is right next to Los Arcos del Malecón. It was created to celebrate the sisterhood between Puerto Vallarta and the city of Santa Barbara, California. The dolphins are inspired
by a local native myth in which the earth goddess Hutash created a rainbow to help some travelers cross to the mainland. As some of them looked down, they fell off the bridge and were transformed into dolphins. Since then dolphins and humans have been considered brothers in local folklore.
"Los Bailarines de Puerto Vallarta" (Puerto Vallarta Dancers), by Jim Demetro, has been part of the malecón since 2006 and was inspired by the colorful costumes of the Xiutla Municipal Folkloric Ballet, made up of children and teenagers from Puerto Vallarta.
"Erizados" (Sea Urchins), by Blu (Maritza Vázquez), can be found in the new extension of the malecón and shows a connection between Puerto Vallarta and the sea. The sculpture was set up on the malecón as part of a temporary exhibition, but the locals liked it so much that the artist decided to leave it there.
"San Pascual Bailón" (Saint Paschal Baylon) is another curious sculpture by Ramiz Barquet, and depicts the patron saint of cooks. Saint Paschal Baylon was a Franciscan monk who sanctified cooking and baking and distributed the leftovers among the poor.
"Lorena Ochoa," by Octavio González Gutiérrez, was placed on the malecón in 2012 to commemorate the sporting career of Lorena Ochoa, a talented golfer from Jalisco, who ranked first in the world for several years.
"The Washer Woman," by Jim Demetro, can be found on the wall surrounding the Molino de Agua Condominium, next to the Cuale River. The sculpture shows a woman washing her clothes on a rock in a river next to a water mill, the way it’s still done by some people.
There is a guided sculpture tour every Tuesday organized by Galeria Pacifico that will provide you with interesting historical and artistic insight. It starts at 9:30 am at the Rosita Hotel, where the first sculpture "Millennium" is located. You may also do the tour by yourself.
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