Showing posts from August, 2018

VENUE - Museum of Archaeology and Loja Culture

VENUE - Museum of Archaeology and Cultura Lojana (Museo de Arqueologia y Lojanidad de la UTPL)

The museum offers a combination of permanent and temporary exhibitions. The large front lobby is a gallery space that hosts rotating exhibits of varying subjects, including contemporary art.

Located on the campus of the Technical University of Loja (just inside the main gate on the left). The museum's mission is to rescue and promote the culture of Ecuador and Loja. Opened to the public in 2004, there is a collection of original tools and utensils of 1600 pieces of Ecuadorian archeology typical of the city and province of Loja.

no website
Phone:+593 07 257-0275

Scheduled open hours: Monday to Sunday 9 am to 6 pm (closes for lunch)

Address:San Cayetano Alto, Marcelino Chanpagnat street

VENUE - Bolivar Theater (Casona Cultural)

VENUE - Bolívar Theater, also known as the Casona Cultural

The front lobby of the theater (accessed from Calle Olmedo) often displays art and art objects. Beyond the theater area - in what might be considered the back of the house but is at the same time the original foyer and great hall off of Bernardo Valdiviseo - is a large space coupled with side rooms, all with tall ceilings for exhibiting large works.

The million dollar restoration of the eclectically-styled theater with baroque and neoclassical elements, undertaken in 2016, was a joint venture of the municipality and the national government of Ecuador.  The 21st century restoration was meant to make the theater a focal point of the annual Live Arts Festival in Loja's city center.  The original construction commenced in the 1800s and was not finished until 1943.  The building became national heritage site in that same year, and was deeded to the National University of Loja.   

The theater inaugurated its newly refurbished gal…

VENUE - Museum of the Central Bank of Ecuador

Museum of the Central Bank of Ecuador (Museo del Banco Central del Ecuador)

Next to the governor's office at the southern end of Loja's Central Square is the old Central Bank.  The site now houses the Museum of Lojana History and Culture.  Inside the early colonial style building is an omnibus display of subjects, each exhibit gallery with a different theme ranging from archeology, nature, colonial Loja, to notable Lojanos like doctor and politician Matilde Hidalgo de Prócel, artist Eduardo Kingman, journalist and diplomat Benjamín Carrión, Ecuadorian President Isidro Ayora, and author Pablo Palacio.  The museum is often a visual art venue with public galleries in the front of the ground floor offering periodic displays of modern and contemporary artists. 

Museum is currently closed while undergoing renovation.

Located facing Parque Central at 10 de Agosto (between Bernardo Valdiviezo and Bolívar)

COMMERCIAL GALLERY - Pinceladas Casa de Arte

COMMERCIAL GALLERY - Pinceladas Casa de Arte

Located on Quito between Bernardo Valdiviezo and Bolivar, this gallery packs a lot of contemporary art into a small space. As a bonus, there is also a complete art supply store with everything available from the canvas right on through to the framing. The owner - Yorqui Llacxaguanga Ramírez - is a world-class artist in his own right and offers classes.

Open hours:
Monday through Friday:  9 am - 1 pm, and 2 pm - 7 pm
Saturday:  9 am - 1 pm
Sunday:  closed

Telephone:  +593 07 258-1326, or +593 098 772-1002

On Calle Quito between Bernardo Valdiviezo and Bolivar

PUBLIC GALLERY - Sala Ángel Rubén Garrido

GALLERY - Sala Ángel Rubén Garrido is the smaller of the two Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana (CCE) art galleries in Loja.  Together with its sister gallery, Sala Eduardo Kingman also on Valdivieso street (3 blocks south), the exhibition spaces carry out the cultural mission conceived by famous Lojano journalist and diplomat, Benjamín Carrión.

On the corner of Colón and Bernardo Valdivieso Streets, and named in honor of one of the most prolific and well known local artists of the 20th century, the Ángel Rubén Garrido gallery is a hotspot of frequently changing shows highlighting up and coming talent in Loja's visual arts.  The quality of the exhibits is due to the persistence of the gallery's current curator, Diego Villavicencio, who leaves no stone unturned in his quest to find the best new talent in and around the city. 

Sala Ángel RubénGarridoColón and Bernardo Valdivieso Streets, is open to the public 9 am to 1 pm, Monday to Friday.…

PUBLIC GALLERY - Sala Eduardo Kingman

GALLERY -  Sala Eduardo Kingman (Eduardo Kingman Public Art Gallery) is in the reception hall of the Pablo Palacio Auditorium in the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana or "CCE."  The complex comprises one of two downtown Benjamín Carrión Núcleo de Loja exhibition locations, the other is the Sala Ángel Rubén Garrido at Colón and Bernardo Valdivieso Streets. The Kingman Gallery is just north of the intersection of Bernardo Valdivieso and Rocafuerte Streets, on the west side of Valdivieso.  Diagonally across this intersection is the recently restored Bolivar theater which adjoins The Museo de la Musica, both of which host periodic public art exhibitions.  The gallery is open to the public 4 to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. 

The Kingman gallery is named for one of Ecuador's most famous modern artists, Eduardo Kingman Riofio.  Kingman was a social realist painter born in Loja who first came to international prominence when he and Camilo Egas decorated the Ecuadorian Pavilion at the 1939…

ART VENUE - Museo de la Música

ART VENUE - Museum - Museo de la Música. 

The Museo de la Música (Music Museum) of Loja is dedicated to the history of music in the region,  but offers up its open courtyard to host rotating art exhibits, generally changing each month.

