San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Atenas Advisor

 Approximately 40 friends, guests and members of the local art community, attended the reception and unveiling of a spectacular, floral-themed mural by NYC artist Arnie Charnick this past Saturday, at the home of Walter and Carol Wengrowich.

 When Walter and Carol relocated to Atenas from Calgary, Canada, they found the perfect site to build their dream home in the mountains of Barrio Jesus. A lovely property with a waterfall running through it, they named their new home Casa del Rio. After a year of renovations including installing a pool and rancho, they rented their casita to recent Atenas arrival, former New York City artist, Gail Schilke.

 When Gail’s long-time friend from NYC Arnie Charnick, a renowned muralist in the States, arrived for a visit, Gail suggested the artist consider painting a mural on the empty wall/fence bordering the Wengrowich property. Negotiations ensued and Arnie was offered a commission to take on the job.

 Arnie attended the celebrated NYC High School of Art & Design, and then was accepted into the full scholarship program at Cooper Union, arguably the best art school in the United States. His work has been featured in The New Yorker and New York magazine; he is the creator of iconic murals in New York City and Provincetown, MA, and his work is part of many private collections and commissions worldwide.

 This mural, however, Charnick designed to celebrate the bountiful natural beauty of Costa Rica, particularly the orchids that anchor each of the five walls of the mural. Charnick has spent many years traveling in Central America and tropical Asia, and his experience is reflected in the design. With the completion of the project Arnie is returning to New York, but is open to receiving commissions for murals and large public art almost anywhere in the world. For more information, please contact him at

 With the closing of the Café Cultura, those seeking quality organic fruits and vegetables can now place their orders with Nathalie or Eric at Gelly’s Ice Cream shop across from the Central Park. Orders are taken each Saturday, 10:30am to 12:30 pm, and delivered the following Saturday. For more information, email or call 8703-9707.

 Tina Newton at Su Espacio has announced the following: Latin dance lessons will be given Thursday nights at 6 p.m. and Monday-Friday at 8 p.m.; exercise classes of Zumba and Dancefit are held in the mornings, Monday-Thursday at 8 a.m. Karate for children and adults takes place on Monday, and ballet classes for little girls are also being offered. Yoga is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and English and Spanish lessons are available all day long, by arrangement. If someone has a talent and would like to teach a class, contact Tina at 2446-7735 or email They also have a new blog at, which has more information.

–Howard Patterson

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