Tuesday, April 17 will be the last day for the Malecon Sculpture Walking Tour for this season, which is the sixth year for this free tour. As has been the case every Tuesday morning at 9:30 since this season’s tours started on November 16th, no reservations are necessary and one must only show up at the Millennium sculpture next to Hotel Rosita at the north end of the Malecon.
The tour was created by and is guided by Galeria Pacifico owner, Gary Thompson, who has 33 years experience in the Puerto Vallarta art scene, and who knows personally many of the artists who created the sculptures on the tour. Chairs for the attendees are provided by Hotel Rosita and free handouts with information on the sculptures are made available by Sandra Cesca of Learn Vallarta, an organization providing private tours of Vallarta and consultations oriented towards those considering relocating here.
Other information sheets about the Huichol Indians and their artistic symbols that have been recreated with pebbles in the pavement of the new Malecon are provided by Kevin Simpson of the Peyote People and Colectika Galleries. He also walks along during the first half of the tour explaining each symbol encountered along the way.
Although the tour lasts around two hours in total, Thompson looks for opportunities for people to sit in the shade near each sculpture whenever possible. The tour ends at Galeria Pacifico's second floor location at Aldama 174, above the Caballito del Mar Gallery and the Casa del Habano cigar shop. Guests are given complimentary beverages and the opportunity to meet and talk to Jim Demetro, the artist who created the “Dancers of Vallarta” sculpture on the extension of the Malecon and the “Woman Washing Clothes” in front of the Molino de Agua Condominiums. Jim talks about his creations and also explains the lost wax method of casting artistic bronzes, the technique with which most of the sculptures on the tour were created.
Although the tour is free, a no pressure opportunity is given to make a donation to Vallarta’s Biblioteca Los Mangos public library, an institution receiving only a fraction of its funding from the government, and thus heavily dependent on donations and other fund raising efforts. A representative of the library is usually present at the end of the tour to explain the many services and activities provided for both children and adults. Donations generated by the Malecon Sculpture Tour raised over $2,400 US dollars for Biblioteca Los Mangos last season.
Source: Gary Thompson