Visitors are greeted by local art at the first moment they arrive on island, when they walk through the arrivals hall at Reina Beatrix International Airport, and again at the airport's distinctive sculpture garden as they depart. During their stay, they will notice expressions of visual arts such as sculptures, paintings and installations in public spaces, gardens, banks, schools, and office buildings. A recent sculpture honoring Aruba's lost fishermen is found opposite the Governor's house along the Linear Park in downtown Oranjestad. Resorts such as La Cabana Beach Resort and Aruba Marriott Resort display selected artworks in their lobbies has dedicated space for an art gallery. Restaurants such as Gasparito cover their walls with works of local artists, for diners to appreciate and purchase.
Aruba's artists have been evolving for more than 50 years, often studying abroad and returning to teach and create. Their works range from folkloric to abstract, utilizing media from traditional painting to the latest audio-visual arts. Many participate in group expositions abroad.
Some artists have their own ateliers, open for visitors. Do pay a visit to Unoca, the island's national gallery, during your stay.
Ateliers of local artists
Osaira Muyale features her art at the Osaira Muyale Contemporary Art Studio located on Stadionweg in downtown Oranjestad, next to UNOCA.
Open by appointment only.
Tel. (297) 594 5031
Elisa Lejuez's atelier is located on Malmokweg, across from the entrance to Tierra del Sol. Her works are found in many offices, banks and businesses all around the island.
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 12 noon
Tel. (297) 592 3053 / www.elisalejuez.com
Ciro and Marian Abath create their distinctive sculptures and glass art at their atelier located at Turibana 14 in Noord.
Open by appointment only.
Tel. (297) 586 7826
Art Studio - Gallery Insight
Located in Paradera Park, the studio offers a generous array of visual and theatre arts, including individual and group exhibitions that showcase local and international contemporary artists.
Open Mon - Fri 10 am - 12:30 pm, 2 - 5:30 pm, Weekends by appointment
A quiet mecca for the arts housed in a turn-of-the-century school in the suburbs of downtown Oranjestad. The exhibition hall has both permanent displays and changing expositions showcasing local and regional artists. Workshops are taught by established foreign and local artists in various disciplines, each culminating in an exposition open to the public. Ateliers ’89 works in close cooperation with a number of art academies in the Netherlands, helping young artists in their transition to a Dutch Academy. Many talented local artists who today represent Aruba abroad attended these workshops.
Tel. 588 5776 / email@example.com
Aruba’s first public national art collection now has a permanent home, a few blocks from the Cas di Cultura in downtown Oranjestad. The walls of the sparkling new exposition halls are graced with wonderful works by local and international artists, some who have lived on Aruba for a part of their life. Many of them have local themes depicting Aruba’s culture, history and landscape. The STICUSA Aruban Collection dates from 1950 – 1986. The UNOCA collection was born in 1986 with the establishment of the foundation aimed at stimulating cultural development of Aruba. It continues to grow over the years with contributions by local artists and private collectors. Books, CDs and DVDs written and produced by Arubans are also on sale. Special events such as courtyard concerts and film screenings are on the horizon.
Open Mon - Fri 9 am - 12 noon / 1:30 - 5:00 pm
Ciro and Marian Abath
Husband and wife Ciro and Marian Abath are major figures in the Aruba art community and were the first to offer art classes to the public with kiln casting, ceramics, glassblowing and glass bead making. Ciro is a sculptor who works with various materials and techniques and has participated in several international exhibitions. He trained as an art teacher in the Netherlands and taught art for 30 years at Colegio Arubano; he continues to teach lessons inside his yellow house near Arashi Beach. Education scientist Marian started working with glass out of curiosity and to support Ciro in his activities. Today, a large community of glass bead makers has been formed in Aruba. Visit them at www.arubaglassceramics.com
Eefje Van Twillert
An Aruban native, Eefje Van Twillert is most famous for her eccentric style that translates to her drawing, painting and sculpting. Drawing her main inspiration from the nature of the Dutch Antilles, the greatness of God’s creation, from the tiny grain of sand to the vast Caribbean Sea, Eefje captures these impressions, which are reflected in all of her pieces.
Elisa Lejuez Peters
Originally from the Netherlands, Elisa Lejuez Peters has established herself as one of Aruba’s best-known artists and fashion designers. After several years of successfully submitting her artwork to expositions worldwide, Lejuez took her artwork “off the canvas” and put it into clothing, her other passion. In 2013, Elisa held her first solo U.S. exhibit, titled Connections, at S Artspace Gallery, in New York City’s Lower East Side. The Elisa Lejuez clothing collection is now sold in three shops in Aruba and was recently launched in the Netherlands.
