The Sullivan Jardín del Arte starts with what was already a truly excellent city park. In fact, beneath the weekly tianguis of art, that’s what’s there all week long. But the Jardín del Arte is better known for that Sunday event that’s been going on, with few interruptions, for better than five decades.
In 1955, visual artists from the National Institute of Mexican Youth (INJM), a group called 23 Escalones, a marketplace in Puebla, and artists from the states of Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Jalisco, and Oaxaca joined forces. Their intent was to exhibit their works outdoors in the San Rafael park known then as the Mariscal Santa Cruz Garden. It had been the old railway station but which had closed in 1940. In 1958, the Jardín del Arte association was founded and has lent its name to the park ever since.
A similar group formed in 1962 to exhibit their work in the San Ángel area. They began exhibiting on Saturdays in the garden of El Carmen and later in the garden of San Jacinto. By 1967, they’d definitively merged with the Sullivan group for good.
The association today includes some 500 painters, sculptors, engravers, photographers, and artists who continue to share their work in this park, and the others, every weekend.
Precisely between the San Rafael and Cuauhtémoc neighborhoods, a Sunday trip to the garden can easily include the best of both of these neighborhoods. The Museo Experimental el Eco is right on the same stretch of Sullivan street. The El Chopo museum is not far away, and the tianguis extends to the west, with not only art supplies and framing dealers. There are also traditional tianguis goods including prepared foods and farmers market-style produce.