Things to do in Bali: Ubud’s Visual Arts Scene

June 6, 2012

Bali provides inspiration to countless visual artists, both native and those who have visited and fallen irrevocably in love with the tropical scenery and the mystical serenity of the island. You need look no farther than the walls of our Bali villa to enjoy the work of some of Bali’s best-known visual artists. However, if you are looking for things to do in Bali that give you a different perspective on everyday village life, Ubud is the place to be. Spend a day or two visiting some of the many galleries and museums in Ubud to see why Balinese artwork is internationally sought after.

The Blanco museum, which showcases the work of Spanish/American artist Don Antonio Blanco, is housed in the artist’s mountain-top home (a gift from the King of Ubud in 1952). Blanco and his wife, a Balinese dancer, lived together in this home until Blanco’s death in 1999. Surrounded by lush gardens and rice fields, the building is a flamboyant blend of Balinese architecture and Spanish influence, and the actual studio has been preserved as the artist left it when he died, an unfinished painting still on the easel. “The Fabulous Blanco,” as he was known, painted mainly fantasy portraits of beautiful women, a selection of which are on display at the museum.

Another expatriate makes for an interesting stop on your tour of the Bali art scene: Visit Horizon Glassworks to see hot glass artist Ron Seivertson work his magic with this exciting and dynamic medium.

If you are looking for something a bit more traditional, the Museum Puri Lukisan is home to a collection of 21st century Balinese paintings and woodcarvings. The museum was opened in 1956 as a way to keep Balinese art in Bali at a time when international collectors were showing a great interest in Indonesian art. Or, for a real taste of what is going on in Bali right now, the relatively new Tanah Tho Gallery showcases contemporary and abstract paintings by young, Indonesian Ubud residents.

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