Self-taught, Aruban-born painter and graphic designer Elvis Tromp is the curator of a developing artist colony in Aruba as he leads the art movement on the island. Working mostly in oil and acryl, Elvis has been painting Aruban landscapes since he was a child and enjoys making each scene a personal interpretation. With the developing art colony, Elvis is discovering new horizons with his exhibits including “The Impact of Tourism on Architecture and Vice Versa,” where the human figure is central – a new level in his art.
Local Aruban and contemporary artist Osaira Muyale founded a studio gallery “Eterno” and a foundation “Fundacion Eterno.” Osaria’s work has exhibited in Europe, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, including the 6th International Bienniale of Havana, Cuba, Arte 99 of Curacao and Acro Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. Osaira’s Aruba art studio is part of her ongoing dedication and promise to interact with the community, serving as a beacon of light to intellectuals and artists on the island. Her work includes conceptual artwork installations with a multi cultural background, paintings, film, photography, poetry, sculpture and drawings all based on biographic dialogues, social narratives and cultural perspectives with the human body as a mid point.
A lover and writer of poetry at an early age, Rosabelle Illes developed her spiritual side through her writings and later published a book of poems titled ''Beyond Insanity.'' Next to her poems, Rosabelle is working on her second book that philosophizes on what's left after erasing layers from emotions.
Apart from being a form of artistic expression, Stan Kuiperi’s art has also become an instrument for social commentary in Aruba. One of the most important messages in his art for the last 10 years was the call to preserve nature. Stan doesn't just create loud, visible art but he also invites government representatives to his art shows to have an open dialogue that addresses these issues. Founder of the non-profit, Aruba International Arts Foundation, Stan and his wife strive to engage the international art community by organizing local art shows. Stan is also committed to painting and teaching art in hopes to continue awareness and appreciation for the unique Aruban landscape and culture that have to be preserved.
Maritza is known for the reliefs, statues and busts created for public areas as well as for private collections. “The Thinking Indian of Aruba”, appears in the garden of the Central Bank of Aruba. She studied art and sculpture at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Puerto Rico and later in Spain and The Netherlands. Another notable work, “Casa Andante” (Walking House), is made of very hard fossilized stone, even harder then marble. While in Puerto Rico, Maritza always used to walk around with her backpack, not only containing her tools but also all kinds of objects she collected. One day a person told her that this backpack was just like her house; hence the title
Ephraim Britten started painting as a child. Painting is his way of life, hobby and business. He is a self-taught Aruban artist who enjoys painting the Aruban landscape. Ephraim has participated at different exhibitions; he won the first prize in Popular Arts from the Aruban Institute for Culture in the 1980s. One of his paintings was presented as a gift to the President of Venezuela. He also designed and painted four series of the Aruban stamp collection. This artist’s preferred medium is oil paint. Originally painting realistic and surrealistic Aruban landscapes, nowadays he combines them with abstract elements.
Ludwig (Luti) de L’Isle
Luti’s works incorporate bold strokes, use of primary colors and harmonious unity. “I seek opposites…dark and light, white and black, past and present. These opposites form the foundation of a painting,” he reveals. He loves to work with white, red and blue backgrounds, not in solids but with swirls, shading and shapes that make them come alive. He finds inspiration in nature and prefers to work with acrylic but combines and interacts with pencil, charcoal and watercolor. His works are full of surprises. Born in Aruba in 1949, Luti attended the Academie voor Beeldende Vorming in Tilburg, Netherlands. His works have appeared in various international and local expositions and are found at hotels and restaurants on Aruba.
“To stand opposite to the work of Alida Martinez is a complex experience. Her work is full of a strong emotive and existential load before which it is impossible to remain indifferent,” states Susan Quintaro, art critic. Born in 1964, Alida took classes at Atelier 89 in Aruba from 1989 – 93. She opened Insight Gallery in 2000, part of Insight Foundation for the Arts. This accomplished artist also curates expositions and organizes workshops. She has had eight solo exposition in Aruba and Curacao from 1989 – 2008. Her works have appeared in scores of group expositions in Aruba, Venezuela, Bonaire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Germany and Ecuador
Giolina Henriquez was born in Aruba. In 1981, she graduated from Rhode Island School of Design (USA) and returned to Aruba. Since then, she has been illustrating books and national postage stamps; painting commissioned works for corporations and for the government; participating in local and international art-exhibitions. She has been profiled in local and international television and radio shows, commercials, and film-documentaries. She has appeared at numerous local and international exhibitions and her works appear in collections locally and internationally. Recipients of her artwork commissioned by the Aruba government include Dutch Prime Minister and the Dutch Royal Family. Her works are a colorful flow of profound creativity combined with the highest quality standards. This poet, painter, illustrator and designer is also an outspoken environmentalist and founder of Aruba Mammal Foundation.