CEART is the center of cultural entertainment in Ensenada. Located on Blvd Lazaro Cardenas (or Costero) at Ave Club Rotario, next door to what once was the Hotel Casino Riviera, (and is now a beautiful history museum), it offers a rotating visual art exhibition, as well as musical events, art classes and seminars, and even stargazing. It is truly a celebration of life in Mexico, and the best advice to someone unfamiliar with this cultural gem is to expect the unexpected!
The art center is sponsored by the state government’s Instituto de Cultura de Baja California. Most of its exhibits are open and free to the public.
The current show in the main exhibition hall is an exquisite and heartwarming collection of multimedia works by Alejandra Phelts of Mexicali. Her talent is well represented by original paintings, photographs and objects of art, (arte objeto), plus a mesmerizing video revealing the artist at work in the many facets of her creativity. The objects in the show, which are mostly fashioned from fabric, are delightfully original and thought provoking.
For example, one table offers a sumptuous array of pastries fashioned from fabric that look good enough to eat! Other fabric creations include a carton of eggs and a tea service that appear to be the real things.
CEART prints a program of events and exhibits for each month of the year. Sometimes, however, the institution hosts events that are not on the calendar. Such impromptu events are often very successful, despite the lack of publicity, because the artists and/or musicians who appear have reputations that precede them.
A case in point is the recent show in the auditorium next to the main building. A notice appeared on the Punta Banda bulletin board, claiming that a violin and piano concert would be held there at 8:00 p.m. on the evening of October 13th. This show did not appear on the CEART calendar of events; nonetheless, there was an event that evening, but it in no way resembled a violin and piano concert.
The show, which was surprisingly well-attended, featured two outstanding saxophone virtuosos, Anarbo Giovanni of Los Angeles, and Javier Gonzalez, a local originally from Mexicali. The show began with the two soloists jamming, with a karaoke machine providing rhythmic backup. It was quite a lively performance, and the solos were sometimes so amazing that the audience applauded enthusiastically.
All in all, the show in that venue had the feel of an intimate show in a small nightclub, (minus the cocktails). It was a balmy autumn evening with a full moon approaching, and the atmosphere was festive. Apparently, Giovanni and Gonzalez has a hard core following, because they filled the auditorium without the benefit of any publicity whatsoever.
As it turns out, the performance was an interlude in an international music festival (“El Cervantino”) that is currently travelling through Baja and is headed for Guanajuato.
Follow Anarbo Giovanni on Facebook and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised and creatively delighted. And start following CEART programs which we bring you in our calendar section.