Explore the Puerto Rico Art District of Santurce
Over the past 20 years, Santurce has been quietly turning into one of the best street art destinations in the Caribbean. Artists originally began flocking to Santurce due to the area’s cheap rent and dilapidated buildings, then slowly galleries and museums began appearing. Now you’ll find the building along Calle Loiza – San Juan’s “Avenue of the Arts” – covered with incredible street art from acclaimed artists like La Pandilla, Defy, Rey X, and Pun18.
As a tourist it can be tough to figure out the best way to tour Santurce, Puerto Rico, so we’ve put together this handy guide of our favorite museums and galleries to help make visiting Santurce more accessible.
Best Museums in Santurce
This jaw-dropping 130,000 square foot space is far more than a regular museum. The highly-celebrated Puerto Rican art museum’s 18 exhibit halls house the most important collection of paintings, sculptures, and carvings by Puerto Rican artists, with works spanning from the 17th century to today. When you visit, be sure not to miss the sculpture and botanical gardens behind the museum!
Located in a brilliantly restored 1918 school house, Puerto Rico’s museum of contemporary art is fully dedicated to championing Latin American and Caribbean contemporary artists. Each classroom has been carefully transformed into individually-themed exhibits covering contemporary art from graffiti to computer graphics. This museum is an absolute must visit for any fans of contemporary art.
Best Galleries in Santruce, San Juan
Galeria Petrus, founded in 1998, was arguably the first significant entrant into the Santurce art scene. Petrus owner, Sylvia Villafañe, is a strong champion of local talent, from the up-and-coming to legendary masters such as Antonio Martorell, Luis Hernández Cruz, Jaime Carrero, Julio Suarez, Elizam Escobar, Marta Perez, and Carlos Davila Rinaldi. The outstanding success of Petrus has helped cement the legacy of Santruce’s outstanding artists as well as establishing their work as a good investment.
Recognizable by the rainbow garage doors, Espacio 1414 opened in 2005 showcasing the private collection of Diana and Moisés Berezdivin. The collection, while originally built with a passion for contemporary art from Latin America has diversified throughout the years and now covers a wide breadth of international contemporary art. Espacio 1414 continues to push the contemporary art of Puerto Rico forward by coordinating collaborations between Puerto Rican artists and curators for its exhibitions.
While all of these indoor galleries and museums are absolutely worth visiting during your trip to Santurce, Puerto Rico, our favorite thing to do in Santurce is to walk the streets and take in all the incredible murals. At the end of the day, nothing beats walking down Calle Loiza and taking in all the great street art of Puerto Rico.