Fine art takes to streets in Chile’s capital

Persa Bio Bío, the most popular flea market in Santiago, will host hundreds of Chile’s finest new works of art this weekend.  

With venerable institutions like Museo Bellas Artes and cutting edge art centers like Centro Gabriela Mistral – not to mention a plethora of galleries and smaller venues – there’s no shortage of space for artists in Chile’s capital.
But an exhibition this weekend hopes to take some of the country’s finest fine artists out of those galleries and into the street – or more precisely, into the Persa Bio Bío flea market.
“There are so many ways of exhibiting art. Museum and gallery displays can be so distant and cold,” event organizer, Carmen Momberg, told The Santiago Times. “I felt that this location would facilitate a more intimate relationship with the artwork.”
And as far as locations in Santiago go, they don’t get more intimate than Persa Bio Bío, famed for its unique blend of thrift and antique stores, black market stalls, picadas (cheap eateries) and dingy bars.
“In Persa, there is the possibility to attract all sorts of people,” participating artist Paula Dünner told the Santiago Times. “There’s a different social spirit out on the periphery; it is more relaxed with a greater community atmosphere.”
Dünner will be one of 30 of Chile’s most prominent modern artists to exhibit in the Verano del Arte 2012 this weekend, January 28 and 29.
The exhibition is the latest brainchild of Factoría del Arte Santa Rosa, an innovative venue that opened in 2010 with the aim of making art more accessible to everyday Chileans, by holding free exhibitions in the heart of this popular weekend market.
Not only will visitors get the unique opportunity to interact with the artists and experience the color of this historic neighborhood, they will also get the chance to take home a piece of the exhibition for an affordable amount, with the photographs, sculptures, paintings and prints on display priced between US$70 to $600 (CLP35,000 to 300,000) – a outright steal for the quality of the art.
And if you’re a visitor to Chile, this might be just the thing to complement the country’s more traditional outdoor and gastronomical experiences.
“Chile is not just about food, wine and mountains,” Momberg said. “We want people to look beyond the main museums and street artists. Chile has so much more to offer.”
The exhibition will run from 11 am until 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday, on 2260 Avenida Santa Rosa. Entrance is free.