More than 20 years ago, modern and contemporary art found a place to call home: the former Ateneo Peninsular de Mérida, located next to the Cathedral. You’ll immediately identify the building with its French motifs and grayish façade with closed doors and a few shops.
To my surprise and curiosity, access to the Museo Fernando García Ponce (MACAY) is through the Pasaje de la Revolución. You’ll see it marked with a red sign that says “Entrada al Museo,” and an arrow on the right, tied to a fence. There are no guards, the doors are wide open, and the receptionist is seated at a desk, behind a glass window. As in other places, measures for social distancing are followed: a sanitizing mat, a thermometer, mandatory use of a facemask, and a limited number of visitors per room (six). After registering you can finally start your journey through the MACAY. Just follow the red arrow road.
Inside, you’ll find a vast collection of pieces – ranging from the early 20th century to present day – curated throughout the two galleries, three permanent rooms with works by Gabriel Ramírez Aznar, Fernando Castro Pacheco, and Fernando García Ponce, and 15 temporary exhibit rooms that change every three months. Without a doubt, this constant rotation makes the MACAY an excellent option to appreciate the best in modern and contemporary art in Yucatán.
At the time of this edition, besides the permanent rooms, you’ll find Onírico and Construcción-desconstrucción by Jovian (bronze and polymer sculptures), Conformaciones (collective exhibition of ceramics by Yucatecan sculptors), and Irrealidades by Darío Ortiz (oil paintings). In each room, you’ll enjoy works belonging to different techniques and art movements, as well as distinct themes or the union of multiple ones. The latter is the case of Onírico, an oeuvre in which we can appreciate a faun swiping on Tinder. The sculpture itself is fascinating and monumental!
When you finish with the exhibition halls, don’t think for a moment that your visit ends there! The museum has much more to offer and this is one of the wonders of the MACAY: art is in every corner and it’s even online! From the second floor, you’ll see an exhibition in the Expoforo, a wide space with high ceilings that is perfect for large installations, and downstairs, you may come across pieces from past exhibitions.
If you’re a lover of modern and contemporary art, but can’t visit the MACAY in person, don’t worry! The museum stands out for its work in promoting and disseminating art in different formats, ranging from workshops and courses, guided tours, educational programs, and original productions. Some of these efforts can be found by visiting TVMACAY on YouTube, where you can learn through multiple presentations, recaps, and La Hora Cultural, among other available content.
Are you ready to dive into the world of art?
Pasaje de la Revolución x 58 y 60, Centro, Mérida
(Next to the Cathedral)
Mon. – Fri. 10 am – 5 pm, Sat. 10 am – 3 pm
Preferred hours for seniors: Fri. 2 pm – 4:45 pm
Editorial by Olivia Camarena
Photography by Olivia Camarena for use in Yucatán Today.
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