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Monday, November 29, 2021

Hidalgo Park artists itching to expand

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Artists and musicians enliven Parque Hidalgo in Mérida. Photo: Hidalgo Park Collective
Artists and musicians enliven Parque Hidalgo in Mérida. Photo: Hidalgo Park Collective

Every Thursday, a group of artists called the Hidalgo Park Collective sets up shop, offering their beautiful works in the open air to passersby.

They have recently celebrated their first anniversary, a year marked by some confrontations with city inspectors, until the mayor finally granted them formal permission to occupy the park, outside the Hotel Caribe on Calle 60 — the heart of the tourist and historic center.

Anchored by a monument to General Manuel Cepeda Peraza and bordered on two sides by sidewalk cafés, the small green space is a block from the Plaza Grande, its Cathedral, and is surrounded by many hotels and restaurants.

Now, they ask the city to let them expand their footprint. A move to increase the profile of artists in the historic center’s parks is being led by painter Victor Argáez.

Every Thursday and Friday they will present their works in the Hotel Caribe esplanade in Hidalgo Park from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the beginning of what they see as an expansion of the already existing presence of artists and crafters inhabiting green spaces along Calle 60, from Plaza Grande, to Parque de la Madre and Santa Lucia park.


Each Thursday in August, a musician or performing artist will join the 16 or so painters, lending an even more bohemian vibe to the elegant 19th-century park.

The painters’ leader has put out an invitation to state and municipal cultural authorities to meet with artists there to exchange dialogue on their proposal of a cultural corridor.

“We will buy the coffee,” Argáez joked.

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