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Rio´s revitalized artistic neighbourhood pulls in crowds
The first weekend in September saw thousands of people flocking to the port-side Gamboa neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro for ArtRio 2013. The art fair featured works from over 100,000 galleries from around the world. Last year´s event pulled in 120,000 to the old revitalized port hangers which will house the works.
It´s the latest event to be held in the revitalized port area of Rio de Janeiro is quickly developing a reputation as an artistic hang out. The walls of the old abandoned transport companies opposite ArtRio have long been used by street artists and it comes as no surprise that a parallel event Art Rua, was held nearby. 55 panels of graffiti were displayed as well as palestras and music shows.
Nearby Morro de Conceição with its colourful small colonial houses has a long history of art. Being traditionally a ´cheaper´ area of Rio many artists have their studio´s here. These can now be visited as part of a tourist trail. The area is also playing host to new cafes, bars and bohemian nightlife such as the weekly samba sessions at Pedra do Sal.
The crowning glory of the new revitalized area however is MAR, or the Museum of Art Of Rio. The multi-million dollar art museum, which opened in March 2013, marks the entrance to the neighbourhood. It’s a stunning building, an eclectic old mansion house, once belonging to Emperor Dom Joao V1 of Brazil, and an old bus station. Both are joined and topped by an undulating white roof by architect Bernardo Jacobson. The museum draws people from around the world and the local community who are able to visit for free. Who knows, as the neighbourhood grows, they may just carry on the areas artistic tradition.
Art Rio took place from the 5-8th September 2013.
Photo: © Helen Clegg