Sculptures of #PuertoVallarta

One of the highlights of the Malecón is the bronze sculptures located along this Oceanside boardwalk. The Bay of Banderas provides a brilliant backdrop for these works of art. The sculptures are the creation of various sculptors from across the globe. Though these sculptures appear impenetrable to the elements, a few pieces fell victim the whim of Hurricane Kenna in October 2002, but have been restored to their pre-hurricane magnificence.

For the purpose of this article we will start our tour from Hotel Rosita

The first sculpture you will find is located in front of Hotel Rosita. It is entitled "The Millenium" and was created by sculptor Mathis Lídice. It was dedicated November 2001 and symbolizes the passage of time through the millenniums. The lower portion suggests the millennium before Christ, linked by life that evolved from the sea with different symbols of Christ appearing farther up. The fist millennium is represented by Charlemagne; the Aztec king Nezahualcoyoti evoke the second millennium and finally the third millennium is symbolized by a woman holding a dove.

The two couples enjoying the view of the city is aptly entitled "La Nostalgia," inspired by the romance between the artist Ramiz Barquet and his wife. This is the same spot where the couple came to enjoy the beautiful sunsets of Puerto Vallarta. The sculpture has been enjoying the magnificent Puerto Vallarta sunsets since 1984. Barquet was born and raised in Mexico City and later studied in Montreal, Canada. He first began his career working with wood, stone and marble until he discovered his now favored material, bronze. Barquet is the most prolific contributor of public art in Puerto Vallarta, his adopted home.

The Sutil Comepiedras; by the sculptor, Jonas Gutierrez, this is an interesting piece. Standing at a height of about 7.8 feet (2.4 meters) and the combination of materials such as bronze and obsidian, give substance and depth to this original sculpture.

Next sculpture you will encounter is "Naturaleza como Madre", Nature as Mother, buy sculptor Tapatio Adrian Reynoso. The work depicts a spiraling wave on a snail and represents the cycle of life and death.

The whimsical sea inspired high back chairs are the work of Guadalajara native Alejandro Colunga. This installation made its debut on the Malecón in 1997. One chair is crowned by an octopus and another by what may be a seahorse. One of the original chairs surrendered to the forces of Hurricane Kenna and was replaced with a stunning replacement that appropriately pays homage to the strength of the sea. Colungna studied various subjects in the university, but he is a self-taught artist.
You will often see performance artists in the area and the public enjoying the mystical seating created by "La Rotunda del Mar." Besides the Malecón you can find Colunga's work throughout Mexico, the US, Europe and South America.

At first glance the next work is simply a ladder covered with tourists. After closer inspection you will notice it is a ladder with two bronze children climbing up it with a figure, presumed to be their mother, calling to them from the ground. The sculpture appeared in 1990 and generated much controversy. It was created by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante entitled "In Search of Reason".

Rafel Zamarripa's "Caballeo del Mar" ("The Seahorse") has become the calling card of Puerto Vallarta. It is a 9' high bronze statue featuring a naked boy riding this larger than life sea creature. The sculpture is found in front of No Name Café, voted the home of "the best ribs in Puerto Vallarta" by the according to widely published press. If you need to take a rest after your stroll down the Malecón the No Name Café is a great choice, not only for the ribs, but because it is air conditioned. The original seahorse sculpture was located at the end of Los Muertos beach, but ended up in the bay after Hurricane Kenna. Zamarripa was commissioned to create the replica you see now.

Italian artist Carlos Esprino is the sculptor behind "Triton and Nereida", two mermaid lovers forever reaching for each other. The sculpture took its place on the Malecón in 1990. Originally Triton was to hold a trident in his hand, but to this day its location is a mystery. Triton is the son of Neptune. His partner, Nereida, is the daughter of Doris and Nereo. You can find more of Espinos work throughout Mexico and abroad; he has created pieces of various sizes, from table top displays to grand statues.
"The Friendship Fountain", the only fountain on the Malecón, was created by California sculptor James "Bud" Bottoms. It was a gift to Puerto Vallarta in 1987 from Santa Barbara, our sister city. The three dolphins represent the two cities and the friendship that unites them. One dolphin looks toward the city, one towards the sea, and one toward the sky. Bottoms has created similar fountains that can be found in Santa Barbara, Japan and Russia. The sculptor feels a deep empathy with the creatures of the sea and believes that we can learn from dolphins and whales that live joyously and harmoniously within their environment.
After the fountain you can make your way to the recently restored "Aquiles Serdán Ampitheatre", also know as "Los Arcos". If you find yourself here at night you will likely see some variety of public performance: the municipal band, folkloric dancers and even clowns. Local vendors have anything you need to quench your thirst or your sweet tooth during the performances.

The 14th of January, 2011 was when the most recent sculpture was installed ("The Good Fortune Unicorn")Artist, Anibal Riebeling created this piece in bronze and wax. The intention is that this piece brings good luck for locals and visitors.

So there is quite a collection of beautiful public artwork along this boardwalk walkway, untouched by spray paint, as you can see in the photos below. In fact, the amount of top-notch art on public display makes the town outstanding among tourist destinations in Mexico. During the day and into the early evening one can also find local artists painting and displaying their watercolors for sale.

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