DAY NINE (September 20, 2016)
Morocco is a city full of amazing art and artisans. Today I venture out to visit the "Centro De Arte Moderno De Tetuan" (The Tetouan Center of Modern Art). The center is "considered to be one of the most important symbols of Spanish-Moroccan and Andalusian-Tetouani cooperation and common memory." The work of Mariano Bertuchi, a Granadan painter and arts educator, is central to the museum. He established the "Tetouan Fine Arts Preparatory School" in 1945, which presently continues to train young artisans in traditional crafts. This center has four main sections displaying art work by student artist from various eras. The Museum, housed in an renovated railway station, is supported by the Culture Ministry of the Kingdom of Morocco. I am especially moved by the original of Bertuchi's masterful work capturing a scene of a Moor-ish desert camp, entitled "Corrida de la polvora vista desde la tienda del Bedunio". (A replica hangs at the Tetouan Department of Tourism). It is wonderful to see the evolution of Bertuchi's students through the years as they perfect then experiment with different techniques and then influence of international cultures in their work in later years. Their creative and masterful use of color, texture, and style is highly inspiring.
On this day I also attend an amazing art reception at the newly established "Galerie Du Centre Socio-Culturelle De Tetouan" for the opening of a show entitled "Visions Plurielles", which features 17 contemporary and classic Moroccan artists. The school was established this year to further support the education of artists in Tetouan. The diversity of style and technique is an visual assault of Moroccan color, texture, tradition, and experimentation. My favorite piece is "Poupee de feu" (2016) by Abdelhamid Benali.