The museum functions as more than a space for displaying art. Thanks to the vision of Loida Pretiz, co-founder of the museum, the museum hosts workshops to encourage the creation of art by local community members. Artists of Papaturro, is one workshop comprised of a group of women from surrounding communities. Their purpose is to salvage the tradition of cloth art made from local materials. Bosquemar, is a group that collects drift wood and creates art with it. Another workshop geared towards a younger crowd, Islita Youth, encourages children and teens to get creative.
The museum is located in the county of Hojancha, just over 30 kilometers south of Samara and Playa Carrillo. Well worth the mountainous, winding drive through Costa Rica's jungle-scape is the small village of Punta Islita. Perched on a hilltop in the center of the village is a truly unique find; the heart of Latin America's first Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Art.
The artistic space is composed of all sorts of non-traditional pieces. Everything from the colorful tile mosaic on the wall of the elementary school, hand carved faces in the pillars lining the soccer pitch, loliart that dots the cobblestone main street, even a tree speckled with mirrors, and another draped in cloth is part of the museum exhibit. It is hard to tell where the art ends and the infrastructure begin; the village has managed to strike a fine balance between beauty and function.
This inspirational space is without four walls and a ceiling, you won't find signs demanding "hands off" or grumpy staff requesting "silence please." Here the proximity between art and audience knows no bounds.
"This is a place where people can come and feel free to experience the art without all of the rules. It's a place of artistic freedom and inspiration," said Marta, who manages the small, colorful shop where local art is sold.