Aruba ART’s History

Aruba went from a simple and laid back island into and industrialized and modern society attracting immigrants from all over the world, turning this small island to an immensely diverse society. These developments manifested themselves in different manners including the expansion and a new understanding for the arts within the region.

Since the late 30′, early 1940’s, Aruba has been developing rapidly towards becoming a cosmopolitan center of the Southern Caribbean. Aruba’s growth as a society manifested itself in the advancement of the arts and culture. As a result, the island has become a part of the Caribbean artistic milieu that captured the imagination and attention of the rest of the world. During this period, landscapes were the popular style and they were mostly created by foreign artists. These paintings along with vivid murals have become common sight in Aruban residences. Some of these painters like Nildo Marchena developed their style further and worked with still lives in the 50’s. In the 1960s, the local art scene in Aruba thrived. Surrealist works of Toton Quand and the abstract landscapes of Bill De La Vega became known both internationally and locally. For the next three decades, the arts in Aruba flourished and the artists were recognized through their exhibitions at Cas di Cultura, which was built in 1958 as a venue for organizing local exhibits as well as international work. These social and cultural developments encouraged the new generations to study fine arts. In the last 15 years, a wave of local artists who graduated from international universities and academies returned to Aruba and initiated new ideas for the artistic development of the island. Aruba went from a simple and laid back island into and industrialized and modern society attracting immigrants from all over the world, turning this small island to an immensely diverse society. These social and cultural developments encouraged the new generations to study fine arts. During the last 15 years, a wave of local artists who graduated from international universities and academies returned to Aruba and initiated new ideas for the artistic development of the island. As a result, the Institute of Culture was founded in the 1980s. However, one institution could not possibly reflect all the different movements within the contemporary arts scene in a critical context. management, contemporary and digital arts to performance art and contemporary literature.