By Kendall Clark, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL- The bohemian haven of Santa Teresa will welcome thousands of art enthusiasts and spectators to its 24th edition of “Arte de Portas Abertas” (Open Door Art) starting on Saturday, September 13th and continuing until Sunday the 14th. Studios, workshops and cultural spaces will be full of original works of arts from various disciplines including photography, paintings, ceramics, sculptures, installations and much more.
The anticipated annual gathering will continue to uphold its tradition by hosting 64 diverse international and local artists with displays in 28 ateliers, fourteen cultural centers and several neighborhood stores, restaurants and art spaces.
Rio will be illuminated with art throughout the entirety of the weekend in several areas of the city including the annual ArtRio on Pier Mauá in Centro. The Arte de Portas Abertas festival is scheduled a bit later than usual due to the World Cup in July and the renovation of the bondinho, local cable car.
Yet this weekend Santa Teresa, where clamor and chaos cease to exist in the cobblestone hills, will be humming with an estimated 30,000 visitors conversing with artists regarding the pieces, but also about the creative processes, inspirations for the works and the evolution of the well-respected event.
JVicttor, a participating artist, explains to The Rio Times, “There is a wide variety of artists, including photographers, ceramists, painters, sculptors, engravers, graffiti artists, designers, artisans and street performers, some of them internationally known. [It is an opportunity to] visit their studios and learn a little of their work process brings good surprises, especially if you can chat with them.”
Arte de Portas Abertas is be all accounts a special event in the Marvelous City and one of the most popular on the city’s cultural calendar. What sets the event apart from other cultural gatherings of its kind is that the art is paired alongside the original artist.
The goal of the event is not only to attract people and inspire through visual art but also to bridge the divide between creator and admirer. “It is a highly anticipated event for both the artists, who can show their original pieces and the visitors, who can spend the afternoon roaming the art filled streets,” JVicttor adds.
The Arte de Portas Abertas project began in 1996 when the neighborhood of Santa Teresa was still considered relatively dangerous due to social problems like violence that then afflicted the area for decades.
The launching of the project was realized by local residents and artists who sought to revitalize their neighborhood by “opening the communities doors” during a time when most people advised against it.
Chave Mestro, the Association of Visual Artists in Santa Teresa, is a community of artists and residents whose main objective is “to unite ideas and actions to improve the activities of visual artists in the neighborhood.” The association has been supporting Arte de Portas since 2003.
Currently, Santa Teresa is widely recognized as a hub of culture and art in the city. Coupled with the on-going success of the annual Arte de Portas Abertas, the occasion has surpassed its goal to revitalize the area where doors are open all year for curious visitors and like-minded artists.
Guests are advised to make their way up the hill and follow the path marked by the traditional yellow flags to art venues sponsored by the event. The event starts on Saturday, September 13th and runs through Sunday the 14th from 11AM to 6PM, is free and a map can be found on the event web site.