By Ellen Zoe Golden Photo by Soledad Bartolelli
In nature, there is a blue line created at the juncture of the sky with the ocean.
On June 16-18, another type of Blue Line snaked its way through Tamarindo, from the Garden Plaza to the Barcelo Langosta.
Participants in the first-ever Tamarindo Art Wave followed a map marked blue to see many of the 77 artists, both national and international, who were working or exhibiting in 41 businesses around town.
They came from Belgium, France, United States, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Argentina, and, of course, Costa Rica, to answer the siren call of curator Emmanuel Javogue, the man in charge of selecting participants.
With 27 years in the art business, curating larger shows and events around the world including those in San Jose, Belize and Shanghai, this Frenchmen and Tamarindo Arts Foundation president Greit Depypere, and a group of locals worked diligently on the Tamarindo Art Wave for 6 months.
By all accounts, Tamarindo Art Wave was a success. Even Santa Cruz Mayor María Rosa López said so. On the opening day, at the inauguration at the main gallery on the bottom floor of the Pacific Park condominiums, López joined members of the community and many of the participating artists in kicking off the three-day event.
“This is excellent,” Lopez proclaimed. “It’s a way to promote art in Tamarindo and bring young people to art. Arts shows them a way not to get into drugs and alcohol. From the point of view of the Municipality, we support these kind of activities and I want to continue with not just this one, but more.”
At the opening, Victoire Cathalan, who came to the event from Switzerland, had two prints and a painting on display, and later she was scheduled to paint at Hotel Cala Luna. In order to bring her art she rolled the canvases, and carried them on the airplane in a ski bag. All arrived in good condition and as Depypere and Javogue welcomed everyone to the kickoff, the work proudly hung behind them.
A second exhibition of other artists opened in the condominiums’ penthouse, displaying glass art, ceramics and a little more decorative art than shown below. Next door on a wall at Indigo Home Furnishings, Hollie Heller used individual pieces to create an artistic whole.
The physical Blue Line of the Tamarindo Art Wave was marked by various pieces of wood painted by children from 10 area schools.
There’s a lot of blue in the Guanacaste woodwork of Muriel Haerens that was seen on display at Pangas. A local gal transplanted from Belgium, she takes indigenous wood and tops it with a variety of glossy colors which is functional as seats and tables and wall decoration. There was also some of her pieces in La Galeria as well as the official Tamarindo Art Wave gallery at Pacific Park.
At the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, Adrián Gómez—arguably the most well-known Tico artist—created his trademark Caribbean-style painting on the stairway wall leading up to Crazy Monkey Restaurant.
He worked fast, in the soaring heat with many spectators. Gomez spent the better part of the event showing his renowned paintings at the Barceló Langosta.
Even more people attented that exhibition because they knew or heard of him. “He talked to a lot of people,” recalled Javogue.
“He was very open and kind. Even though he was the most famous artist we had, he was the most accessible.” At El Coconut Restaurant, owner Anne Katherine Hjelset set the scene: “I actually am very blessed with 3 artists and an information kiosk (for the festival).
Michael Picado is painting my back wall. Luis Paredes is responsible for the 3D inthe patio and Alejandra Fournier has a workshop with woodcarving and prints. I am in admiration towards those that had this idea and brought it to life. I am very content with my outcome and so far everybody that has been in are enchanted!”
Friday and Saturday ReMax Ocean Surf & Sun hosted cocktail parties with live music from multi-instrumentalist Mr. Feelgood (Gregory Furet) to feature the work of wire sculptor Cynthia Sáenz, paintings from Darío Posada and photographs of Rebecca Setareh.
According to co-owner Courtney Borquet Tamarindo Art Wave is “fantastic” and an opportunity to share a little culture with her two children.
She took her 9-year-old, Kalani on the Blue Line tour, which operated with shuttles between all the artists’ sites. They hit 25 locations, and Kalani said “It was the best night of my life.” Saenz’s passion for horses extended to the life-size wire versions featured around town, including the ones on the sand in front of Langosta Beach Club and Noguis.
“When looking at a horse I get feelings of peace, satisfaction, curiosity, secrecy,” she explained. “I ask, ‘what does that animal have that dominates my senses?”