the allure of Aruban art

In the previous two posts, I introduced you to what we loved about Aruba and various accommodation options you can enjoy around the island. In this post, I’d like to introduce you to the allure of Aruban art that will captivate you throughout your exploration of this beautiful island.

This is one of my favourite murals in San Nicolas, Aruba. So intense, bright, and beautiful!

As Aruba is located in the Caribbean Sea just 15 miles (24 kilometres) off the coast of Venezuela, its art boasts the traditionally bright colours found throughout the Caribbean. Aruban art is bright, colourful, and evokes emotion. We were in awe walking the streets of San Nicolas (also known as Sint Nicolaas in honour of its Dutch heritage.) If you love street art, you, too, will love this quaint village on the southwest coast of Aruba that is home to more than 40 murals adorning its buildings. Please pin the image below to Pinterest for your future reference.

You can do a self-guided tour of the murals as we did, but a better recommendation is to take one of the Aruba Art Tours led by local artist and art fair organizer Tito Bolivar for some great insider info.

A highlight that showcases the art and culture of Aruba is the Aruba Art Fair held annually in the Art Center of San Nicolas located at the Bernard van de Veen Gallery at 14 Zeppenfeldstraat.  In 2023, the Aruba Art Fair will be held September 8-10, but if you can’t make it, you can also purchase some of the finest local Aruban art online via the Art Fair’s site.

shopping for art in Aruba is loads of fun

The breath-taking creations at Designs of Color are irresistible and truly unique.

There are also a number of shops offering original styles of Aruban art that you can purchase. Our favourite shop in Oranjestad was Designs of Color by Darianna. Darianna runs the shop with partner Stephen Hudson, a native of Curacao. The irresistible art in this shop is made from brightly painted fibreglass, which is lightweight and affordable. We came home with a gecko that now brightens our dining room.
The brightly coloured Colombian inspired native art found at Mopa Mopa is delightful.

We also loved the Columbia-inspired native wooden art of Mopa Mopa, an equally enticing shop where you can purchase pieces crafted from wood that goes through an intricate process to become these beautiful works of art. Mopa Mopa is located just steps from Designs of Color in the Renaissance Marketplace on LS Smith Blvd. in Oranjestad, where you’ll find quite an array of Aruban art pieces.

super-food-chocolates

The chocolate bonbons at Super Food in Oranjestad, Aruba, are made on-site and boast fresh tropical flavours.

And as I know that most readers of this site are interested in chocolate art, I’d be remiss without including the handcrafted chocolates made in-house at Super Food, to be found in the Super Food Plaza Shopping Mall in Oranjestad. The tropical flavours of the bonbons are excellent, but be sure to eat them quickly or protect them from the ever-present Aruban heat as your chocolate treasure may melt before you know it! 

Have you been to Aruba? Were you impressed with the array of Aruban art there is available for purchase? Please share your comments in the thread following this post. And if you enjoyed the post, please share with your friends and family. Thanks!

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

15 Responses

  1. Pat says:

    Beautiful colours! Everything looks so inviting. Happy to see the murals as I have always been a fan of that skill. As you said Aruba looks like a magical island and thank you and Kim for sharing the magic of your journey together.

  2. Bev Phillips says:

    Thanks for the stunning colour photos, Doreen! I truly enjoyed discovering Aruba through your posts.

  3. Love the colourful art. I am a fan of street art, so I am sure I’d enjoy a visit to San Nicolas.
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  4. Esther says:

    Marvelous array of art as well as a beautifully arranged presentation of chocolate creations, @Doreen! Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures with us!
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  5. Shelly says:

    Looks like so much fun! Love the lively, colorful art!

  6. Kim Lawrence says:

    All the art was very impressive and beautiful. The murals down in St Nicolas where absolutely gorgeous

    • Hi Kim! Yes, I wish I could have uploaded more of the mural pics from San Nicolas, but there’s always an issue with how many pixels can be uploaded to a post. So glad we had the opportunity to visit the magical island of Aruba. ❤️

  7. Beautiful post, Doreen. It just pops with colour. Did colonization by the Dutch affect the sugar content of the chocolate (remember we were surprised by how sweet the chocolate was in Amsterdam)?

    • Hi Virginia and thx for your comment. ❤️ Indeed, the fact that the ABC Islands are of Dutch heritage, the chocolate you find on the islands is primarily composed of imported Dutch-made chocolate, or Aruban-made chocolate made in the Dutch tradition. Definitely not the 100% cacao, pure bean-to-bar chocolate you may find on other islands throughout the Caribbean as there is no cacao being grown on Aruba.

  8. Wendy Peck says:

    I would have loved to see those shops. Love colour.

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