San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Art Show Raises Money for At-Risk Girls

Valoarte, an annual art show and fundraiser for the at-risk girls’ home Hogar Siembra, kicked off its eighth season Tuesday and will continue through Oct. 20.

Serving as the exhibit’s main venue this year is La Aduana, the former customs building turned arts and technology center in eastern San José’s Barrio La California. The historic and beautiful red brick building, lined with stone floors and stained glass windows, is the temporary home to more than 300 pieces of artwork by artists representing 22 countries.

The success of this year’s exhibit rests on a tripod of values, said organizers at a press conference last week. Valoarte exists to promote social, environmental and cultural awareness.

Proceeds from ticket and art sales benefit Hogar Siembra, a nongovernmental, not-for-profit home for at-risk girls.

Valoarte 2010

The exhibit’s 300 works also feature photography by Isabel Amador. Courtesy of Isabel Amador.

Since its founding in 1983, Hogar Siembra has worked under the credo, “A girl saved is a generation rescued.” Over the past 27 years, the organization has dedicated itself to rescuing threatened girls and young women by helping them overcome familial abuse and violence.

According to Valoarte’s website,, a whopping 70 percent of Hogar Siembra’s yearly income comes from the art show. With the money raised this year, the shelter will begin construction of a new wing that will serve as a dormitory and dining hall for 40 girls.

In an effort to raise environmental awareness, artwork in the Valoarte exhibit is displayed on walls made from recycled milk cartons.

Even some of this year’s creative works are crafted from recycled materials. Two large, outdoor installations by San José-based artist and architect Francesco Bracci utilize 1,200 milk crates and 60,000 plastic bottle caps.

Much of the show features the work of invited, world-class artists from Costa Rica and around the globe. Valoarte also recognizes the importance of up-and-coming talent, however. A large portion of the exhibit comes from a contest for emerging artists. Winners were chosen by a multinational panel of renowned judges and critics.

La Aduana, at Calle 23, Avenida 7, is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the exhibit is ₡1,500 (about $3) for the general public, ₡1,000 ($2) for students and seniors, and free for children under 12. For more information, visit and

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