One of Cartagena's most exciting new cultural spaces, Casa Museo La Presentacion, is like one of local artist, Diana Herrera's blank canvases, filled with opportunities and infinite, creative horizons.
The expansive space opened in January 2014 to house the international quotient of Cartagena's first Contemporary Art Biennial. Since the Biennial closed its doors in April, the gallery has hosted shows by local artists and up-and-coming artists from Cali and Medellin.
The gallery space and theatre is the corner stone of an ambitious project to convert a former school into a world-class cultural centre to host artists, musicians, dancers and filmmakers being nurtured at the adjacent university as well as artists of international renown.
Four of the school's former classrooms host a varied selection of paintings - old and new - all-year-round, while an old theatre is used for recitals and contemporary dance performances.
The space is also home to one of the city's most impressive antique stores and a plethora of eclectic cultural activities that range from a regular farmer's market to Oktoberfest.
Cultured couples can often be found tying the knot in the upstairs chapel and cutting a rug in the adjacent to the chapel on the second floor, La Presentación boasts its own hotel, El Claustro, and draws visitors with a cultural bent for regular, seven-day photographic and painting workshops organised to showcase local and international talent.
THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE
* Taking in the art in an inspirational building rich in history NY-based artist, Willie Cole's chandelier made from recycled water bottles and religious icons.
* Kicking back with a coffee in the lush patio area
* Stumbling across an orchestra rehearsing in the theatre
* Picking you way through some of the more entertaining elements for sale in the La Presentaciòn's well-stocked store.
* Getting stuck into This Is Cartagena's week-long photographic workshops with world class photographers in such spectacular surround.
* How many galleries have its own football pitch?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* The gallery is closed on Sundays but a visit can be arranged if you call This Is Cartagena
* This Is Cartagena's offices are upstairs. Pop in on us for a coffee and some free information about what else to do in the city.
* The art varies in price from etchings for as little as USD$250 to pieces by Enrique Grau that will go for considerably more.
* The owner of the Dos Reyes antique store, Julián Reyes, is the man to speak to about any work you are interested in taking something home.