Although Coyhaique is one of Chile’s youngest regional capitals and, in many ways, more of a frontier town than a 21st century metropolis, the area’s incredible natural beauty and rich cultural traditions have inspired more than a fair share of contributions to the arts. Coyhaique is developing the reputation of being a hub for creativity, “the place to be”, especially when it comes to music, painting, literature and theatre. For instance, independent film producers from all of Chile come to compete in the annual Patagonia Film Festival and show off their awards with great pride. In addition, the actors who come to participate in the Patagonia Live Theater Festival leave as ambassadors for the event, speaking of its worth from the Atacama to Tierra del Fuego.
Coyhaique has a pretty amazing music scene.
Various bands, including Los Difuntos Correa and Los Vásquez, began their careers playing in Coyhaique’s pubs and cultural venues, and have moved on to successful national careers. Other nationally known musicians, like Duo Trapananda, Par of chocos, Alonso Núñez, and Richard Sepulveda have opted to remain in Aysén. Thus, you can find Aysén’s music in I Tunes, on YouTube and in the pubs and nightclubs of Coyhaique, including the Historic Café Ricer (Paseo Horn 48), Mamma Gaucha (Paseo Horn 47) and El Bulin´s (Moraleda 579). These places are recognized for their contribution to regional music and are excellent places to visit and enjoy.
If rock and roll is your passion in life, you’ll want to coordinate your plans to attend the Rockin’ the Simpson River event that takes place in January of each year on the grounds of the La Posada del Conejo Restaurant, along the shores of the Simpson River (Km 3, Route X-600). The best regional, national, and Argentinean rock bands take part in this great open air rock festival.
During the day, head to the Cultural Center Coyhaique (Eusebio Lillo 23), to enjoy regional art exhibitions. In this same forum you can participate in workshops and classes including dance, pottery, theater and painting. The bulletin board announcing events, activities and workshops is located outside the Cultural Center; stop by and check out the latest and greatest happenings so that you can incorporate some into your visit.
Coyhaique is the muse for a number of great artists.
Watercolor artist Renato Tilleria is considered one of the masters of Chile, with his unique style of capturing the colors of the local landscapes of the area, and blending with the local culture. Don Renato is world renowned, has made countless exhibitions nationally, and internationally. His works are in private collections in Chile, Argentina, Australia, Japan, Italy, France and the United States, among others. In Coyhaique, it is possible to see his work in the Cultural Center and other local exhibitions and also you can visit him in his workshop located in the bypass of the city (Route X-7, #123), to gain a personal perspective of this great regional artist (and also to buy an original painting for your own gallery).
Robinson Mora is another of Aysen’s master painters, specializing in oils. He has made Coyhaique his home since 1971; here, he has been able to find the tranquility and inspiration he has needed to paint award winning canvases which have been cataloged within the style of “geometric surrealism”. Mora has participated in numerous collective and individual exhibitions, both in Chile and abroad, and his works are part of the permanent collections of major national museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago. You can contact Don Robinson Mora via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using rawhide as his canvas, Artist Segismundo Sade enchants regional visitors with giant murals that capture local traditions and fauna, using the traditional cultural process of leather etching. You can view his works in highly visible places in the region, like as the airport of Balmaceda and the Cultural Center of Coyhaique. Don Sade is beloved in Coyhaique as one of its most colorful characters; a wealth of knowledge about the Region and a storyteller with a great sense of humor! You can ask for details about his works and exhibitions at the Cultural Center or in the office of the National Council for Culture and Arts in Aysén (21 de Mayo, #574).
The inspirations of Aysén are also capturing contemporary, up and coming artists, like Catalina Correa, a Santiago native, who has made Coyhaique her home base since 2009. Catalina is a remarkable and versatile visual artist, who works with various techniques including pen and ink drawings, multimedia installations and performance works. You can see examples of her work in her Online forum: www.ladistanciaproyectos.cl, or in person, in the Café de Mayo (21 de Mayo #543), or contact her directly for additional information: email@example.com.
The Artisan Fair across from the Plaza is home to sculptor Oscar Ziehlmann (www.piedraspatagonicas.cl), who works primarily in stone etchings. When you visit the fair, look for his sculpture, “The Tehuelche Mother”, which is permanently displayed in front. This work was commissioned by the city of Coyhaique, and as Oscar explains, represents the love and connectivity between mother and son. Oscar is almost always in his workshop in the fair and welcomes visitors. Here, you can view and discuss his works and if you like, purchase one of his unique stone carvings of landscapes, animals and scenes of rural life.
Patagonia is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for literature.
Each year that passes brings valuable additions to its growing collection of regional books, focused on its culture, its landscapes and its stories. We highly recommend a visit to the Regional Library (Lord Cochrane #233), which has a large collection of regional, national and international texts about Patagonia and Aysén, as well as the possibility to connect to the Internet, participate in writers’ workshops and children’s activities or simply enjoy a good read. If you discover a text that you would like to take home, there are several great bookshops in Coyhaique that specialize in regional texts and authors, including La Librería Librería, (Carlos Condell #228; Facebook: lalibreria.libreria), LeoLibros librería (Horn #53) and Mundilibros (21 de mayo #447).
Live theatre and film are also finding a home within the arts community of Coyhaique.
During the summer, two groups of motivated “cultural ambassadors” are celebrating live theatre and film by developing regional festivals that attract national level actors and filmmakers. The Patagonia Film Festival (Facebook: Festival de Cine de la Patagonia), organized by the Patagonia Visual Group, brings films and documentaries to the region, playing an important role for promoting the arts in a corner of the world that does not have the opportunity to enjoy movies on a regular basis (there in not a regularly functioning movie theatre in Aysén). The Patagonia Live Theatre Festival, organized by the Malotun Ortiga Organization, (www.patagoniaenescena.blogspot.com), brings local and national actors together in a week-long celebration, including workshops, of theater arts that provide locals and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy the best of the national theater, without leaving Coyhaique.