Bellas Artes / El Nigromante Cultural Center

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Place Category: Community and Places to VisitPlace Tags: art, Music, and school

  • This beautiful former monastery of La Concepción church was converted into a fine-arts school in 1938. Don’t miss the murals of Pedro Martínez, plus the Siqueiros Room, which features the extraordinary unfinished mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros (it plays with your mind – we won’t spoil the surprise). The rest of the gallery holds temporary exhibitions.


    It is located less than 5 minutes from the main square in Street Hernandez Macias that parallels Hidalgo street which leads right in the Main Garden. It is walking through this beautiful area worth, visit its art galleries and get you some photos on your patio or in one of the arches of the first floor, but if you are thinking that the arts are your thing you can consider it as a study center for you because it is a nationally recognized school.

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  • 1 Review on “Bellas Artes / El Nigromante Cultural Center”

    1. LAURIE AND LISA SANDEFER Bellas Artes / El Nigromante Cultural Center
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      The cultural center known as Bellas Artes was originally part of the cloistered convent next door. The land was confiscated from the church by the federal government (like most church land) and was used as an elementary school in the early 20th century. Then during the revolution, it housed cavalry regiments. In 1937, Peruvian artist Felipe Cossío del Pomar started San Miguel’s first art school in this building. The school was called Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes and most people still refer to this building as Bellas Artes. The actual name of this building, however, is “El Nigromante,” in honor of San Miguel writer Ignacio Ramirez (nicknamed El Nigromante), who is referred to as the Voltaire of Mexico because of his atheism and satirical wit. He served as the only radical on Mexico’s Supreme Court and was an important part of the Mexican Constitutional Convention of 1856. There is a statue of him inside the Bellas Artes compound. More importantly, in the northeast corner of the compound is an unfinished mural by famous Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. It was begun during a workshop he taught at the Bellas Artes center in 1949. Historians say that Siqueiros had a temper and that while working on the mural he got into a brawl with one of his pupils and left. Along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, Siqueiros is considered the father of Mexican Mural Renaissance. (A Stalinist who won the Lenin peace prize, Siqueiros is also known for leading the assassination attempt on anti-Stalinist Leon Trostsky during his exile in Mexico City.)

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