Mexico: Go deep inside Tijuana’s art and food scene on this museum tour

Shown is a view of Baja California's Valle de Guadalupe from the terrace of Finca Altozano, the rustic country eatery helmed by noted chef Javier Plascencia.

Shown is a view of Baja California’s Valle de Guadalupe from the terrace of Finca Altozano, the rustic country eatery helmed by noted chef Javier Plascencia.

(Carolina A. Miranda / Los Angeles Times)

It’s no secret that the Mexican border area around Tijuana is in the midst of a cultural renaissance -- and one museum makes it easy to take it all in.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego for more than three years has organized regular day-trips to areas around the border -- all with a focus on art, architecture and history (with a little food thrown in for good measure).

The next one starts 10 a.m. Friday. Tours are $135 per person for non-members and include transportation from San Diego and lunch.

Tijuana’s emerging independent art spaces along with artisan workshops and private galleries were documented by the Los Angeles Times in the Tijuana Generation Art series last fall.


The city is home to an important regional art center that regularly hosts traveling exhibitions, as well as a zona gastronómica (gastronomic zone), which features eateries from some of the area’s most celebrated chefs, such as Javier Plascencia of Misión 19 in Tijuana and Bracero in San Diego.

Friday’s museum tour will include a visit to “El Cubo,” the new galleries at the Centro Cultural Tijuana, to get a personally guided tour of the art collection of Alonso Elías and Patty Fontes. It will also include a visit to the alternative art space, La Caja Galería and a visit to the studio of photographer Ingrid Hernández.

Lunch will be at Verde y Crema, the new Baja Med hot spot by Jair Tellez.

Last summer, I joined the museum for a similar day-long excursion to various cultural outposts in Tijuana and beyond (see the embedded photo essay).

This included a stop at an artist-run gallery on Avenida Revolución, a visit to the Valle de Guadalupe studio of artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre, and a conversation with architect Jorge Gracia, of graciastudio, about sustainability in design.

In between all of the culture, we enjoyed a farm-fresh family-style lunch at the celebrated Finca Altozano. All around, a terrific way to taste all that Tijuana has to offer in just a single day.

Info: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, (858) 454-3541


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