The museum is the result of a consortium of entities in Loja working together since 2000 to restore the original site of the Bernardo Valdivieso (Colegio) High School: The National University of Loja, the current Bernardo Valdivieso School, The Casa de la Cultura (CCE), The Loja Symphony Orchestra, The Salvador Bustamente Celi Music Conservatory, and the "Edgar Palacios" and "Nature and Culture" foundations.   
The restored building complex housing the museum includes preserved buildings of the Casona Universitaria, Teatro Bolívar, and Antiguo Colegio Bernardo Valdivieso.  The museum is located on Valdivieso Street in the home of, and then school named for, Bernardo Valdivieso.  The prominent 19th century Lojano namesake of the street …

ART VENUE - La Casa de Manuel

ART VENUE - Boutique Hotel - La Casa de Manuel. 

It makes perfect sense that Loja, touted as the arts capital of Ecuador, would have an art hotel of its very own.  La Casa de Manuel's interior is very much what you would expect to see in the arts section of Toronto, or Chelsea in NYC, where some of the first art hotels came to life.  The small independent hotels around the world are decorated with works of contemporary artists, often with a different room devoted to each.  The edgiest of these is an art hotel in Palestine decorated by famously elusive graffiti artist Banksy.

La Casa de Manuel is a reclaimed antique building with a sweeping four story atrium.  The rooms are arrayed around the atrium perimeter, which is pleasantly filled with contemporary works of local artists, and a blend of old and new furnishings.  The interior is the work of local sculptor and designer, Bayardo Cuenca.

Periodically, the little hotel is a very nice venue for art high quality art exhibits.  The show…

ART VENUE - Alfredo Mora Reyes

ART VENUE - Municipal Cultural Center - Alfredo Mora Reyes

The Alfredo Mora Reyes Cultural Center is a re-purposed historic colonial building adjacent to the busy cultural and tourism hub of San Sebastian Square and market, and diagonally across the street from the Bolivar Street entrance to the Lourdes Street pedestrian mall.  

The public facility describes itself as “A space for the promotion and cultural dissemination of the city of Loja.”  The center is a meeting place for citizens, students, musicians and artists.  Art exhibits there are more often historical rather than contemporary, but worth checking out.  The center is best known for hosting a folk dance troupe monthly, and is an alternative concert venue for the city's two symphony orchestras. 

In August 2018, the center became the site of a major art exhibit, Desnudo.  The group show, curated by well known Loja sculptor and designer, Bayardo Cuenca, and sponsored by a local independent art collective El ZAÑE, featured o…

GALLERY - Madriguera Café - Art Shop.

GALLERY - Madriguera Café - Art Shop.  This delightful hybrid cafe - art shop - gallery is a beehive of activity located on Loja's historic Lourdes Street. Lourdes, a one-time tourist mecca, is transforming itself into an alternative arts and dining destination after converting to a pedestrian mall as part of the recent grand re-design and renovation of Loja's streets and sidewalks.

With his partners, Madriguera is overseen by energetic young printmaker and graphic designer, Luis Miguel Cisneros Galindo. The pocket-sized gallery and shop with coffee bar has a constant program of exhibitions, music, small theater, and classes, hosted by the best emerging artists, performers, and musicians in the city. Worth a visit. Luis will banter with you in English while disarming you with his infectious smile. 
Visit the gallery and gift shop on Lourdes Street between Bolivar and Sucre in Loja, Ecuador, or contact them at:
+593 098 786 4861…

GUIDE / FIXER - Jonathan Poma

Jonathan Poma is a young tourism entrepreneur in Loja. President, operator, and co-founder with Kevin Rohoden of Free Walks Loja Tours, Jonathan is also a fixer and private tour specialist for Southern Ecuador.  A graduate of Loja's National University with a Bachelor of TESOL and Tourism Management, and fluent in Spanish and English, Jonathan will guide you through the vibrant and growing visual arts scene in Loja.  His services include contacting artists; guiding visitors, art collectors and dealers; and providing live interpreting services in Spanish and English.  Jonathan can be reached 24/7 to answer your travel, tour, and accommodation questions for Loja and Southern Ecuador. 

Contact Jonathan at:
Free Walks Loja Blog

THE ACADEMY - Diego González Ojeda

Diego González Ojeda is a Profesor Investigator Artes Plásticas y Diseño (professor and researcher of visual arts and design) at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) - the Private Technical University of Loja (Loja's private Catholic university).  In addition to teaching painting and design, he has also created a unique multidisciplinary curriculum based on local pre-Columbian rock art petroglyphs.

Diego has a lengthy CV of qualifications and publications, including architecture, exhibition design, and historic restoration and preservation.  He also has many credits listed for solo and collaborative exhibits of his own art work.  Diego has a very well-developed web presence, and can converse in fluent Spanish, English, and French.

Contact Diego and view his art work and publications at:

PUBLIC GALLERY CURATOR - Diego Villavicencio

ARTIST, CURATOR - Diego Paúl Villavicencio Ordóñez

Administrador Salas de Exposición CCE LOJA for Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana Benjamín Carrión Núcleo de Loja, curates Loja's two national art galleries.  The small galleries, located on Bernardo Valdivieso Street, a main north-south corridor, are open alternatively in the morning and afternoon every weekday.  
The main gallery, named for internationally renowned Loja painter Eduardo Kingman, is located at the corner of Bernardo Valdivieso and Rocafuerte streets, and is open from 4 to 7 pm.  The second public gallery is named for Loja's most famous painter of religious and devotional art, Ángel Rubén Garrido.  This small but active gallery, located at Bernardo Valdivieso and and Colón Streets, is open to the public during working days from 9 am to 1 pm.

You will usually find Diego at the galleries during their open hours, or he is very reachable via the CCE's websites and social media.  Diego has organized a very ambitious pr…