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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Open Studio Tour in Old Mazatlan

22 January 2007


This past weekend we attended a wonderful event held in the Centro, or old part of downtown Mazatlan. The annual open studio tour is not only an art show, it's an opportunity for a glimpse of what's behind some of the doors in this beautiful city. The artists showcase their work in their studios/homes, in gift shops, in bed and breakfasts, and sometimes in borrowed homes of friends. These locations vary in style from remodeled casas, to historic homes, to small apartments, and even to one old crumbling building.

On Saturday I joined three other women from Marina Mazatlan for the self-guided walking tour. Lisa (S/V Flying Free) had done the tour last year and had a route for us already marked on her copy of a map listing the 19 venues. She did a great job of navigating us through the streets and we managed to see twelve places in about three hours. We got a little side tracked looking at the rooms of a charming bed and breakfast (http://www.casadeleyendas.com), but we made up some time by not lingering in the gift shops which we could return to another time.

The art work varied tremendously, but it was all interesting. Even if you didn't particularly care for the work itself, the opportunity to see the space in which it was being shown made each stop well worth the time. Just getting off the beaten path and onto some of the side streets you might otherwise never walk was an adventure. The artists themselves were available and willing to discuss their work with you. They were a mix of expatriates from all over the world as well as Mexican nationals, and they ranged in age and style from young and modern to older and more classic.

I enjoyed the Saturday tour so much that I got John to return with me on Sunday to see the rest of the places on the list. The building that got the most buzz from the other cruisers who'd done the tour on Saturday was one we had missed. It was off the Plaza Machado above one of the chi-chi restaurants (Pedro y Lola) which borders the square. John and I walked through an open doorway into what looked like a construction site, and climbed a rickety staircase to the second floor. Assuming they don't change the photos on the home page, you can see what it looked like at the web site at the beginning of this post. As we walked through the rooms we were warned to watch our step because "it's an historic building."

If you ever find yourself in Mazatlan when this event takes place, I highly recommend setting aside the time for it. And be sure to bring plenty of cash because there will undoubtedly be something that you'll want to take home with you!

Linda and John