Otto Apuy and La Iglesia de Cañas

Otto Apuy is one of the most recognized artists in Costa Rica.  He participates in what seems to be almost every medium of art (sculpture, painting, drawing, and as you will see below mosaics) and he has also published several books of literature and poetry.  We visited La Iglesia de Cañas several months ago as we were traveling north through the country to see Allison’s family and my brother in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica.  Below the pics see a small excerpt from this link regarding Otto Apuy.

One of his most spectacular works is the Iglesia de Cañas, (Cañas Church).  Apuy designed and directed the envelopment of the entire church in colorful mosaic tile, which has put Cañas, on the map as a place to visit.  In a country of many beautiful and impressive churches, this one has to be at the top of almost every list.  Apuy has used both whole and broken tiles in glossy, vibrant colors to depict both religious and abstract themes. The church’s central tower, which is entirely covered in mosaic, is nearly 30m (100 ft.) tall.  Estimates indicate that more than a million pieces of ceramic were employed  in the work.

Sights along the Highway in Costa Rica

We are currently on vacation.  My brother is in the country, and Allison’s father, brother, and his family are with us as well.  We have travelled to the beach in Tamarindo to celebrate our time together.  Everyone actually flew into Liberia which is around 5 hours from San Jose, Costa Rica.  The distance is not far, but the road is narrow and curvy.  It takes longer than it seems it should take.  We made the trip without any problem, and we were surprised at a local truck stop to see howler monkeys and scarlet macaws in the trees.  We stopped at a church in Cañas to admire the mosaic tile work on the church done by the artist Otto Apuy.  Apparently Otto Apuy was a young man who could not stop himself from doing art with bright colors and shapes wherever there was space available.  Some thought he was rebellious, others just noted he had a lot of artistic energy.  A local Peace Corp worker introduced him to the greater world of art, and his talent took off.  He went to Spain where his work was featured, and now I believe he lives in Costa Rica and continues to do his work.  I cannot find a lot about him on the internet, but I loved the look of the church he has beautified.  While we were taking pictures of the church, we were suprised to watch a 3 foot iguana walk by.  We were in the middle of town, and this big lizard looked completely at home.  Pura vida, Costa Rica!