TIJUANA.- It all began a couple of weeks ago when my wife and I were moving some furniture around which left a blank space on a wall and she said “I need a painting for this wall”. The next step was a post on Facebook asking for recommendations about local artists or galleries and I received quite a few ideas from friends and artists alike. It was clear to me that Tijuana has a great variety of successful artists and I got the idea to organize a tour with some of my Tijuana friends that are interested in buying local art.
I got in contact with Illya Haro who is the director of Agents of Contemporary Art which can be described as a project whose objective is bringing artists closer to the community that surrounds them by generating dialogue and interaction. I shared my idea of bringing together people interested in art with the artists themselves as part of a fun evening that would also allow them to get to know the artists a little better and to learn the how’s and why’s of their craft. We both agreed that it was an excellent (if not super excellent!) idea and we started working on putting together a night of culture, dialogue and fun for everybody involved. I was able to get a sponsorship from Bustamante Realty Group where I work and the TJ Art Tour was on.
The first stop that Friday evening was Josue Castro’s live-work space, The Kitchen, in a new mixed use building in Tijuana’s newly vibrant Downtown. With a little encouragement from Josue and his business partner Andrew Sheiner’s Los Marranos craft brews along with some Insurgente beers the group started getting excited for the night ahead.
Illya talked to us about the artists and the work that we would be seeing and visiting that night as well as ideas on how to appreciate and purchase art. We were lucky enough to run into the artist and academic Jofras who had with him the FIRST copy of “Tijuana 22000” that narrates thirty seven stories related to downtown Tijuana and also delves into how the Creative Class is helping the area reinvent itself.
After Illya’s talk we all got on the “Art-Van” (provided to us by Colegio Eiffel in downtown Tijuana) and it mysteriously had a cooler filled with soft drinks (or maybe something else?). Our first stop was at young artist Vero Glezqui’s studio. Vero was recently in a residency in Australia and has a current exhibition in Tijuana’s Cultural Center (CECUT). Being the good hostess that she is she had some Indio beers waiting for us to keep the fun atmosphere going. In her studio we were treated to some of her drawings, interventions and some paintings from her “We Are Stardust” series. Vero was very open with the “art-tourists” who were asking about the inspiration behind her works.