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On the roads in Costa Rica, you never know what you'll run into,

sometimes too literally.

art in costa rica

This artist on a Thursday morning presented an entertaining addition to the wide assortment of obstructions usually encountered in El Torito, the village between Casa Mango and Casa Papaya and the beach at Playa Carrillo.  One truck driver told me you have to watch for chickens, dogs, and grandmothers there.  I hope this gentleman survived the day - his painting looked very nice.

I have been amazed, since moving to Costa Rica, how many truly creative and artistic people live here.  Although I worked as an architect for 26 years, I didn’t consider myself artistic.  Creative? Sure.  But artistic?  Never.  I swear, I’m the only architect in history who never learned to draw, not really.  And I’m not used to being around artistic people.  My close friends up north were more literate than artistic, more likely to attend a writers’ workshop than a gallery opening, unless there was food and drink involved.

Even so, I’ve always had a weakness for glass.  I loved spending an afternoon in the Hot Shop at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass.  Watching a gifted glass blower create something gorgeous out of a molten bit of sand is nothing less than alchemy.  But I could see that learning to blow glass would require years of practice and bundles of money.  Glass fusing, the process of heating bits of colored glass in a kiln until it fuses into a single sheet and then forming that sheet into a shape, looked like something I could do.  I took a few classes in Seattle but, while I was still working 50 hours a week, I didn’t have time to do much of it.  I only started fusing glass in earnest after settling here in Samara.  Now that I’ve been exploring the medium for 5 years, I think I’ve found my voice.  I’m feeling artistic and I’m anxious to show off at the upcoming Samara Art Fair.

by Maria Fernanda Galvez

December 10 is an opportunity to see a broad spectrum of art and creativity in Samara, from both expats and Ticos.  The only rule for showing is that the art must be made in Costa Rica.  I’ve seen some of the work that people around here do and it’s fabulous.   I think living in Costa Rica inspires creativity.  The landscape is gorgeous and so different from where most of us have come.  I also think there’s a certain type of person who chooses to live here, a bit of a risk taker who is willing to trade home and country for a new life.  And most of us have the gift of time.  We’ve said goodbye to 8-5 workdays in favor of walks on the beach.  Or maybe it’s something in water.  But there is some really cool stuff being made here and if you come by the Natural Center Gym and Spa on Saturday 10 December between 9 and 2, you’ll see some fine art.