1 We went to La Candelaria section of Bogota to visit the well-known artist, Guillermo Londoño. This area is having a revival and many artists live here.
2 Equivalent to the Old City in other cities, the architecture of the old houses, churches, and buildings is in the style of Spanish Colonial and Baroque. It houses several universities, libraries, and museums.
3 Unfortunately, there is much graffiti and decay to be found. These are the houses and buildings many young artists and collectors are buying and restoring.
4 This is the front entrance to Guillermo Londoño's home in Candelaria.
5 The entrance is a lush garden with tropical plants everywhere, like this staghorn fern.
6 And this very large and old ponytail palm. Londoño says this is 150 years old.
7 Londoño and his wife, Diana Drews, also an artist, collect ancient pre-Colombian stone objects. Many of these objects were household cisterns, laundry sinks, and grain grinding implements.
8 There was so much to feast the eyes on in this diverse garden. I loved this mossy cistern filled with succulents.
9 Some of that collection of beautiful pre-Colombian stone objects - These are metates, used for grinding corn for the local breads.
10 The pots atop the wall contain a large agave collection.
11 Pre-Colombian vessels abound in Londoño's garden.
12 There are large troughs, which are perfect for water gardens.
13 The Londoño's patio has many 'found' objects embedded in it. These stone wall plaques were found on an old building.
14 Japanese Silkies wandered freely.
15 The back of the beautifully designed house that Londoño and Diana Drews, a new mother, have reconstructed.
16 A pond with peaceful water gardens
17 Diana designed the kitchen. The colorful cabinets are faced with laminated food labels.
18 A close up of a cabinet
19 Diana and child
20 A gas fireplace in the Londoño's house
21 The livingroom was friendly and inviting and filled with interesting South American contemporary art.
22 Guillermo Londoño is a fabulous painter and has had shows in the United States.
23 More of the gardens from the highest vantage point of the house
24 Looking out over the rooftops
25 More rooftops
26 The blue building is part of the compound of my friend, bamboo artist and architect, Simon Velez. He also lives in Candelaria. He was away, but invited us by telephone to visit his home.
27 Posing with Londoño, Patricia Ardila, and Kathy Sloane
28 Here I am with Londoño.
29 This huge stack of bricks will soon be used to rebuild the structure that was once there. I was thrilled to see the respect with which the old buildings are treated.
30 A busy and productive home studio - This is where Diana creates her art.
31 A great tile roof
32 The house balcony with hammocks - We all wanted to nap there.
33 Many found objects were used in the house design, like these amazing doors.
34 We went across the street to visit Londoño's friend, who is a photographer. He and his wife, a landscape designer, live in a renovated property that they rebuilt using modern designs.
35 This is Londoño's friend, Pedro Franco and his lovely wife, Adriana Gallego, who is expecting.
36 Pedro and Adriana also have an amazing garden with many antique collectibles.
37 This is a pile of fossilized stones.
38 Piles of volcanic rocks
39 There were many dogs in Franco's compound. This one was drinking from a koi pool.
40 These objects are petrified wood from a Colombian river.
41 The koi
42 These mill stones line another pond.
43 Many, many ancient stone pots
44 More petrified wood
45 Beautiful bougainvillea
46 I have this same pillar cactus in Maine.
47 I loved this silver-leafed tree, which is a Cecropia, commonly called yarumo. It reminded me of a castor tree with its large, circular, palmately lobed leaves. It's a landscape tree found in the higher altitudes in Columbia, but I have seen it in Puerto Rico also.
48 This is another variety of Yarumo that does not turn silver.
49 There, too, were many cisterns. This grouping is being used as a fountain sculpture.
50 Adriana's art is all about plants and treating them in new and unusual ways. She uses moss-covered balls as planters to create a wonderful indoor landscape.
51 A closeup
52 'Test tube' gardens
53 The couple are avid gardeners and they grow many kinds of epiphytes, including tillandsias - air plants.
54 The shade roof of the greenhouse
55 They were also growing many kinds of succulents.
56 And these Haworthia truncata - Franco traveled to Japan to collect these "stone" plants - he has hundreds of varieties.
57 This is a carnivorous pitcher plant. I have similar plants growing in my greenhouse.
59 A great jade plant in a moss ball
60 A giant split-leaf philodendron
61 An unusual staghorn fern
62 The modern interior of Franco and Adriana's home - They were cooking a delicious luncheon for friends and I just wanted to stay there.
63 In the house there was also a lovely antique bathroom - very Victorian in feeling.
64 We walked a bit in La Candelaria, to visit the home of the famous bamboo architect, Simón Vélez, who was traveling abroad.
65 Simón Vélez's back door had much graffiti.
66 Once inside, I was so surprised to see a French Bulldog who looked just like my Francesca!
67 A wonderful courtyard
68 Many objects are repurposed, like these rebar railings.
69 A bamboo ceiling with an old crystal chandelier
70 I loved this chair made of bamboo.
71 Posing against a vivid backdrop
73 This is an original Francisco de Zurbarán, a Spanish painter who died in 1664.
74 The Vélez kitchen with giant bamboo rafters
75 The Frenchie followed us everywhere.
76 This is a bamboo structure designed by Simón Vélez with a grass roof.
77 We went back outdoors and began walking in the neighborhood. This is the Libreria Yerbabuena.
78 Unfortunately, this museum was closed.
79 There is a real sense of neighborhood in La Candelaria, as many people know each other.
80 We stopped for a cafe. This is Londoño and Maurizio Ardila. Maurizio was raised in the United States, but now lives in Bogota. He wants a house in this same district.
81 More unfortunate graffiti
82 As we passed by this bronze, Londoño compared profiles - very similar!
83 We went to a building in the historical center of Bogotá called Estudios Las Nieves, where 14 artist have studios there. To qualify for studio space, you must be recognized as a prolific artist. The space is visited by curators from all over the world in search of art.
84 We met Miler Lagos, who is famous for his paper constructions.
85 What looks to be solid wood is actually thousands of sheets of paper sculpted to look like wood.
86 Guillermo Londoño has his studio in this space. Born in Bogotá, Guillermo is himself an integral part of this vibrant art scene.
87 He creates dreamy imaginary landscapes. After studying art in Colombia and receiving a degree in fine art from the University of California, Berkeley, Londoño was one of several artists invited to work in the studio of José Luis Cuevas in Mexico City.
88 Londoño’s work reflects his travels and international education.
89 The artist stresses that his works do not represent actual landscapes.
90 Rather, they are 'mindscapes,' composed of images compiled from his accrued store of memories.
91 Tools of the trade
92 A work by Saul Sanchez
93 Posing with artists Saul Sanchez and Carolina Gomez
94 Works by Carlos Blanco, a Colombian artist working with paper and inflatable sculptures. He questions topics like the place of women in society, love, and politics.
95 With Carlos Blanco
96 Rodrigo Echeverri uses a lot of wood and veneer to create flat objects that appear 3-dimensional.
97 The artist at work - I hope you enjoyed this tour of some of Colombia's art. There is so much more to see and definitely worth the time to travel and explore!