So Tenerife is all about beaches, bars and boozy Brits is it? It can be if that’s what you want, but art is hiding around every corner and if you turn the right one in Santa Cruz, TEA is ready to hit you with a bright modern assault on all the senses.
Just coming up to its second anniversary, Tenerife Espacio de Las Artes is the perfect antidote to memories of boring school trips being dragged around old dusty museum buildings. Who else would offer you a stuffed donkey, a pair of mounted wellies and a man with bread rolls tied to his head. This 20,000 square metre building in Avenida de San Sebastian embraces all the dark corners of art and items that would even make the Turner Prize do a double take.
Not that you will find any dark corners at this establishment, the design is a work of art itself and pulls in the outside light through the large glass windows that scale one wall of the re-located library for the capital city. When the sun won’t oblige, the tear drop shaped bulbs hanging on long slender glass stalks from the ceiling do an admirable job. As you walk down to the entrance the work desks, shelves, comfy sofas, magazine racks and 36 internet ready computers spread out below and are well used, get this – the library opens 24 hours a day!
The TEA entrance hall opens up with a high ceiling and polished wood block floor leading to a tight spiral stairwell climbing to the three exhibition halls. Seasons of featured artists rotate in the halls so there are nearly always new paintings and sculptures to enjoy. There is also a performance area that was graced by the bread balancing Japanese artist during the opening weeks and has also attracted talks from visiting poets and sculptors.
In keeping with the theme of making all art accessible, the TEA cinema shows films from many countries, in the original language and with Spanish sub titles. Challenging political and cultural films are a mainstay of the programme and with two showing per evening, they can be fitted in around a shopping or food and drink night out. A large café will quench your thirst for more than knowledge and for those slightly unusual souvenirs, the attached shop knocks spots, abstract or otherwise, offers the less adventurous Santa Cruz T-shirts or baseball caps.
If you want to visit TEA, it’s just a short walk along from the bus station, next to Barranco Santos, opposite the African market. Opening times are 10 am to 8 pm every day except Monday, entrance is 5 euros for adults, 2.50 for residents, and just one euro if you are over 65 or under 26.
Category : days out
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