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Everything You Need to Know About Puebla’s Arts and Culture Scene

By Stephanie L

Updated February 25, 2021 Updated February 25, 2021

Sponsored by Universidad de las Americas Puebla

Take a two-hour drive southeast of Mexico City and you’ll find the city of Puebla. Nestled beneath the shadows of the famed Popocatepetl volcano, Puebla is a dazzling center of art, dance, music, theater and museums.

Attracting tourists (and students) alike from all over the globe, we take a look at some of the artistic and cultural treasures that put Puebla on the map.

Artisan markets are a shopper’s paradise

Artisan markets in Puebla are a real delight to explore. Some of them have been going since the 16th century, like Tianguis de Analco, located in Barrio de Analco – one of Puebla’s oldest neighborhoods.

If you get the chance, be sure to check out Tianguis de Analco, as well as El Parián and Mercado Hidalgo where you’re bound to find something special to take home with you, whether it’s artisan textiles, handmade jewelry, wood carvings or Talavera pottery – Puebla’s most famous export (more on that later!).

Capilla del Arte breathes new life into creative experimentation

The 100-year old art gallery was donated to the Universidad de las Americas Puebla in 2009 and transformed into a space for arts and culture where exhibitions, events and activities are open to students of the university, the general public, as well as artists from Mexico and all over the world who want to share their artistic vision creative breakthroughs.

In honor of the university and Capilla del Arte’s 10-year collaboration in December 2019, they presented TOLEDO VE, an exhibition which brought together and celebrated the works of Francisco Toledo, a renowned-artist in the modern and contemporary Mexican art scene.

At the opening of the exhibition, UDLAP cultural advisor, Dr Moisés Rosas spoke about Toledo’s close relationship with the institution, which brought about a donation of almost 300 art books and the art residency program between the university and the San Agustín de Etla Arts Center in San Agustín, Etla.

Talavera is one of Puebla’s most cherished traditions

Building covered in Talavera tiles in Puebla, Mexico

Image: Building covered in Talavera tiles in Puebla, Mexico

Talavera pottery is one of Puebla’s most famous exports, and is part of a cherished tradition that typifies the city today. All around Puebla you’ll see buildings, benches, and even fountains adorned with these bright glazed ceramic tiles.

If you want to learn more about its history and craftsmanship and perhaps even pick up your own authentic piece of Talavera pottery, there are a number of workshops and museums around Puebla where you can do that.

The city’s arts and humanities students are part of the local creativity community too

In recent years, arts and humanities students at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla have regularly attended arts and culture shows, exhibitions and fairs all over Puebla and beyond. The university was recently awarded 5 stars in the QS Stars both overall and for its Arts & Culture and is one of the only private universities in Mexico to offer fine art-related subjects at undergraduate level.

Last year saw a number of UDLAP students and graduates taking home awards and scholarships for their talents in theater and writing.

Bachelor of Theater student, Lizbeth Lambert was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious annual British American Drama Academy summer workshop program at Oxford University, while Bachelor of Theater graduate, Diego del Río was a winner at the Metropolitan Theater Awards for Best Direction of a Musical Work.

The Universidad de las Americas Puebla Publishing House was awarded the Editorial Art Prize by the National Chamber of the Mexican Publishing Industry for the second year in a row.

The International Office at the university hosts various workshops for students including dance and music classes, as well drawing, painting, acting, photography

Universidad de las Americas Puebla is home to a valuable art collection which features in the Google Art Project

From the curation to the conservation of Mexico’s artistic heritage, Universidad de las Americas Puebla boasts the largest collection of 20th century Mexican art in the country in collaboration with the Google Art Project. Almost 600 pieces of art in the form of new media art, photography, painting, graphics and even Talavera pottery.

This unique collaboration sees the Universidad de las Americas Puebla being the first university in Latin America to do so.

Barrio del Artista is Puebla’s very own artistic quarter

Take the time to wander around the cobblestoned plaza of Barrio del Arista, located in the city’s historic center and meet with painters and sculptors alike where you’ll be able to purchase your very own piece of Barrio del Arista art and take it home with you.

Murals and colorful street art revitalize Puebla’s neighborhoods

Artwork on the streets of Puebla in Mexico

Artwork on the streets of Puebla in Mexico. Photo by Jose G. Ortega Castro on Unsplash

Exploring on foot is probably the best way to discover and explore the city’s lively artworks. Such murals encourage the imaginations of local artists to run wild and free as they tell stories of the city’s history, traditions, famed inhabitants, along with its hopes and fears.

Many of these murals scale entire walls and are created as part of community-wide projects to revitalize local neighborhoods – Barrio de Xanenetla is one of Puebla’s most famous neighborhoods for its unique and creative artworks.

Lead image credit: Photo by Domingo Alvarez on Unsplash

This article was originally published in June 2020 . It was last updated in February 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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