The creativity that has always flourished in Costa Rica is inspiring. The country has a rich artistic history and a promising new generation of artists to boot. From painting, drawing, mixed media and sculpture, to wood carvings, pottery, jewelry, photography, and graphic design, every art form you care to mention is being created in Costa Rica by its very talented artists. Costa Ricans are proud of their artistic heritage and have many art museums, galleries, and showrooms that are open to the public and where you can purchase local artwork. Here’s our pick of the best.
Onirica Art Gallery
The Onirica Art Gallery in La Fortuna is an art collector’s happy place. This small shop has a great selection of locally made artwork in many different media, from painting to pottery to jewelry. This is a spot where you can find some truly unique pieces. Even if you aren’t in the market to purchase any artwork, if you find yourself in this area, stop by and check out what local art in Costa Rica is all about. There’s no pressure to buy anything from the owners, who are super-friendly and welcoming.
The Wood and Art Gallery in La Fortuna is definitely worth a stop. There are many different types and sizes of wooden art and sculptures for sale here, been made by local artisans using locally sourced wood. Costa Rica is well known for its stunning wood sculptures and everyday items, such as bowls, cups, cutting boards, wine racks, and more. There is a beautiful variety of types and colors of wood used by the local artisans. The Wood and Art Gallery also carries locally made indigenous masks and paintings. If you are looking for an authentic piece of art to bring home from your trip to Arenal, then do stop by this gallery.
Arte Jaguar Gallery is a beautiful art gallery tucked away in the mystical cloud forests of Monteverde. This studio is filled with the exquisite art of Roberto Wesson. His inspiration comes from his surroundings, which are rich in plant and animal life. He uses rich colors and unique techniques to create his masterpieces. His gallery is open Monday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., but you can also make an appointment outside these hours. If you are in the area, do stop by this gallery; the artwork is unmissable.
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery is the largest art gallery in Guanacaste. There are 15 rooms filled with over 400 pieces of artwork from 60 different artists. This place is an art lover’s heaven in the midst of the city of Liberia. The gallery does an amazing job of representing local Costa Rican art. There’s everything from abstract paintings to sculptures to underwater scenes. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There is even the opportunity to have something custom made, if there’s a specific piece you are seeking. This is an impressive gallery just to walk through, even if you aren’t interested in purchasing anything.
Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Art and Gallery in Playas del Coco is a great place to stop if you are searching for some authentic indigenous artwork or masks. The owner of the small gallery, which is part of a delicious cafe called Provecho, is very knowledgeable about the Boruca artwork that is in the gallery, and can share a wealth of information with you. There are also some beautiful handwoven items for sale.
Galeria Namu is an incredible gallery located in downtown San Jose. Namu is a Bribri word that means ‘jaguar’, a sacred animal to many indigenous tribes, and the perfect name for this gallery, as its focus is on indigenous artwork. Galeria Namu has an impressive collection of beautiful indigenous artwork to admire and purchase. This is a fair-trade gallery where the local artists are paid immediately and fairly. If there is one gallery that you need to visit while in San Jose, this is the one. You can find masks, woven baskets, pre-Columbian jewelry, pottery, and folk art here.
The Galeria Roberto Lizano is an interesting place to pop into if you want to check out some Costa Rican art. Roberto Lizano is the owner of the gallery and is also a well-respected Costa Rican painter. You can purchase any of the art in the gallery or just observe some of the best pieces of artwork from famous Costa Rican artists. This is the perfect gallery if you want to learn about Costa Rican culture and heritage. It is conveniently located near to several other galleries and art-related points of interests.
If you are in San Jose and interested in checking out some of the local galleries, you can take a self-guided walking tour using the San Jose Maps and Walks app. The art gallery tour will take you to eight small galleries that are all in close proximity to one another. This is an amazing way to wander around and see some of the privately owned art galleries in San Jose, without getting completely lost.