Yesterday, a crowd of visitors to the Vallarta Botanical Garden, including tourists from all over the world, attended the inauguration of the final installation of the popular exhibition, “Aves y Sus Hábitats” (Birds and Their Habitats). Some of the most spectacular bird species to be found in and around Puerto Vallarta are showcased and interpreted through artwork including photos, paintings and sculpture.
The range in scale and focus of the art reflects both the tremendous diversity of Western Mexico’s avifauna (with several hundreds of species documented to make this their native range) and the beautiful diversity of participating artists. Czech-Mexican nature photographer Petr Myska, for example, has contributed enormous prints of native parrots to the exhibit. The larger-than-life scale of these pieces and their impressively bold colors command attention even from the first glance from afar. Other works of art in the exhibit are so tiny and intricate that they require close up inspection to appreciate fully. “Nidation,” the nest sculptures of Canadian artist Monique Martin, are fine examples with their miniature scale and fine precision that demand an immediate respect for the meticulous and disciplined work of their creator. These pieces reflect her obvious passionate attentiveness to the natural world. Textures are also an essential element of the exhibit and are masterfully attended to in the piece “Carpinteros” (Carpenters) by Sinaloan artist Antonio Velázquez, better know locally by his artistic name “Abdallahy.” His plastified painting technique brings such depth and dimension to the eye that one forgets they are applied to a two dimensional canvas.
The Vallarta Botanical Garden itself is a living work of art with flowering plants as its paint and the landscape as its canvas. To enjoy nature-inspired art within such an environment is a very special treat. Even the display stands crafted with colorful green and yellow bamboo surfaces bring the focus back to nature and the magnificence of our living world. As summed up by Iranian-Mexican artist Mansur Kiadeh, “The bamboo is beautiful. I want to touch it. Not only is this an art exhibition—the exhibit itself is a work of art.”
Susana Mendoza Carreño, the director of the radio station for the University of Guadalajara’s “Centro Universitario de la Costa,” joined the Vallarta Botanical Garden’s Executive Director Neil Gerlowski and attending artists in the exhibit introduction and ribbon cutting. Other special guests included officers and members of the Puerto Vallarta Garden Club, Pilar Pérez, curator of Puerto Vallarta’s “Oficina de Proyectos Culturales” (Cultural Projects Office), and film producer Niki Bhattacharya.
The exhibition “Aves y Sus Hábitats” (Birds and Their Habitats) is on display at the Vallarta Botanical Garden until the end of December. Access to the exhibition is included with Garden entry of only $150 pesos per person. The Garden is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily until the end of March. Each Thursday is a special “Early Bird” opening at 8 am to observe in the morning when they are most active and the forests are filled with their lovely songs. The exhibition “Aves y Sus Hábitats” (Birds and Their Habitats) is a collaborative project between the Vallarta Botanical Garden, the Peter Gray Art Museum of the University of Guadalajara’s “Centro Universitario de la Costa” and the Galerías Vallarta Shopping Mall.