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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.
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.
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.
Across from the Hard Rock Cafe, Playas del Coco +506-5001-5792
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.
7th Avenue between 5th and 7th Street, San Jose +506-2256-3412
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.