Third annual Ch.ACO brings art from around the world to Chile

The country’s premier contemporary art event will feature works from 35 galleries in 10 different countries, along with a mini-exhibit of art from the Pacific Rim.

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September is shaping up as a big month for art lovers in Santiago. Less than a week after the highly anticipated Degas sculpture exhibition went on display at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the third annual Contemporary Chilean Art (Ch.ACO) show has launched a few blocks away at Estación Mapocho.

Featuring more than 400 works from 35 galleries in 10 different countries, the fair will give tourists and locals the chance to take part in a world class art experience in Santiago.

An impressive line-up of leading international art experts will make the trip to Chile to take part in the event including Iria Candela from the Tate Modern Museum in London, and Alma Ruiz from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MoCA).

In the past three years, Ch.ACO has cemented its place as the primary visual art event in Chile, with 25,000 visitors at the first show in 2009 and 40,000 in 2010. This year’s event coincides with the artRIO and Bienal de Mercosur art fairs in Brazil and organizers expect that international collectors and curators visiting South America for these events will help boost attendance for Ch.ACO 2011 to 50,000.

“International art fairs are the main links that hold the art world together, providing a platform for circulating, distributing and marketing art work and helping to internationalize local art,” said the event’s director, Irene Abujatum.

“The foreign collectors who come to Ch.ACO meet Chilean artists, they buy their works for their collections and then they exhibit them throughout the world, allowing the work of these artists to circulate internationally.”

After catching the attention of respected Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa at last year’s Ch.ACO, works from Chilean artists Voluspa Jarpa and Camilo Yáñez are currently on display in Istanbul, Turkey, Abujatam said.

In a bid to foster discussion and further analysis about contemporary art, this year’s Ch.ACO will feature a series of Project Rooms comparing and contrasting contemporary art produced in countries around the Pacific Rim. Put together by Chilean curator Gonzalo Pedraza and Úrsula Dávila-Villa from Mexico’s The Blanton Museum, the displays in the Project Rooms feature art from Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, the United States and Taiwan.

The third annual Ch.ACO runs until September 13 at the Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho. General admission is CLP5,000 (US$11) while seven-day passes can be bought for CLP15,000 (US$32). A one-day ticket for students and senior citizens costs CLP2,500 (US$5) and they can pick up seven-day passes for CLP8,000 (US$17). Tickets are available from Feria Ticket.

For more information, visit the Ch.ACO website (in Spanish).