Thursday, 19 March 2015

Interesting modern art museum in Vilafames - @_MACVAC

Two serendipitous events helped to make our day out in the nearby town
Ripolles sculpture in Vilafames 
of Vilafames a memorable one. Firstly, neighbouring caravanners Vince and Moira told us that the town had a wonderful hidden gem of a modern art museum. They had already visited three times! And Dave spotted a coffee table type book of local sculptor Ripolles in the library here at Camping Ribamar. This was useful because we spotted two of his distinctive works during the day and knew enough to recognise them!

The Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Vicente Aguilera Cerni is housed in the rabbit warren that is the 15th century Palace of Batle, formerly the Royal Administrator's residence. Essayist and art critic Vicente Aguilera Cerni visited Vilafames in the 1970s, proposed an art museum there and was made life manager-founder. Initially there were about 150 works on show. Now there are over 400 displayed in 32 galleries and an expansion programme is underway.

Small sculpture and doorway
on MACVAC terrace 

We loved the building as much as the art. It's like a much bigger and more baffling version of Hailsham's Gallery North and also has a roof terrace garden with several large outdoor sculptures and a lemon tree. We spent a good couple of hours touring the galleries. Works range from wow to meh and there is a wide range of styles, materials and nationalities amongst the artists. Most are Spanish but not all. There were even a couple of names, including Joan Miro, that I recognised! Dave recorded the names of the artists whose work we particularly liked, but I forgot my notebook so am now unsure exactly who created what: Oscar Borras Ausias, Eduardo Alcoy Lazaro, Willy Ramos Mestre, Ricardo Juan Fernandez, Juan Genoves Candel, Alejandro Mieres, Vicente Traver Calzada, and Juan de Ribera Berenguer. More Googling needed!

MACVAC terrace 

After the museum, we stopped for a snack lunch at a friendly cafe, Rafael Galindo, at the bottom of the hill. The empanada slices are delicious! There is a car park by MACVAC, but if you find yourself in the town hall plaza like we did, it's probably best to turn around and park downhill by this cafe. The hill is 'invigorating' to walk up! We also walked right to the top of town where there are the restored ruins of a tower and some kind of fort. There weren't any helpful placards, but then it was all free to wander around and the views are truly spectacular. Vilafames old town is such a pretty place that we even spent a little while perusing estate agents' websites back at Bailey. (Note to Chris and Marta: do Not visit this town. You'll won't resist buying here!)

The first Ripolles sculpture we saw was actually en route to Vilafames and is at the small local airport nearby. It is so big that it can easily be seen from the bypass and was created as a response to the 9/11 attacks in New York. It is similar in style to the work pictured at the top of this post which is in Vilafames, in a sort of park space by the Correos (Post Office). We spotted this second one unexpectedly too and felt smug to know it because none of the sculptures were identified which must be a tad annoying to the artists.

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