San Cristobal de las Casas is considered the cultural and artistic center of Chiapas. As one of Mexico’s poorest, most indigenous and most revolutionary regions, Chiapas has a long tradition of pushing the boundaries of politics and aesthetics. Here are nine galleries in San Cristobal that should be on your list for the next time you’re in town.
Arteria is dedicated to emerging and established artists that are asking critical questions about not only their work, but the context – cultural, social, political – within which they are creating it. They favor young, Mexican artists but also hold space for international artists of all stripes. Their exhibits are multimedia merging photography, sound, sculpture, painting, video and installation art.
LeK Museo – Arte – Galería
The LeK Museum and art gallery is a contemporary art museum with both permanent and temporary collections and a rooftop restaurant space to enjoy a drink or snack after you browse. They feature artists such as Beatriz Gaminde, Carmen Parra, Gerardo Cantú, Guillermo Ceniceros, Hermenegildo Martínez, José Luis Cuevas, Juan Manuel de la Rosa, Luis Filcer, María Esquerra, Martha Chapa, Oliver Esquivel, Raúl Anguiano, and Sebastián. Many of the pieces on display are for sale.
The word muy in the Maya language, tsotsil, is the root of the word pleasure and this gallery’s mission to provide a platform for local artists working in Maya and zoque art forms and languages. This makes their exhibitions and programs very specific to their region of Chiapas and they offer their multimedia exhibits to rural indigenous communities in the form of roving art expositions. They also have an artists’ residency program.