Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ecuadorian Arts & Crafts

Ecuador is a place of tradition and skills.  Involved in the art is the passing of stories & traditions from generation to generation.   Ecuador Art depicts its rich culture and heritage along with its incredible diversity.

Cuenca is well known for ceramics.  Probably the best known ceramics artist in Ecuador is Eduardo Vega. Vega has done many ceramic murals throughout Ecuador, as well as the small pieces he is known for. 

Ecuador’s modern artistic tradition began with the Spanish in the early 16th century, and the country quickly became the arts center of colonial Latin America. What became known as the Quito School and later, the Cuenca School, were founded by Spanish priests and missionaries, using native artisans to produce religious paintings and sculpture. Although the schools’ early works were mostly European re-creations, the Spanish soon recognized the artistry of indigenous imagery and techniques and these became widely incorporated into Ecuadorian artwork by the beginning of 17th century.

The best known art tendencies from Ecuador belonged to the Escuela Quitena, which developed from the 16th to 18th centuries, examples of which are on display in various old churches in Quito.  Ecuadorian painters include Oswaldo Guayasamin, Camilo Egas & Eduardo Kingman from the from the Indiginist Movement; and Manuel Rendon, Enrique Tabara, Anibal Villacis, Theo Constante, Leon Ricaurte and Estuardo Maldonado from the Informalist Movement. The indigenous people of Tigua, Ecuador are also world renowned for their traditional paintings.

The above mosaic was done by Liza Wheeler, an expat who was then living and working in Cuenca.  Liza & her partner Larry have now moved to Spain. 

The Museum of Modern Art in Cuenca was formerly known as the Temperance House and served as a detention center for patients and alcoholics. It is located in the traditional district of San Sebastián.  Inside are collections saved in painting, xilopintura, ink, drawing, screen printing, engraving, etching, photography and sculpture.  It also regularly exhibits works of acclaimed masters of Ecuadorian and foreign art. 

The above mosaic is in a down-town bank in Cuenca and we believe it was also done by Vega.

Street art seems to abound in Ecuador like every place else.  The above is one of the better pieces of graffiti and below is what was probably a commissioned wall painting in one of the market areas of Cuenca.

The Museum of Modern Art recently had an exhibition of childrens' art.  Of course it reflects what they know.

Small art galleries & showings abound and the art displayed is anything from traditional to abstract contemporary.    

Public art is evident in most parks and many traffic circles and again runs the gamut from traditional or even an Inca background to modern abstract. 

If you're interested in seeing more Graffiti or Ecuadorian Art, please click the links.