Whether you are an art connoisseur or just like checking out what local artists have created, Medellin has a thriving art scene not to be missed.
Respect the Artist, Not the Medium
Starting at street level, Medellin has a huge array of what is normally considered graffiti, but in this city, this artwork is well-respected. Having been built into an abundance of hillsides, Medellin is a city of retaining walls and buildings with vast expanses of exposed outer walls. Many of these have become canvases that portray stories about the city’s past, most notably when the area was ruled by drugs and the gangs that sold them. Larger than life portraits, embellished in bright colors, some highly artistic, others more novice in appearance, they are all colorful monuments to the city, woven within buildings, streets, and alleys. Many are visible from several different places, providing the observer with a changing sense of perspective and interpretation when seen from a different vantage point. To see a good sampling, it is suggested that visitors to the area check out “Street art in Medellin, Colombia – in pictures,” a pictorial example of street art in Comuna 13, once one of Medellin’s most notorious neighborhoods.
More Traditional Vibes
Still on the upswing from its heyday as a crime haven, Medellin has been working hard to revitalize its economy and reputation. Working towards this goal, there has been a surge in tourism and, with that, a steady growth in art galleries and museums. Medellin has a good selection of galleries providing smaller installations of local artists. However, at the other end of the spectrum are two traditional museums hosting galleries of artists who are becoming more famous each year.
Medellín Museo de Arte Moderno (MMAM), a repurposed steel factory said to be “rapidly gentrifying Ciudad del Rio neighborhood” is the first not to be missed. In a 2016 Travel + Leisure interview, chief curator Amiliano Valdes, discusses the growth of the MMAM, relating that the museum’s collection of mostly Columbian artists would be on permanent display with the new building extension that had recently been completed. Featured at MMAM is the extensive collection of Debora Orango, a late feminist painter that used themes of social commentary along with confrontational depictions in her work.
Besides permanent installations, the museum also has a state-of-the-art film and music theatre, allowing the hosting of more varied types of art.
Second is Medellin’s Museo de Antioquia with the notable collection of abstract artist Fernando Botero, best recognized for his signature stylizing of rounded, “fat” people – also called boterismo. On display at the museum are 168 pieces of work by Botero in mixed media, both in the galleries and on the plaza in front, aptly named Plaza de Botero.
In the Eye of the Beholder
Regardless of personal taste, anyone who loves, appreciates, or is just curious about different styles of art will find plenty to see and discuss in the artwork on display in and around the city of Medellin.
Posted live on GoToMedellin.com
When looking to travel or live in another country, considerations for a senior's destination include the safety of an area, healthcare availability, easy access to transportation, and an abundance of entertainment.
Recently, Medellin, Colombia has been a location frequently recommended to seniors and others looking for someplace different. But, with its shaky past as a high-crime drug capital, one has to ask why.
As it turns out, the past 20 years have brought about a remarkable change for Medellin and the surrounding area. Great efforts have been made to transform the area, shed the bad reputation, and stimulate growth of all types. These changes have led to an upsurge of business development plus improvements in infrastructure, technology, healthcare, social amenities and more.
Of particular interest to foreigners is El Poblado, an upscale neighborhood located at the eastern side of the Aburra Valley and in close proximity to El Centro, Medellin’s city center. This area is best described as being more developed than others, making it more appealing to boomers while staying in the region. According to Medellin Living, “It is essentially a wealthy suburb that offers Medellin’s elite a western lifestyle with all the creature comforts money can buy.”
Safety measures have been stepped up in El Poblado. The neighborhood has an increased police presence, allowing visitors and residents added comfort and security when going about their activities, both day and night.
There are several medical clinics located right in El Poblado providing services from general medical care right on up to plastic surgery and, according to International Living and the World Health Organization (WHO), Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe in nearby Medellin is higher ranked than comparable facilities in the United States and Canada.
Getting around Medellin and El Poblado is easy for seniors with transportation options that include access to taxis, bus service, the metro, and even Uber.
As the most well-to-do neighborhood of Medellin, El Poblado’s tree-lined streets are dotted with modern high-rise buildings offering mostly luxury apartments. High-end shopping can be found in several malls and many small boutiques. Restaurants and bars are plentiful and the nearby Zona Rosa features several nightclubs with a hip and vibrant nighttime scene.
For seniors interested in adventurous activities in and around the area there is much to consider. There are numerous parks with hiking paths, streams, and even ocean views to entice those who want to explore nature. Laguna de Guatape, provided by Tours Guatape, is a day trip takes participants up 650 steep steps up a rock to provide spectacular views of the coast and its surrounds.
Not to be missed is the chance to see an Atlético Nacional football (soccer to Americans) game – considered an electrifying experience even for those who don’t like the sport of soccer.
Other more adventurous activities in the area include horseback riding, parasailing, a cable car excursion, ziplining – the list goes on and on.
The El Poblado and the city of Medellin have each made a strong comeback and travel to the area should be high on anyone’s bucket list of places that provide a safe, comfortable travel experience with an abundance of things to do for all involved.
Original article on GoToMedellin.com
Planning on getting away this summer? Need to get a fix of a time and place reminiscent of days from your childhood? Want to introduce your kids to a style of living and a time when things were simpler and definitely more cozy? Then maybe you should look into taking a trip back in time at a mid-century motel.
Yes, there are plenty of them still out there. In this article, originally posted on Curbed Los Angeles, author Jenna Chandler features a series of motels in California and Nevada that were featured on old postcards and goes into the details of each location.
“In the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, wholesome American families embarking on road trip vacations actually wanted to stay in motels. They weren’t just affordable and convenient—they were in fashion. They were modern and homey and optimistic, even futuristic, in their design, with dramatic angles, colorful interiors, and oversized neon signs. Sometimes, there was even a touch of fantasy.
‘For some travelers, the motel experience was the closest they might have to visiting the Hawaiian Islands… or a trip to the moon! Not everyone could afford a trip to Hawaii, but many could afford to stay at the Polynesian-themed Waikiki Motel.'”
Original blog post on ThatVintageSite.com
I'm April Bailey, a freelance writer and editor for hire who has been writing about various topics for many years. Most of my early print work was destroyed in a major house fire. Luckily, I was able to pull some copies from an old PC and have posted them here. Other items on this blog reflect my current articles and blog posts written for online publications and copied here so I never lose my work again!