Thursday, April 18, 2013

ART IN ECUADOR - CUENCA'S 12 DE ABRIL ART FESTIVAL 2013 - Music, Dancing, Arts, FUN!!!


One of the major charms and attractions of Cuenca for Bo and me is the continual cultural celebrations and this city's love for fine arts.  We had such a wonderful three-day weekend, daily and nightly walking along 12 de Abril during this vibrant Arts Festival, admiring so much amazing talent and unique art from Ecuador, Peru, and other areas of South America.  There were more crafts than true fine art, but those truly gifted vendors with an undeniable artistic talent stood out and continually caught our searching eyes.  It took us hours and days of walking and looking and admiring before we finally decided on a few pieces we would consider buying for our unfurnished apartment. 

Negotiating here is not difficult for me because I speak Spanish.  Also, I was once an art vendor myself, so I am always sensitive to making sure I do not negotiate unfairly.  Bo and I aren't interested in getting the lowest price from an artist because we would not want to take away the true value of their originality, gift and talent, and self-esteem.  Art is a very personal thing!  Whatever value an artist puts on their work is because they believe that is what it is worth to them.  Most artists don't ever get compensated for their time and talent.

By Art Festival day three, near the end of that last day, we knew we would be able to walk away with some beautiful pieces at a great but fair price, and the artist would also be pleased with their sale from us.  And so it was!  We met four very talented individuals whom we kept returning to over the course of the show, and the last day we spent a considerable time admiring their work and having them invite us to make them an offer.  By the end of our art show purchases they were pleased and so were we.  We were thrilled with our beautiful art purchases as we carried them home!!  Now, we cannot wait until our painting is done, a few other improvements are made and furniture pieces are discovered and purchased, and we then figure out exactly where these unique and colorful pieces will hang for many who enter our home to admire!

 Cuenca's 12 de Abril Arts Festival 2013

It was a beautiful warm and sunny day one at the Art show as we walked and admired the various vendors wares under the tents lining the Tomebamba River.

This spray paint artist's talent was our favorite.  We watched him create amazing scenes from start to finish, and every painting was purchased and spoken for quickly, so you had to stay on top of it if you wanted to walk away with one of his creations.  Here he begins painting a new canvas with a few sprays and strokes..........
......using spray paint......
.....his fingers.....
......crumpled paper.......
......and a knife......
......and his masterpiece is quickly SOLD!  His skill is beyond words, and his art pieces were selling for $10 or less. 
Even the most modern condos here have bare light bulbs hanging from the ceilings.  Our Ecuadorian apartment had over eleven bare ceiling bulbs that needed inexpensive but fun artsy coverings.  When we saw this vendor's beautiful colorful lanterns, it was our answer.  She sold them for $5 to $9 each, depending on the size and style.  Now our apartment looks magical at night when the lights are on!

One vendor was selling the most beautiful fun and colorful artificial flowers.
There was live blaring upbeat latin rock music and entertainers.......
.......lots of different vendor foods (many love those weiner kabobs!!!).....
........patrolling police officers making sure the art fair visitors were protected..........
.......and so many vendors along both sides of this bridge, that crowds of people were slowly pushing their way through to get from one side of the river to the other!

In town, there were many other festivities taking place.  One of my favorite things to watch were these beautiful and colorful dancers twirling to their traditiional upbeat latin music.

The finale - and an inspiring applaud from the cheering crowds!

We look forward to early November when Cuenca will present another three days of these wonderfully talented artists and energetic entertainers and we will once again have another opportunity to view and admire and purchase their art.


  1. You need to post pics of your apt after all the finishing details. How exciting to read each chapter in your experiences in Ecuador!

  2. Hi Shadley,
    It's always so nice to read your comments - and to know you are still following our adventure in Ecuador. Absolutely, I will be posting pics of our apartment progress. We haven't done much because I became ill AGAIN, and I am just recovering from bout #3. As soon as I have my energy back, I'll be painting and decorating. It's going to be a long process - so we're keeping it fun!


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