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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Art Talk 

Efren Gonzalez Exhibit Opens Dec. 28 at Galleria Dante

December 27, 2018

Efren will be offering painting classes in Vallarta Jan. 17-20 & Jan. 22-25. Please contact Galleria Dante at (322) 222-2477, or galleriadante2(at), or stop by the gallery and meet him on December 28th.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - On Friday, December 28 from 6:00-10:00 pm, a cocktail reception will open an art exhibition by Mexican artist Efren Gonzalez at Galleria Dante, Basilio Badillo #269, in Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone. Be sure to stop by and meet him while you're out doing this week's South Side Shuffle.

Efren Gonzalez resides in Ajijic, (his birth place) with his family, in a home he built entirely from the sale of his paintings. For years he struggled with the dream of living and supporting his family from his art; a dream he realized everyday, brick by brick.

Born on June 1, 1972, this 46 year-old, impassioned, local talent, stands out even in the pantheon of Lakeside greats. His paintings are intensely alive, full of color, meaning and insights into Mexico.

"Art started with a pencil," Efren says, "almost as soon as I could hold it," and despite a few short detours, the journey to becoming a "working" artist began early. Efren grew up in Ajijic, winning local and regional drawing competitions as early as primary school. Although he preferred Art to Math and Chemistry in high school, he still didn't know that one day it would be his career. Sometimes, he still lacks confidence, he admits.

After high school, Efren started out studying Architecture and then Plastic Arts, but shortly found that he hadn't the patience for either. What career would suit him best? He had worked in restaurants, fabricas, and as a translator, but only to gain his daily bread, his sueldo, drawing and painting all the while, as a function of his being. Still undecided as to what to do, Efren was offered a grant to study Art at a small college in Maryland. He made the most of the opportunity. More than anything he learned there, he was enriched by seeing in person, great works he had only admired in books. One year later, he returned to Ajijic and took up his brush.

Leaving the hardships of the days when he peddled his work himself, Efren is now sought after by galleries across North America.

A prodigious painter in all media: watercolor, pastel and acrylic, but oil is his preferred medium. Efren participated in the famous Neil James art program in Ajijic. He studied with various artists: Antonio Cardenas; International painter, B.R. Kline; watercolorist. Luis Eduardo Gonzalez; sculptor Kent Clark and etching master, Juan Navarro.

Efren paintings depict the things he sees in everyday life - the colorful people and landscape of his beloved Mexico. He is equally well known as a muralist having completed his first intricate mural in the 90's and since then many more in his beloved Ajijic.

The last few years Efren has travelled extensively: Portugal, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, various cities in the USA and Canada. What strikes most people when they meet Efren is how humble he is about his great talent.

Efren will be offering 2 painting classes in Puerto Vallarta: Dates: January 17th through the 20th; and January 22nd through the 25th. Please contact Galleria Dante at (322) 222-2477, or galleriadante2(at), or stop by the gallery and visit with this talented artist on Friday, December 28.

While you are there, be sure to check out Di Vino Dante, a chic wine and tapas bar overlooking the gallery's sculpture garden that serves creative cuisine and cocktails. Last summer, Di Vino Dante opened a small dining area on the ground floor in a corner of Galleria Dante, for those who like to people watch. Please Note: Di Vino Dante does not take reservations on South Side Shuffle nights.

Open Mon-Fri from 10 am to 5 pm and from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, Galleria Dante is located at Basilio Badillo #269 in Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone. For more information, click HERE, call (322) 222-2477, or send an email to galleriadante2(at) To see some of the art work on display at the gallery, visit