San Felipe: The jewel in the city’s art scene

By Jim Cook September 20, 2019

Many people who come to visit Bogotá are content to stroll around, unaware that there is a vibrant art scene going on. For that matter, it’s not only tourists who don’t know this – most bogotanos don’t either. 

There are many art-related things to see around the city, such as marvelling at the epic architecture of Las Torres del Parque in Macarena by famed Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona, a student of the renowned Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier, or, the galleries in Teusaquillo, or Chico. However, the barrio that has been getting the most play recently has to be San Felipe.

Doma Collective, Social Vitamin (2019). Over the past 10 years, the Doma Collective have gained recognition for their acidic version of reality. They take a critical view of our globalized world using materials from the advertising world. See the show at Beta Gallery and Corferias during ARTBO.
Photo: Courtesy of Beta Gallery

San Felipe sits between Calles 72 and 80, and the Caracas and Carrera 24. Nestled to the west of Chico and bordered by the neighbourhoods Siete de Agosto and El Retiro, this once down-at-heel hood, which housed auto part shops and mechanics, has now developed a chic urban art scene. 

Related: ARTBO 2018 takes it up to 11

And during ARTBO, throngs of art aficionados, clad only in black and monochromatic hues, can be seen traipsing from one gallery to the next, in search of the next best thing. Most importantly, you can meet the owners of many of the San Felipe galleries when you visit Corferias during ARTBO.

Champions of San Felipe

Liz Caballero and Daniela Camero have played a huge part in San Felipe’s success. Their spaces SKETCH and Beta Gallery were two of the first galleries in San Felipe, opening in 2013 and 2014. They both started Noche San Felipe in 2016.

The next Noche San Felipe will take place on October 3 and then December 5. Both Thursday evening events run from 6pm-10pm and will appeal to anyone suffering art withdrawal after ARTBO.

But there’s plenty happening during ARTBO itself. Open San Felipe will take place on September 20 & 21, run and organised by the Venezuelan actress Johanna Morales.

Some of the many things to watch out for after ARTBO are Dick El Demasiado and Francisco Toquica at Liberia, Iñaki Chávarri & Adriana Rosell at SKETCH and a Solo Show of Doma Collective in Beta Gallery.