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ARTBO WEEKEND takes Bogotá: the art route in Teusaquillo

Exposition at Artbo Weekend
Laura Buitrago

Laura Buitrago

As an architect in Bogotá, I have gradually discovered the wonders of this territory, through its history, its art, and its people. I want to share these experiences as a way of living in the city.

Another way of discovering Bogotá is by visiting new cultural districts of art which have appeared in order to display emerging contemporary art. This journey was made possible by the program called ARTBO WEEKEND that shows the principal spaces of the city in which these artworks are produced and exhibited. But what is most interesting about these places is the fact that they are transforming the neighborhood by opening up emerging galleries and also exhibiting ideas of the way the world expresses art nowadays.

First of all, it is important to mention what ARTBO WEEKEND is in order to understand the purpose of this program and to be clear why the weekend is written in capital letters. ARTBO WEEKEND is a free event in which people can visit 67 spaces of the city that consist of galleries, museums, cultural institutions, and self-managed spaces related to art. The special thing about this activity is that it is three days of the weekend: Friday, Saturday, Sunday (17 to 19 of May 2019), different from the principal art fair that takes place generally in the final months of the year and in which you must pay to access. Another thing about this WEEKEND is that they established five circuits in the city in which you can find not only artworks, but also talks and guided visits. The five routes were proposed according to different parts of Bogotá, constituted in this way: Historical Center, Macarena, Teusaquillo, Chapinero, and San Felipe. Taking into account this, I ( choose one of these itineraries in order to explore more about the galleries of art, in this case: Teusaquillo.

Art places in Teusaquillo: museum, galleries, and self-managed spaces

© Photograph by Laura Buitrago

The route proposed by ARTBO in Teusaquillo consisted of seven spaces that vary in terms of scale and management of the place. For example, there is one museum that belongs to the most important public university of Colombia, in which you can find an academic and knowledge compilation. The perception of art in this space is you confronted with an object that might be on the wall or in the room, with a little explanation posted, giving the freedom to understand a particular topic.

Nevertheless, there are other dynamics, such as the gallery, Neebex, where you can find a selection of pieces related to the personal reflection of each artist allowing you to know more about the Colombian art practices. Other spaces that have this similar dynamic is the gallery, Salón Comunal, and the self-managed spaces, Bitácora, Taller Trez, Nuevo Miami, and Maleza Proyectos. The difference is that there are not only art exhibitions, there is also the opportunity to meet with the artist or access multiple courses. For example, in Nuevo Miami, you can visit the artists’ studios and talk with them about their current works. Another chance is to take a course of sculpture or ceramics in Salón Comunal or learn how to print in woodcuts in Taller Trez. This shows that there are multiple ways to relate to art, either in an academic way or as a subjective experience, with the possibility of creating your own artworks.

Ceramic workshop at art gallery
© Photograph by Laura Buitrago

Art ideas that converge in Teusaquillo  

National University art exhibition
© Photograph by Laura Buitrago

The ARTBO WEEKEND is also an opportunity to discover what is happening in terms of ideas and conceptions around contemporary Colombian art. Even though the exhibitions at Teusaquillo are part of a short representation, I could observe similar reflections around particular topics. One of the principal elements that appeared in the galleries was the relation with landscape, in terms of the representation of natural elements and nature itself. For example, at the Art Museum of the National University of Colombia, you can find an exhibition that commemorates the birth of the German scientist, Alexander von Humboldt, who visited Colombia in the 19th century, where you could see the ways of representing nature at that time and also the actual legacy of photographing and recording landscape as a work art. Another point of view is the relationship that we have nowadays with nature in terms of preservation, which allows the artist to make a critical intervention. A sample of that is the work of the artists, Melissa Pareja and Sebastián Gil at Neebex gallery, in which both of them describe the relationship between the cities of Bogotá and Medellín with their rivers, through performance, videos, and paintings.

© Photograph by Laura Buitrago

On the other hand, there are interventions that talk about a globalized society, taking into account different perspectives. One of them is exhibited by the artist Juan Sebastián Peláez at gallery, Nuevo Miami, in which there are pieces of art that represent the differences that appear when two cultures confront each other, alluding to a change in the perception of reality based on stereotypes and exaggeration. Another example is the work of Marcela Zen, that was exposed at Salón Comunal gallery. She wanted to recover the links with the living beings lost in this contemporary society. For healing these bonds, she did prints on t-shirts of different elements that remind these sensible connections. As described above, here are some currents of thought of Bogotá art, which can be useful to perceive a different reality of the territory and link it with your perception of the city.

Location and transport

Finally, I want to share with you a map with the location of each of the spaces that were proposed by the ARTBO WEEKEND program. Also, you will find the information about the seven art places, in order to encourage you to visit them, and learn more about their programs and schedule. Regarding transportation, you can take Transmilenio to the National University station or Campín station, and walk to the different spaces, or take a SITP bus, Uber, taxi, or car, depending on the time you want to spend visiting this locality. Last but not least, I want to sum up by telling you that the purpose of this article is to give different alternatives in order to go around the city; in this particular case, a different route through Teusaquillo under the gaze of art and culture.

ARTBO WEEKEND map
© Photograph by Google Maps

1. Salón Comunal

2. Maleza Proyectos

3. Art Museum of the National University of Colombia

4. Nuevo Miami

5. Taller Trez

6. Bitácora

7. Neebex gallery

And lastly, I want to invite you to be part of this art program; it doesn’t matter if it’s over already, these galleries are still having art pieces that you can visit. Also, it is an opportunity to visit Teusaquillo and know more about this neighborhood and its transformation into an art district. Besides, remember that you can get yourself ready for next year and plan your route taking into account this experience!

Read our article about museums in Bogotá to know more about art in the city, and Nueva Cinemateca: the new home for film lovers in Bogotá for other cultural plans.

If you are interested in knowing more about Bogotá, continue exploring the website. You will find multiple articles in which you can comment and share with your friends. For Colture updates, follow us on social media!

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