How art can become inarticulate

The Art Garden Jardín del Arte was created in Plaza Mijares during the  4th Municipal Administration Term. The primary objective was the exhibition of local artists and public workshops on Fridays and Saturdays; but, the ineffable discrepancy between gallerists and artists…

“Creativity means allowing you to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” (Scott Adams)

Condenarro (first of two parts)

The enormous diversity of Los Cabos as a tourist destination has given rise to different types of attractions which enhance the charm and natural wealth of the Los Cabos region and Baja California Sur. One of these activities is cultural tourism and its artistic manifestations. Of interest to us especially are the plastic arts, sculpture, crafts, and the marketing of these and, of course, the use of public spaces for this purpose. This often leads to misunderstandings about unfair competition, or the official capitalization around any economic activity carried out in public spaces. The latter is a possible reason for what happened at Plaza Manuel Mijares in San Jose del Cabo on February 2nd.

Before we continue, the definition of “public areas” is: Each place in a town or city, such as a park or square, green areas or gardens, streets, etc., where people go or transit. (translated from the Diccionario del Español Mexicano, Colmex). The regulations for commerce and trades in the roadways and public areas of the Municipality of Los Cabos (20-II-2010), in its second chapter, under “definitions”, Article 4, section XXII, defines it as follows: PUBLIC ROADWAYS The streets, avenues, alleys, roads, boulevards, rights of way and parking areas, roads and highways, bridges and other routes that serve for the free transit of people, vehicles and livestock; And, in accordance with the agreements signed with federal and state bodies, also includes the areas for recreation and touristic recreation or any federal zone. To prevent artistic expression, in any of its forms, other than that causing violence and/or illegality contravenes Article 7 of the Constitution, and preventing any person from carrying out a job as a modus vivendi without it affecting third parties contravenes Article 5.

Returning to the origin of the art garden, El Jardín del Arte, which began thanks to the then Director of the cultural center Casa de la Cultura. There was no municipal cultural department then and it was governed by the sub-directorate of education and culture, or the department of social development during the 5th Municipal Administration term presided by Miguel Angel Olachea Palacios, who provided support given the lack of facilities or areas for plastic art activities which were already perceived to be growing among the local community. This included exhibitions, painting on outdoor easels and free workshops for children and teens which had already started to be developed.

In time, during the 8th Municipal Administration term, the art garden, El Jardín del Arte, was formally instituted with a formal document delivered to one of the organizers and pioneers in that administration, Salvador Padilla de Alba, who together with other local artists would set up on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, primarily in the area in front of the cultural center Casa de Cultura where there was previously a parking lot and some great shade trees dear to the neighbors living near the Historic Town Center. This area later became the Art District where from November to February they now do the traditional “Art Walk”. Originally they gave passers-by a tasty snack and a glass of wine and invited them to see the art exhibited in the galleries. This was very generous and although this tradition has been lost, it represented an additional expenditure for the gallerist who pays rent, permits, taxes and all the obligations that go along with an established business. They also sometimes occupied the kiosk.

The supposed competition for the clientele of the participants in El Jardín del Arte has also included sellers of handicrafts of all kinds and textiles, losing somewhat the essence of its origin. The gallery owners do not have a real decline in business though, since with dialogue they make sure that “everyone gets a piece of the pie”. Art, in the economic sense, has a large market in all areas and on all scales. As Frank Lloyd said,“If it sells, it is art.”

In the second part we will give details regarding the line of work, and interviews with the local artistic community and the new Municipal Institute for Culture and Arts directed by Alan Castro.

“The essence of all beautiful art, of all great art, is gratitude.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

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