Three venues that showcase the island's best creative talents
The Aruba art scene is gaining worldwide attention and respect as local artists come into their own, and are joined by a growing number of regional and international artists who have taken up residence and draw inspiration from the island’s landscapes and cultures. Much of their work is represented in galleries that have authentic island roots and universal respect. Here are three of our favorites.
In August of 2015, a group of local artists came together to create Cosecha as a showcase for their works. The gallery is housed in a 100-year-old former governmental building on Zoutmanstraat that also served as the national archaeological museum. This historic building is an attraction in itself, as original details have been kept intact. Today, the walls are hung with an eclectic mixture of Aruban artwork that includes paintings, sculpture and weavings.
Multi-media artist Maria Onni creates signature pieces out of driftwood, each one painted with a different face. The island’s best-known sculptor, Ciro Abath, works in ceramics, bronze casting and kiln casting, and every one of his pieces has a story backed by history and myths. Much of his work is seen in public places and at the airport. Textile designer, Deborah de Weerd enjoys a passion for the colors that she finds in Aruba. Her work includes glass sculptures and macro photography. Painter Grace Ashruf is known for finding the extraordinary in everyday scenes. Her distinct landscape work leads with lines, colors and shapes. The artworks showcased at Cosecha are continually evolving, and you can always find a selection of jewelry and smaller items to carry back home. For more information: www.arubacosecha.com
If you think wine, classic cars and art go together then this is your place. The husband and wife team who created L’America were originally from Holland, and have spent 30 years on Aruba. A fondness for both travel and art lead to a growing collection of pieces as they traveled extensively through the Americas. When they ran out of wall space at home, the gallery was born. With that came an art supply and frame shop, and many of the local artists who initially became customers ended up showing their works at the gallery.
The owners also continue to add new paintings and other forms of artwork to L’America’s walls and shelves after each trip to a Latin American country. You’ll find the works of artists from Peru, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina. On the last Friday of each month, the gallery hosts a “Sip and Paint” wine tasting where everyone is encouraged to take brush in hand and create their own masterpiece. At other times of the month, a number of resident and visiting artists also give workshops. For more details: www.lamericagallery.com.
Part gallery, part workshop, and home to two of Aruba’s best- known ceramic artists, Terrafuse is the creation of husband and wife Ciro and Marian Abath. Here, in a collection of buildings located two miles inland from Palm Beach, the couple pursues their own creative works and stage weekly workshops dedicated to the techniques of glassblowing, bead making and kiln casting.
Marian first became known for creating necklaces and jewelry pieces from Murano glass, and later transitioned to fabricating unique pieces from recycled bottles. Ciro devotes his efforts to larger pieces in mediums that include ceramics, glass blowing, and bronze casting. All of his pieces have a story and a deeper meaning that might include the environment or a global political statement. He gravitates toward his Aruban heritage with works that resemble the pre-Colombian pottery found on the island. Marian works with many young local artists, and sells their work along with hers in the on-site gallery. To find out more: www.terrafusearuba.com