Arts – Foreign Artists Driving Force Behind the Los Cabos Art Scene

By Sabrina Lear – Article from Los Cabos Magazine – Issue #8

Golden Cactus Gallery -The Romance of México

Climb the stairs and you may find Chris MacClure painting in the studio, or taking a break with partner and wife, Marilyn Hurst, on their compact second story terrace, complete with a view of the hustle and bustle of Cabo San Lucas. In the heart of “Old Town,” as it has come to be known since the advent of Puerto Paraiso, the Golden Cactus Gallery is just one block off Marina Boulevard at Madero and Guerrero. It’s relatively easy for art collectors to find as they make their way through myriad t-shirt shops and souvenir stands looking for some serious art. Finding the delightful studio gallery is a treat indeed. In addition to his classic romantic realism, MacClure has recruited a formidable group of talent from both outside and inside México. Here, the phrase “something for everyone” is not just an idle promise. The Golden Cactus is a rare find in Cabo San Lucas and a treat for art lovers, with an eclectic collection of styles and mediums, all interpreting the “Romance of México.” Drop by and you may even have a chance to share a coffee with one or more of the artists. MacClure’s style complements his fellow artists from Einerssen’s dramatic seascapes to the impressionism of Brent Heighton and Brent Lynch. The Golden Cactus also represents Fernando Tames, a superb Mexican abstract expressionist, as well as Enrique Ortega, whose finely rendered watercolors of colonial-era México are highly collectible. Golden Cactus Gallery is also well-known in Los Cabos for their highly professional art shows held throughout the year at top hotels in the area, under their “Romance of México” banner.

Wentworth Porter Fine Art – A Gem in San José del Cabo

A few days into the new year of 1994, Dennis Wentworth Porter drove into San José del Cabo, fresh from a sell-out show at his mountain-top studio in Jerome, Arizona. Not only is he still here, his gallery at #20 Alvaro Obregon in San José’s historic district has been the place for fine art in the area since the mid-1990s. He created a Zen-like atmosphere with plenty of room for each canvas, and as a result, his gallery has a museum quality, with no more than a dozen oils and several jewel-toned pastels on the walls at any given time.

A painter who enjoys complicated compositions and uses brushstrokes and pigments as design elements, Porter’s art is also about the way light strikes life on canvas. To paint primarily representational subjects as well as abstract compositions, Porter uses a complex palette. Like early impressionists, he’s fascinated by the physics of color theory. As an artist who has supported himself solely through his art for more than twenty-five years, Porter just keeps getting better.

Along with gallery manager and photographer, Marlene Lopez, Porter has opened a new gallery next door, The Barking Dog, named for the almost twenty dogs who live on Obregon Street between Morelos and Guerrero. The Barking Dog features emerging Mexican artists, Lopez’s photography, and contemporary works by Jill Logan and Nanette Hayles, both from Todos Santos.

Update 03 January 2003 – Dennis has closed his gallery in San Jose del Cabo and moved back to his ranch in Sedona, Arizona. He will be spending several months in Los Cabos each year and will continue painting work similar to what he has in the past. His works can be seen at the Todos Santos Gallery in Todos Santos and the Swaure One Gallery in San Jose del Cabo.

Galeria de Kaki Bassi – Masterful Interpretations

Convinced Cabo was the place for her, Texan artist Kaki Bassi moved from Houston after a short vacation to the area in 1984. She spent the first two years at the Vagabundos trailer park painting outside under a palapa and gathered the few artistic souls in town together for libations at Señor Sushi’s, the hot spot back in those days. Eventually, she built her studio home retreat in Brisas del Pacifico, where she lives today. In the late-1980s she organized Southern Baja’s first, all-women show at the Galeria Carlos Olachea in La Paz, attracting 35 art-ists. Her tireless efforts to promote arts and crafts in the Cape region led her to organize an annual arts and crafts festival called Splash, now in its ninth year.

After earning her M.F.A. from Texas A & M, Bassi painted and exhibited in Europe and taught briefly at Homerton College in Cambridge, England. Her work hangs in Canada, the USA and México, with seven pieces in the Mexican government’s permanent collection. Active in promoting Mexican artists, Bassi also exhibits painters Najera and Nolasco as well as other local and mainland artists. Her own well-known works in watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media are also on display. Known predominantly for her masterful interpretations of the rupestrian art of Baja’s Sierra San Francisco near San Ignacio, Bassi also paints colorful scenes of Mexican life and conducts twice-weekly art classes.

Bassi recently opened her new gallery space at Puerto Paraiso, near Hagen Dazs on the main level. The striking two-level space is sleek and contemporary. Her flagship signature gallery, Galeria de Kaki Bassi, has 3,000 square feet of hanging space at Morelos and Alikan in Cabo San Lucas, eight blocks up from the main light at Lazaro Cardenas. Original fine art along with prints, posters and sculptures are on exhibit at both locations.