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Views and Colors at Centro Cultural Fernando Castro Pacheco

02 april 2023
6 min. de lectura

If you're familiar with the rich history of visual arts in Yucatán, you've probably heard of Fernando Castro Pacheco. This time, I'll tell you about the cultural center that bears his name, where you can find 47 of the most important and representative pieces of one of the most renowned painters, sculptors, engravers, and muralists from the Península and all of México.



The life of Fernando Castro Pacheco

2404 Fernando Castro Pacheco Centro Cultural by Pamela Fernandez

Fernando Castro Pacheco was born in 1918 in Mérida’s Barrio of San Sebastian. He began his artistic journey at Escuela de Pintura y Artes Plásticas de Mérida (the School of Painting and Plastic Arts), where he learned from local teachers like Modesto Cayetano and Ignacio Rubio Milan. In 1941, he founded Escuela Libre de Artes Plásticas de Mérida (the Free School of Plastic Arts), and some of his early works as a visual artist consisted of mural decorations for primary schools and kindergartens in the city.


Castro Pacheco's work, infused with regional tones yet holding a clear universal appeal, swiftly garnered acclaim from national and international critics, being exhibited in galleries in the United States and Cuba in the 1940s.


Fernando Castro Pacheco's work

2311 Centro Cultural Fernando Castro Pacheco Exposición Fernando Castro Pacheco by Brenda Avila
2404 Pinturas del Centro Cultural Fernando Castro Pacheco by Brenda Acametitla


A significant and impressive part of his work is located in Palacio de Gobierno, in Mérida’s Centro, but to see a wider range of his production, there's nothing like visiting Centro Cultural Fernando Castro Pacheco, located on Paseo de Montejo. Founded in October 2023, it exhibits oils, engravings, lithographs, bronze sculptures, and screen prints created by the artist. This cultural center has four main rooms and a hallway that leads us to a spacious terrace where poetry jams, concerts, book presentations, and plays have taken place.


What you'll find at Centro Cultural Castro Pacheco

2404 Centro Cultural Fernando Castro Pacheco by Pamela Fernandez


The first room of Centro Cultural Castro Pacheco exhibits four works that truly capture the artist's spirit, or at least his aesthetic concerns. The first three oil paintings are a delightful exploration of color. Meanwhile, the fourth painting gracefully portrays a local woman with simplicity and finesse, a figure that appears throughout the entire exhibition.


As you step into the second room, you'll once again be greeted by the presence of the woman figure, perhaps in greater connection with the object, sometimes being a well, a hen, or a hammock. His remarkable skill in crafting intricate narratives around a single character and object will invite you to explore the rest of the tour further.


Facing the entrance of room number three, we are greeted by the fixed and striking gaze of a woman who appears amidst warm tones and colors ("Sin título," 1979); you'll notice that, in harmony with the gazes he paints, which are full of strength, in many of his oils on canvas, reddish stripes seem to emanate an internal fire from his characters.


In the fourth room, you'll find a variety of techniques: a central sculpture called "El Butaque" (1973), which beautifully emphasizes the significance of volume in the human form according to Castro Pacheco's vision. You’ll also see more oil explorations; a couple of abstract paintings and small portraits with expressive eyes reminiscent of regional animated figures.


The art of daily life in Fernando Castro Pacheco's work

The artist wandered through the streets of Mérida’s Centro countless times, observing the daily life of locals in search of inspiration. This immersion filled his imagination—and his artwork—with traditional scenes from the region. The wonderful thing here is how, by portraying moments of regional everyday life, he immortalizes those universal aspects that can be found in any local environment in any city around the world.


2404 El butaque 1973 del Fernando Castro Pacheco by Pamela Fernandez
2404 El Corpiño 1986 del Fernando Castro Pacheco by Pamela Fernandez


In 1962, due to his enormous talent and artistic vision, Fernando Castro Pacheco had the opportunity to be the director of one of the most renowned art schools in the country: the National School of Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving "La Esmeralda" of the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA).


The cultural center also sells books from Fondo Editorial del Ayuntamiento de Mérida (the Editorial Fund of the Municipality of Mérida) with printed materials by Castro Pacheco, in case you want to carry in your memory your favorite work by one of the most sensitive visual artists born in Yucatán.


Centro Cultural Fernando Castro Pacheco
Paseo de Montejo x Calle 39, Centro, Mérida
Tue. - Sat. 10 am - 8 pm
Sundays 8 am - 5 pm
Free admission


Photography by Pamela Fernández for its use in Yucatán Today.

Pamela Fernández

Author: Pamela Fernández

Storyteller and creator 24/7 in my head, sometimes through multidisciplinary platforms with which I share the passion for literature, imagination, and emotions.

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