Home Headlines The Allende Institute: An icon in visual arts

The Allende Institute: An icon in visual arts

by sanmigueltimes
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The Allende Institute is an educational center with more than 70 years of training artists

For a city that’s hardly changed in hundreds of years, San Miguel de Allende certainly has a modern approach to art.  This colonial jewel of a town that welcomes a strong and constantly evolving community of creative types has become a haven for artists and art lovers from around the world.  Inspiration is seen at every turn – there are more than 100 fine art galleries in San Miguel, plus folk art museums, two art schools, and a revolving door of music, opera and dance festivals.

You could say the animated art scene was launched in 1927 when a Peruvian artist and diplomat-in-exile visited San Miguel and fell in love with the quality of light. Ten years later he started the Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes on the premises of a former convent.  The art school is still in operation today, and music and dance performances, gallery exhibitions, a concert hall, art classes and other arts-related activities go on all year.  When you visit, make a special effort to see the murals of Pedro Martínez and to spend time in the Siqueiros Room, which features an extraordinary unfinished mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros.


After WWII when a young American artist, Stirling Dickinson, advertised Bellas Artes’s school as a place where veterans on the GI Bill could study (and live inexpensively), increasing numbers of Americans settled in the town.

Dickinson went on to cofound another art school, the Instituto Allende in 1951, which drew international students well into the 1970’s and 80’s and still offers art and Spanish instruction to students and lifelong learners.

These days it’s split into two buildings – one for classes and another with art galleries, patios, and gardens.

Instituto Allende is an art school incorporated into the University of Guanajuato. It offers workshops, courses and a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts.

  • Ancha de San Antonio 22, Zona Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato See map MON – FRI 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, SAT 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

San Miguel Times

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