Friday, July 29, 2011

Selling artists work from Belize - travails.

Lans Sluder, famous international travel writer on Belize. Many books about Belize.

Yesterday we deposited some art, from my wife and I, at the HOUSE OF CULTURE below the Town Hall in San Ignacio. Apparently it is run by the more advanced lady from Benque Viejo TOWN BOARD, HOUSE OF CULTURE. I was a bit disconcerted that I could not get a receipt for my pencil art of Mayan historical scenes, as the two pieces selected were moderately valuable, and that the lady had no idea, or concept, that when requesting and accepting contributions from artists, THEY at the HOUSE OF CULTURE were required to have an INSURANCE POLICY, to cover damage or theft of any art on LOAN to the HOUSE OF CULTURE. My pieces sell for $750 usa, nearly always to foreigner collectors of unique rare, one off art pieces, overseas, via the internet. ( known as INVESTMENT ART, as they will only go UP in value, over time and long after I´m dead ) There was not much there to show in San Ignacio of much value art otherwise. My wife also placed samples of her weaving art. She was very worried that the House of Culture had no receipts or insurance policy either. She elected to remove a couple of weaving pieces, of relatively expensive decorative hand woven ( back strap loom ) belts that she makes and sells locally for $150 bz. Since she has a market for several of her weaving products. They sell reasonably well. Guatemalans like them and that is a bigger market. Our only hold back is the transportation and time necessary to get pieces to distributors in Guatemala and in the case of weaving stuff, it is impossible to buy the wool in Belize, so we have to wait until we can make a vacation trip to Guatemala. We bring back wool, but have found that our bags of wool disappear in our work space, presumably from different housekeepers that work once in a while. Very annoying, because it is irreplaceable wool. A few hundred dollars of wool inventory have disappeared from the work space several times. My wife is a full time weaver. Thickness and quality has a lot to do with weaving art wool. There is a stall in the Macal River market that carries a few types of wool from Mexico, but for greater selections we have to make a trip to Guatemala interior up in the mountains.

Anyway at their ( SAN IGNACIO HOUSE OF CULTURE ) solicitation, we tried to help out and submitted a few pieces for them to show. It will be the last time though, if anything is lost, or damaged.

From: tc vernon
To: Lan Sluder
Cc: Belize Culture
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 7:15 AM
Subject: Re: Bz-Culture: Art Galleries in Belize

Thanks for sharing that Lan! Much appreciated at this end.

Have a great weekend.

On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM, Lan Sluder wrote:

Corrections and additions welcome.

--Lan Sluder ( travel writer on Belize specialist ) contributed by LAN SLUDER and received via the bz-culture chat list. Lan is a famous travel writer on tourism in Belize, with regular updates on changing conditions.


Art Galleries in Belize



Image Factory

91 N. Front St.


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9-5

Established in 1995, the Image Factory under Director Yasser Musa is at the heart of Belize’s art and cultural scene. The Image Factory has shows featuring Belize’s top artists and writers and regularly exhibits around 15 artists.

Fine Arts Gallery

1 Fort St. in Tourism Village


Hours: When cruise ships are in port, or by appointment

Stocks original art and prints from a number of Belizean artists including Carolyn Carr and Walter Castillo. Sells primarily to cruise ship tourists.

Belizean Handicraft Market Place (formerly National Handicraft Center)

2 S. Park in Fort George area opposite Memorial Park


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8-5, Sat. 8-4

Broad selection of 100% Belizean-made crafts.


Art Box

Mile 46, Western Hwy.


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8-6

Large gift shop with wood carvings, jewelry and some paintings by Carolyn Carr, Manuel Gonzalez Daza and others.


Caribbean Colors Art Gallery

Front St.

501-206-0206 or 877-809-1659

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8-5

Detroit-born Lee Vanderwalker’s gallery, café and gift shop has wearable art by Vanderwalker, along with Christmas ornaments, jewelry, jewelry boxes and tiles.

Cooper’s Art Gallery

Front St.


Hours: Mon. Noon-6, Tue.-Sat. 10-8

Co-owner Debbie Cooper, who spent years living in Hawaii, sells her own paintings and prints here, together with work by Walter Castillo, Nelson Young and other artists.


Corozal Art Gallery

Reyes Plaza, 4th Ave. and 3rd St. N.


