It’s easy to stick to the landmark sights when visiting a new city, discovering the most popular, iconic attractions without seeing much else. To get beneath the city’s touristy surface, though, you need to find some locals with specialized knowledge who can take you deeper.
In Santiago, one such group of locals is Antenna, an organization that’s “dedicated to visual arts in Chile.” Antenna organizes visits to galleries, museums, and other art spaces, where participants can share with other visitors and the artists themselves, or art experts.
Spreading the word about Chile’s cultural identity
Antenna launched in 2015 with the goal of “building and enjoying [Chile’s] cultural identity,” bringing art closer to people who want to discover it. Antenna manages to build a community among members while, at the same time, allowing artists to get closer to those who wish to support art. The group has around 250 paid members who attend weekly events.
Antenna was founded by three people with different educational backgrounds, but they share a strong love of art. They are Constanza Güell, the Director of Projects and Content; Alfonso Díaz, art and culture consultant, and Elisa Ibañez, designer. The trio arranges interesting events with artists from different disciplines.
One recent project? An installation by artist Voluspa Jarpa, who used intelligence files from the period of Chile’s dictatorship as part of the artwork. This event was held at Matucana 100, a cultural space in the Estación Central commune.
Antenna has also worked with Sagrada Mercancía, an artistic collective that works in a space in the little-visited Barrio República neighborhood.
What about people visiting Santiago?
Art lovers who live in Santiago can purchase an Antenna membership, but this may not be so practical for aficionados who are just visiting. Travelers who want to see more than Santiago’s best-known museums and galleries can choose to participate in “Antenna Sessions,” which provide an opportunity to learn about the art scene in Santiago.
At the moment, the best way to get access to events and exhibitions is through the travel company Upscape Travel, which, among other things, runs guided tours of arts sites in Chile, both in and beyond Santiago.
With Upscape Travel, visiting art lovers can participate in the sessions, or if there is any other specific interest, they can visit exhibitions, galleries, and private collections along with an Antenna guide, learning more about Chile’s exciting, thought-provoking art scene.