Puerto Vallarta is known for its active and lively cultural life, the boardwalk has been transformed into a sort of outdoor art gallery and people enjoy the countless sculptures that beautify, not only the traditional boardwalk but can now be found in all parts of the city. In this case, it is a new piece, Los Pescadores (The Fishermen), in what can be considered an extension of the traditional Malecon, the promenade that edges along the seaside southward from the Aquiles Serdán amphitheater right beside the Naval Museum in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
It is the newest sculpture by the father-daughter team, Jim Demetro & Christina Demetro. Jim is an artist that already has several pieces around town, the "Vallarta Dancers" on Malecón II, "The Washer Woman" in front of the Molino de Agua Condominium, "Ándale Bernardo" at Parque Lázaro Cárdenas and recently Los Amantes (The Lovers) presenting Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton that's placed in the entrance of the renewed Casa Kimberley.
"The Fishermen" (Los Pescadores) is based on one of the basic characters of Puerto Vallarta, a town that was known as a fishing village a long time before tourism managed to overtake it as the main city income.
This statue is located right in the intersection of the promenade edging along Los Muertos beach and Manuel M. Diéguez street, this is in the Old Vallarta zone (Zona Romantica) of Puerto Vallarta. It is flanked by Hotel Playa Los Arcos (on the right) and Hotel Marsol, to its left. A privileged location in sight of Los Muertos Beach Pier.
In this case, inspiration struck when observing the struggle between a local fishermen and an opportunistic pelican. The artist recounts:
"I was walking along the ocean and this fisherman caught a fish and he reeled it in and he took his fish off the hook and he put it in his bucket and this big pelican swooped down and grabbed the fish out of the bucket and jumped in the ocean with the fish and he tossed it up into the air to get in his beak, but it went in sideways like this, so he couldn't swallow it, so he tried and tried and tried and couldn't swallow it. So finally he came ashore and the fisherman grabbed him by the back of the neck and another one opened up his beak and took his fish out and put it back in the bucket and shooed the pelican off. That's a true story, I actually saw it happen."
Now that you know the anecdote that inspired the artist, we can better understand the elements of the sculptural work. There's a fisherman and his grandson taking a nap, resting from the arduous labors, accompanied by a friendly dog, a cat that stealthily advances in direction of a fish-filled bucket and a pelican that also fancies the bounty of the fisherman's arduous toil (there is a small hidden character that will delight the kids there too).
Where is it?
Inscription in the sculpture in the romantic zone:
"This statue honors all fishermen and their important contributions to the history and traditions of Puerto Vallarta. This piece was supported by the generous contributions of citizens, the City Council, Mr. Arturo Dávalos Peña, Municipal President, Dr. Ramón González Lomelí, Director of Tourism Puerto Vallarta and Hotel Playa Los Arcos.
Sculptors Jim Demetro and Christina Demetro. May 31, 2018"
We can say without a doubt, that Puerto Vallarta could not have developed without the presence of fishermen, their work and their effort to extract food from the plentiful Banderas Bay, an activity that continues to attract followers and, now, even sport fishing enthusiasts.
Jim Demetro is a sculptor and artist from Chicago, USA, who has established an art gallery in the city, Demetro Galeria, on Lázaro Cárdenas street right by the park. Although he began his professional life as an Engineer, in 1992 he decided to follow his passion, which was art.
Together with his daughter Christina, they have created sculptures for several decades, with dozens of public installations of life-size sculptures. There are examples of his work in many public collections in different parts of the world, we already know those in Puerto Vallarta, but there are examples at the Sibelius Museum in Finland, at the University of St. Louis, at Fort Clatsop National Park and the Botanical Gardens of Na'Aina Kai in Hawaii. Among private collectors, we can include the singer Connie Stevens, the former president of the Nike brand, Phil Knight and, stars like Tom Cruise and Donald Sutherland.
The sculpture "The Fishermen" was unveiled on June 1, 2018, in the presence of the co-sculptor (daughter of Jim), Christina Demetro, his wife, friends and relatives, citizens and visitors, authorities and artists of the city of Puerto Vallarta.
No doubt an invaluable artistic and cultural contribution to the city from the hands of a fan and adoptive citizen that has found inspiration in the traditions and kindness Puerto Vallarta and the bay area provides him and his family.