Dominican Republic: 27th Biennial of Visual Art



Santo Domingo has a varied landscape

27th Biennial of Visual Art, Dominican Republic

The Biennial of Visual Art in Santo Domingo is a competition which is decided in August, but the exhibition stays open to the public for much longer, into November usually. The prizes are awarded by a panel of three; this year the panel were Chus Martinez, of the Museo del Barrio in New York City; Quisqueya Henríquez and Bingene Armenteros. All the artists in the competition must be natives of the Dominican Republic or must be resident there. Anyone who wants to see the cutting edge of Caribbean art should make sure they don’t miss this exhibition.


How to get there

Santo Domingo is served by two international airports, the main one being Aeropuerto Internacional de las Americas. Flights from the UK are long, but they are straight through although many people chose to break their flight in the USA. First Choice fly from Manchester, Glasgow and London Gatwick. Santo Domingo is also a port and there are ferries and connections from there to other Caribbean destinations. The Dominican Republic is a very developed area in the Caribbean and Santo Domingo is its administrative capital. The colonial centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has some amazing buildings including the cathedral, which is the oldest in the Americas.

What to do

Walking around Santo Domingo can be a little challenging as the drivers have a very casual attitude to road safety and the pedestrian is way down their list of important things not to hit! However, there are some shopping malls which are traffic free as are sections of the Colonial Area. Eating is a very varied opportunity, as there is practically every cuisine on the streets of Santo Domingo, from MacDonald’s right up to gourmet restaurants. If there could be said to be a local dish it is ‘pica pollo’ which is a fusion of Caribbean, Chinese and KFC, being a pile of fried rice, fried plantain and fried chicken. It is not very elegant to eat but it is tasty and keeps you full for ages. The Caribbean is normally quite cheap when it comes to eating out but Santo Domingo comes in on the slightly more expensive side but if you stick to the comedors (cafes), pica pollo shops and fast food, it is not so pricey.

Why not grab a drink as you go?



Night life is great although most places close at midnight so don’t expect to dance all night. Sadly, this early closing is an attempt to try and cut the crime rate, which is high so it is important to take some precautions when out late or even in the daytime – not carrying too much money is an obvious thing to do and also to keep jewellery to a minimum. Hotels can give help about how to behave on the street to avoid attracting notice – which is not to say that Santo Domingo is a scary place, not at all, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

About the AuthorRobert Plumb is a copywriter and travel fanatic from Gospel Oak, London. When he isn’t planning his next adventure, you can probably find him down the local boozer, with his nose in some dusty old book

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2 responses to “Dominican Republic: 27th Biennial of Visual Art

  1. I didn’t know the DR had programs like these. Glad to hear there’s more to do in the DR beyond the traditional touristy attractions.

  2. I had been traveling for 27 years to the beautiful island of Santo Domingo, DR and while in there I had never encounter any problem with the natives or foreign person. Dominicans are the most beautiful people, full of hospitality, happiness, friendly, respectful, and they have hot blood for dancing and music. One day I went to the north town of Puerto Plata, around 240 Kms from the capital Santo Domingo. I staid in a gorgeous place at a Hotel which name I can’t remember now. After the 3rd day having a life of a prince, I decided to visit the city which was located a few miles from the hotel. The taxi, I can remember that, was a one of those first Toyota vans that came out to the market around the the beginning of the 90ties. The taxi driver was very attentive and very funny person. He drove mi and my girlfriend around the center of the town. I then I asked him if I can take walk and he stop the van in front of nice bar and restaurant. I took a walk toward a mall while the driver decided he will wait for us. At this point I did not paid him because I asume he will return us to the hotel so I will paid him when we came back. while walking down the street we found a no too big but modern and fashion mall and we decided to enter. While in the mall I see a shoes store. I decided to enter because a shoes in displayed on the window called my attention. We enter the store and coincidentally we found our driver buying shows in the place, he was baying the same one I like. The price was very affordable for a shoes so beautiful, made of total leather and so fashionable. I can’t forget, the price was $24.99 The driver he was so good and kind with us that I decided to paid for his shows too. So I said to him I want to give a gift to you and he thanks me for my kindness. He dressed his shows right in the store and said thanks to me and my girl friend agains and left. We continue shopping and then returned to the van but the taxi driver was not there. We wait and waited for about one hour and he did not return. We were staked with all thing we bought and did not know how to return to the hotel. My girl friend was also hungry and I was tyre. Did not know what to do but did the logic, I tried to find another taxi. No one stopped but one. When we tried to opened the door the driver of this car said to us that he was not in service. He then explained that If I put a sign to the van of hour taxi driver, he will come back right away. So, I went to a restaurant just on the other side of the street and asked if they can give me a piece of carton board. I get it and returned to the place where the van was parked. I then draw a sign that said FOR SALE $700.00 People started to asked me about the van and the price. Then one person come with another two, then two ladies, then two more men all of them wanted to buy the van but there was not key and the door are closed. After 20 minutes or so, another Taxi drive stopped and came out of his car. He asked me if I know the person who are selling the van, I said to him he was our taxi driver. The guy took his phone, called some one and then he asked me if he can I give us a ride to the hotel. I consented. When we arrived to the hotel I pick up my walled to paid but he did not accepted the money and just said that we had already paid because we gave nice gift to the previous driver. I asked where is he? He answer to me he had quit the job, and went back to his previous job to fish. He was just working to buy the shows nothing else. So we went straight to the hotel’s restaurant and eat. So are dominican

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