by Marilyn Helgeson
Presenting the world-class artists of northern Baja at Art Basel, the world’s premier international art show for Modern and contemporary works, is the stated five-year goal of Benito de Aquila and Claudia Matamoros, organizers of “Arte en el Valle” happening on August 23rd and 24th .
In order for northern Baja to be recognized as a world-class art center, Benito de Aquila, famed locally for his role in the highly successful annual Rosarito Arts Fest, knows that there is an education process which needs to take place. There needs to be a new story told about how the artists see themselves and how we, their supporters, see them. Benito and Claudia have ideas as to how the arts community, and those of us who want to support them, can move forward with all benefiting.
As gallery owners themselves, Benito and Claudia have participated in these events and they have learned the lesson. Now their golden rule is not to take part in any event where art is not the main theme. This is one of the reasons why Rosarito Art Fest was visioned into being five years ago; the artists and gallery owners knew that they needed to take an active role in supporting their work. Focusing on only the artists and their work is why more than 100 artists and 14,000 visitors were at this year’s Rosarito Art Fest ~ artists were the main attraction. The artists come because they know that the event is organized for them, and that it does a magnificent job of showcasing the artists and attracting people who appreciate and buy their art. There wouldn’t be more than 100 artists at Rosarito Art Fest if wasn’t choreographed by people who recognize the needs of both the artists and of their patrons.
This is the history behind this next event, Arte en el Valle, coming up on August 23rd and 24th. The location is the Museo de la Vid y el Vino, the Museum of the Vine and the Wine. The Museum is the new showplace of the Valle de Guadalupe, and is located at Carretera Federal Tecate–Ensenada Km 81.33
Arte en el Valle will showcase the works of around 40 well selected artists from Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada including many well-known masters, such as sculptors Aida Valencia (Tijuana), Alfonso Arambula (Ensenada), marine watercolorist Scott Kennedy (Ensenada), famous horse painter María Evangelina (Tijuana), and great master Alvaro Blancarte (Tecate) who this year had a solo exhibit at Cubo Gallery of Tijuana’s Cultural Center. Exciting emerging artists will also take part in this great event including Victor Sandoval, Ligia Santillan and Gonzalo Lara.
If we are going to get to say that we recognized their talent before they were well-known on the world stage, this is our chance to show support. There is no entry fee for the event. While it’s the art that will be front and center, there will also be entertainment, food and an abundance of the fruit of the vine. Please come and support. You will not only be on the Ruta de la Vino; you will be part of moving our artists forward on the road to Art Basel.
For more information, visit the Facebook pages: Arte en el Valle, and Museo de la Vid y el Vino or email Benito and Claudia at Arteenelvalle@gmail.com.