Andalucia, Spain (October 15-26, 2014)

Art Encounter Explores…

Join artists Joanna Pinsky and Ellen Kamerling
October 15-26, 2014
for an insider’s view of the art and architecture of Southern Spain. Art Encounter invites you to be our guest to private appointments with artists, dealers, and collectors who make Andalucia a contemporary art destination. Come along as we discover the essence of Southern Spain while marveling at contemporary art, sipping sherry, tasting tapas, learning to cook authentic paella, visiting a tablaos, and relaxing at comfortable 4 and 5-star resorts. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Spain with well-known Chicago artist Enrique Santana– an Art Encounter exclusive!

ITINERARY (subject to change)

Wednesday, October 15th: Departures from U.S.A.

Thursday, October 16th: Welcome to Seville!
Our adventure in Spain begins with a tour in Seville, including the regal Alcazar, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. This royal palace was built in the 1300s, and remains one of history’s architectural high points. Explore the Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville’s fascinating Jewish Quarter and get to know your traveling companions at our welcome dinner.

Friday, October 17th: Seville’s Awesome Art Scene
Today we are guests of Spanish artist and Chicago resident, Enrique Santana as he introduces us to his Seville gallery dealer. The day continues with a visit to the stunning Metropol Parasol. Opened in 2011, this huge controversial structure claims to be the largest wooden building in the world. Next up is a contemporary art viewing and discussion in the home of a private collector, as well as meetings with artists in their homes and studios. We’ll spend the evening at the Flamenco Barrio Club for a spectacular performance.

Saturday, October 18th: Culinary Excursion to Jerez de la Frontera
Today we’ll venture to Jerez, world renowned for its vineyards, sweet wines and sherry. We’ll lunch at a local sherry bodega, and get to sample the flavors of this unique wine destination. Next, at the Bodegas Tradicion, we’ll see the Coleccion Joaquin Rivera, a private Spanish art collection that includes works by Goya, Velazquez and Zurbaran. Jerez is also the capital of Andalusian horse culture where we may observe the “Dancing Horses of Jerez” at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. Finally, we’ll stop to sample Spanish olive oil and local wines on our return route to Seville.

Sunday, October 19th: A Day Trip to Cordoba
Known as the “Crossroads of Civilization,” our excursion through Cordobawill bring us to the roots of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Spain. First we’ll visit Mezquita, a magnificent mosque built by the Moors in the eighth century. Now Cordoba’s Cathedral, Mezquita remains an architectural marvel of candy-striped arches. We’ll also explore Juderia, a Jewish quarter boasting the only surviving synagogue in Andalucia, as well as the Casa de Sefarad, a small museum devoted to reviving interest in the Sephardic Judaic Spanish tradition.

Monday, October 20th: Ronda and Malaga
Leaving Seville behind, our route takes us through the mountains to the brilliant white villages of Arcos de la Frontera and Ronda. These breathtaking villages cling precariously to Andalucian hilltops. We’ll enjoy spectacular views as we explore the Moorish remains. In Ronda walk the dramatic suspension bridge that divides the old and new town and visit the Plaza de Toros, one of Spain’s iconic bullrings.

Tuesday, October 21st: Malaga, Picasso’s Legacy
We’ll spend two nights in the vicinity of Malaga, enjoying excursions to Picasso’s birthplace, the new Picasso Museum (renovated by NYC architect Richard Gluckman), and the Centro de Arte Contemporabeo. Joanna and Ellen will introduce you to well-known local artists to discuss their work and the latest art trends in lively “art encounters.”

Wednesday, October 22nd: Optional Tours
Today is set aside for you. Choose to relax at a spa, go shopping, take a hike in the Sierra Nevada National Park, or schedule an excursion in advance to visit Granada. Seeing the exquisite Alhambra Palace is a must! You may even opt for an illuminated evening visit.

Thursday, October 23rd: Malaga to Murcia
We arrive in the lively town of Murcia, known to art lovers for its Biennial of Contemporary Art. We meet artists that have been included in international art exhibitions and are welcomed by a gallery dealer who has a booth at Expo Chicago. Dinner is at a wonderful restaurant owned by a gallery dealer who will introduce us to his culinary specialties, as well as his stable of artists.

Friday, October 24th: Avant-Garde Architecture
Valencia is our final destination with restaurants overlooking the beach serving authentic paella, and local artists building fallas (huge paper machè sculptures). On an orientation walking tour, we’ll learn how architects like Sir Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, and others have not only changed Valencia’s skyline, but created a new cultural capital. We’ll take in the Palacio de Congesos, City of Arts & Sciences, a monumental art complex boasting the largest opera house in Europe, the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, and learn how giant sculptures are handled during the annual Las Fallas celebrations at the Museo Fallero.

Saturday, October 25th: Famous Ceramics and Culinary Art
Valencia is known for Lladro porcelain, Mainses stoneware, glassware, and azulejo (brightly colored ceramic tiles). This morning we venture to a nearby town to learn about various techniques used at pottery studios and factories. Back in Valencia, we visit Mercado de Colon and admire its Gaudi inspired ceramic façade, and browse through boutiques and cafes. Learn the art of preparing authentic paella at an afternoon cooking class. Tonight, sample Valencia’s culinary specialties at our farewell dinner. With fine Spanish wine, we toast Spain’s ageless beauty, past, present and future.

Sunday, October 26th: Departures
After breakfast and checkouts, you will be transferred to Aeropuerto de Manises International for flights to USA. You may choose to continue on your own to Barcelona, Madrid, Bilboa or perhaps a wine tour of the La Rioja region.

PLEASE NOTE: This trip involves moderate walking on uneven terrain. Please pack comfortable walking shoes so you can enjoy this tour to the fullest!

Accommodations for 10 nights in 4 and 5 star hotels, daily breakfast, welcome dinner, private cocktail reception (Seville), tour/tasting at a sherry bodega, lunch at Bodega Tradicion (Jerez), group dinner (Murcia), cooking class, farewell dinner (Valencia), entrance fees to Alcazar, Bario de Santa Cruz, and Flamenco show (Seville), Mezquita, Juderia, Casa de Sefrad (Cordoba), Picasso Museum, Casa de Natal de Picasso, Museo Carmen Thyssen, Centrode Arte Contemporaneo (Malaga), City of Arts & Sciences, and Museo Faller (Valencia), private tours led by Joanna Pinsky & Ellen Kamerling to artists’ studios, galleries, and private collections per itinerary, guided tours of historic sites by English-speaking guides, airfare and group airport transfer to Valencia, private coach transportation per itinerary.

Round-trip international airfare, airport transfer to Seville hotel upon arrival, tour of the Alhambra in Granada, food/beverages other than those listed as included, gratuities, porterage, items of a personal nature, trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

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