Visitors to Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit this festive season will have the chance to see some impressive contemporary art. That’s thanks to a pop-up art gallery at the AAA Five Diamond property. It’s the first in an annual series designed to showcase the country’s high-profile artists.
The Grand Velas exhibit features Huichol-inspired works by Juan Barba and Martha Collignon. The Huichol are the indigenous people who live in the Sierra Madre Occidental range in several Mexican states, including Nayarit and Jalisco. Also known as Wirrárika, they’re quite renowned for their handicrafts. Their delicate beading, yarn paintings and embroidery are in demand as collectables.
The Barba and Collignon works in the Grand Velas exhibit draw upon Huichol influences in large format textiles, sculpture and jewelry.
“We are very excited to be partnering with such phenomenal Mexican artists for this event. We aim to provide our guests with a luxurious experience boasting an authentic Mexican flair. Our Frida menu deliciously showcases authentic Mexican cuisine, and the architecture of the resort adds to the Mexican-influenced ambiance. We wanted to expand upon these cultural highlights and include the pop-up art gallery as a unique offering that guests can not only interact with while they are here, but also take home with them if they choose so,” Ignacio Mendoza, general manager of Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, tells Travel Agent.
The boutique at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit will offer original artworks for sale through January 8, 2016.
In Mexico City, museum and gallery hopping is an art form in and of itself. It’s become a specialized niche for long-time Mexico expert Ben Gritzewsky. A senior travel advisor with FROSCH in Houston, Gritzewsky now lives full time in Mexico.
“For the past year and a half, I’ve been taking small groups of art patrons to Mexico City. We meet the artists and do private gallery visits. The demand is increasing all the time. Mexico City keeps getting good publicity and good press. There are so many new restaurants, the hotels are fantastic and the dollar is so strong. It’s shocking to me that there aren’t more Americans there,” Gritzewsky tells Travel Agent.
Contemporary art isn’t the only topic Gritzewsky’s clients are interested in. He’s planning an upcoming trip through the Yucatan featuring lectures, archaeologists and visits to Mayan villages.
Mexico, he said, “has enough business for everybody,” and he offers this advice to fellow agents.
“Keep in mind that Mexico is a big country, but the distances aren’t as great as the are in the U.S. The country is widest at the U.S. border, but it tapers down and becomes narrow. Flying across the country isn’t prohibitive in time or money,” he said.
Gritzewsky notes that living in Mexico has given him added confidence in his recommendations. He also relishes the chance to explore on his own.
“I recently discovered a market that had murals by Diego Rivera. There are hidden gems everywhere. You don’t need to go that far off the beaten path,” he said.
Even if clients are interested only in top beach destinations, it’s important to add some dimension to the trip.
“Cancun is the Las Vegas of the Caribbean. There’s a reason why it’s so popular. It’s built up. The airport is great and so are the beaches. But it’s also close to some interesting places, such as Valladolid. It may not be far, but it’s a world away,” said Gritzewsky.