Creative juices by definition are the motivating, inspiring, or enabling forces that represent the expressive side of ones imagination; a precursor to creative thought and the corresponding ability to create something new. It only seems logical that in order to maximize the flow of one’s creative juices, he or she will be most productive when located in an area with a perfect climate and beautiful surroundings. The creator should be stress free and have plenty of leisure time; obviously, a good night’s sleep can’t hurt!
Puerto Vallarta, located on the shores of Banderas Bay and surrounded by the Sierra Madres, has an average daily temperature of 73°F during the seven month winter “high season” with virtually no rain providing the ideal location for expressing one’s creativity. Vallarta, with its 350,000 inhabitants is home to nearly 50,000 North American retirees and younger people that have elected to move south of the border where the pace of life is slower and the cost of living is lower. Between these contented immigrants with time to spare and the local artisans, creative juices are flowing in abundance!
Some of the activities in PV, where heretofore undiscovered talent and untapped creativity are unleashed, include the performing arts of music, dance, and theater and the visual arts which include fine arts and crafts. Other activities in Vallarta requiring creativity but are not addressed in detail in this article include the literary arts, culinary arts, photographic and digital arts, etc. Regardless of the form of art, Puerto Vallarta is an ideal location for expressing one’s imagination by the creation of something new. Consequently, this magical Paradise has attracted thousands of “artists” that now call it home.
The sites dedicated for performing arts in Vallarta include the famous Los Arcos open-air amphitheater at the Main Plaza, the Cuale Cultural Center on the island in the center of the Rio Cuale, the Santa Barbara Theater in the Romantic Zone, the large Agustin Flores Contreras Cultural Auditorium (Cecatur) located downtown, and the new 1,000 seat state of the art Performing Arts Theater.
Now, let’s take a brief look at who performs at these sites. More than 65,000 people have attended the Los Arcos amphitheater to see performances by Gloria Estefan, Joan Sebastian, Enrique Iglesias, Paulina Rubio, Raúl Di Blasio, Aleks Syntek, and many others. Numerous professional performing artists, including film stars, routinely visit Vallarta; many having their second homes here. That’s wonderful, but for the purpose of this article we’ll pay closer attention to the “local talent”; the retirees and the younger generation of people that have moved here to perform with the local citizens!
Puerto Vallarta has numerous workshops, associations, and clubs where local professional and retired ex-professional performers join with excellent amateurs in producing theatrical events. There are also many dance groups and clubs where everything from Salsa to Tango is taught. Music clubs and workshops are dedicated to everything imaginable from vocal to instrumental. Consequently, there is an abundance of musical and dance talent to team up with the actors to provide frequent plays and other performances in Vallarta. Regarding the visual arts; there is probably not a more prolific city south of the border for the visual arts than Puerto Vallarta. With so many talented retirees and professional artists in the area, you’ll find oil paintings, charcoals, watercolors, and even spray paintings throughout the city. Sculptures of wood, granite, onyx, and even sand can be seen at every turn, including on the beaches! Much of the art work created in this beautiful city is displayed and sold throughout town at very reasonable prices. It can be viewed during the weekly art walks which include the City art walk past approximately 30 art galleries and the Malecon area, the Marina art walk, the Rio Cuale art walk, and the Romantic Zone art walk. An easier way to view the art work is to simply sit in one of the many beachfront restaurants and while comfortably sipping a margarita, you can watch the steady stream of beach vendors peddling the objects of art produced by their family members.
Art is taught by a number of professionals in the area, often in their homes or small studios adjacent to their homes. Many of the students are talented retirees that never before had the training or time to exploit their creativity. Not only do these retirees have fun in their group art lessons but they discover hidden talents that they never knew existed!
Writing, photography, culinary arts, etc. groups are also available in PV. For example, the Writers Group holds frequent meetings, assists and trains new writers in workshops, and hosts professional guest writers in town. The practicing of culinary art can be seen in more than 100 fine restaurants and is on display for a week every year during the annual Gourmet Festival when famous chefs from all over the world visit Vallarta creating special dishes and holding cooking workshops for the enjoyment of locals as well as visitors to the area.
There are also a number of retired designers and inventors residing in Vallarta. With a few cervezas and a lot of free time, even these creative folks sometimes come up with some ingenious ideas! One thing that most all of these retirees have in common; they are for the most part stress free and always have mañana for being creative, i.e., time tables and schedules are virtually non-existent in Paradise!
In summarizing, Puerto Vallarta, being so conducive to creating, is a cultural Mecca south of the border in the center of the Mexican Riviera. So pack up your bags and come on down. Lay back, relax, and let your creative juices flow; you might be amazed by your own suppressed capabilities and hidden talents!