San Juan, Puerto Rico is one huge melting pot of art and culture. The city itself is truly a master-piece. Art has been a monumental aspect of San Juan since the beginning of its time, now evolving constantly with the Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture. From streets filled with modern art, to galleries with hidden masterpieces, the art scene is in the area is booming, providing so much to see while exploring San Juan’s local art.
Art lovers or even novices can enjoy the artistic elements presented all throughout San Juan. The neighborhood of Santurce, which is just south of The Old City, is a modern art paradise. With streets and buildings adorned with murals all throughout the neighborhood, there’s something new for your eyes to take in nearly everywhere you look! The most popular hotspot in Santurce for street art is Calle Loiza, which is appropriately called “Avenue of the Arts.” Here you can immerse yourself in galleries and wander into some funky, one-of-a-kind cafes.
A great time to come to this area is during the 3 day art festival, “Santurce Es Ley.” This festival has strongly benefited the community by drawing an international eye to the street art scene in San Juan. Visit during the summer to experience it filling the streets with pop-up galleries, live mural paintings, and local music.
Santurce is located right between Caribe Hilton and Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino. Either location is conveniently located just minutes away from experiencing the best local art scene in San Juan.
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
The Museum of Art in Puerto Rico (or the MAPR) was originally built in the 1920s as a hospital, but has now evolved into a modern sophisticated hub for Puerto Rican and international art. The museum exhibits a wide variety of beautiful antiques, sculptures and paintings. The garden sculptures appear as though they are walking among the patrons, making it quite an alluring area to have lunch before you set off to explore the rest of the museum.
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
Just a short walk from the Museum of Art is the Contemporary Museum. Originally opened in 1916, this former school house now acts as a gallery for current Latin American and Caribbean artists. Each room houses art of a different theme and contains art of all mediums including sculptures, paintings and even video installations.
Galleries you have to visit in the Santurce art district include Galeria Exodo and Petrus.
Galeria Exodo displays the work of artists from all over the world, yet every piece seems to unify with a Caribbean essence. Puerto Rican artists featured here include Augusto Marin, Juan Cueavas, Wichie Torres and many other world-renowned names in art.
Galeria Petrus is a hub of contemporary art created by local Puerto Rican artists. There are several mediums here to enjoy including paintings, sculptures and photography. The gallery also works on various projects throughout the community to further spread art and culture throughout Puerto Rico.
Food & Art
If you wander enough through Calle Cerra, you’ll find all sorts of intriguing sops and things to do. On Thursdays, the streets erupt with music, food trucks, and people who love being involved in the city’s local art scene. In the area, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants that incorporate art into their dining experience – so the art exploration never needs to take a pause for meals. Casa Cortes Chocobar is a chocolate centric cafe where you can enjoy a meal while viewing art exhibits from the Cores family’s private collection.
The local art in San Juan crafts the ultimate bright and diverse portrait for what is representative of Puerto Rico’s culture. As you roam through the town of Santurce, you are constantly reminded of the creativity that pushed Puerto Rico forward.