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 am “until” or by appointment

Newly opened in mid-2011, the Corozal Art Gallery offers the work of several Belizean artists including Donna Williams and David Terrelong of Corozal, along with art by owner Anne de Strijcker, who signs her paintings “Iver.”


Garinagu Crafts and Art Gallery

46 Oak St. at Tubroose St.


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30-6

Owner Francis Swaso, a Garifuna art and culture expert, offers handmade Garifuna drums, dolls, wood carvings and masks.

Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery

3 Aranda Crescent at Gallery St.


Hours: 9-5 Tue.-Sat. (usually closing at Noon-2 for lunch); Sun. 9-Noon

Admission BZ$5

Dangriga native Cayetano’s well-known impressionist paintings depict Garifuna culture. Also sold here are CDs from Cayetano’s band and needlework and other art by other members of the Cayetano family.


Sugar Shack

Gales Point village next to Maroon Creole Drum School


American Jill Burgess sells art made from driftwood and bamboo.


Maya Center Women’s Cooperative Crafts Store

Hours: Daily 7:30-4:30

Baskets, slate carvings, masks, bowls, wood carvings and knick-knacks made by local Mopan women are sold at fair prices in this co-op.


Lola’s Art

Seine Bight


Hours: Daily 7-6

Belize City native Lola Delgado displays and sells her own bold, strongly colored paintings of Garifuna women and Belizean seascapes, primitive in some ways but strangely appealing.

Art ‘n Soul

South end of the Sidewalk, Placencia village


Hours: Daily 9-6

Greta Leslie displays and sells her own work, together with that of Nelson Young, Lola Delgado, Omar Sierra and others.


Maya Beach, opposite Green Parrot


Hours: Thu.-Tue. 10-6

No junk here. Long-time Belize resident Jenny Wildman’s gallery cum café displays the top end of Belizean furniture, crafts, sculpture, textiles and art. Among artists displayed here are Pen Cayetano and Isiah Nicholas.


Orange Gifts (formerly Caesar’s Place)

Mile 60, Western Hwy.


This roadside gift shop near San Ignacio has a large selection of Belizean and Guatemalan crafts, including wood bowls, wood carvings, masks, and others. There also are Orange Gifts locations in San Pedro and at the Ka’ana Resort in San Ignacio.

Garcia Sisters Tanah Mayan Art Museum

Cristo Rey Rd., San Antonio, Cayo


Hours: Daily 7-7

The Garcia sisters brought back the Maya art of slate carvings, and many beautiful examples are on display and for sale here (most of the slate comes from the Mountain Pine Ridge) along with limestone statues.

Sak Tunich

Cristo Rey Rd., San Antonio, Cayo


Hours: Daily 6-6

Brothers Jose and Javier Magaña offer their slate carvings, limestone statues, wood carvings and ceramics.


Belizean Arts

Barrier Reef Dr. at Fido’s


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10-6

The first art gallery in Belize, established more than 20 years ago by Londoner Lyndsey Hackston, Belizean Arts today has the largest selection of art by Belizeans and Belize residents of any gallery in the country, with paintings by Walter Castillo, Pen Cayetano, Nelson Young, Leo Vasquez, Piva, Eduardo García, Curvin Mitchell, Jorge Landero and others. The gallery also carries art by Cuban and other Caribbean artists, along with ceramics, jewelry and other crafts.

Dock Street Art Gallery

Black Coral St. at Barrier Reef Dr.


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10-6

Dock Street Gallery represents one Belizean and three expat artists resident in Belize: Jose Cantos, Linda Mikulich, Wayne Hammon and Paul Stevenson.

C. Emmanuel Gallery

Coconut Dr., inside SunBreeze Hotel


Hours: By appointment

Christopher Emmanuel, author of Secrets to Life and other self-help books, operates a small gallery selling his paintings of Maya and Garifuna life.

In addition to these galleries, gift shops at some Belize hotels and lodges sell Belize crafts and a limited amount of art. Among notable hotel gift shops with art and crafts are these:

Blancaneaux Lodge, Mountain Pine Ridge

Hamanasi, Hopkins

Jaguar Reef, Hopkins

Ka’ana Resort, Western Hwy., San Ignacio

The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Chial Rd. near San Ignacio

Turtle Inn, Placencia

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