The beautiful works at Centro de Arte Hortensia Herrero

Our resident Virginian writer Colin Duncan visited Centro de Arte Hortensia Herrero, and was quite frankly blown away by the range of art on offer…

Hortensia Herrero Chacón, a Spanish billionaire businesswoman, created the Hortensia
Herrero Foundation
in 2012. (She also happens to be married to Juan Roig, the founder and owner of Spain’s leading supermarket, Mercadona.) This foundation aims to foster a deeper understanding and
appreciation for the Valencian people’s heritage by recovering, developing, and sharing its
historical and cultural essence. A cornerstone of the centre’s mission is the restoration and
promotion of the Valencian Community’s artistic and cultural legacy. This is achieved through
various endeavours, such as San Nicolás Church, The College of High Silk Art, Santa Lucía
Hermitage, and Image and Niche of the Virgen de los Desamparados.

On November 11, 2023, the Hortensia Herrero Art Centre opened its doors to the
public. Nestled in the heart of Valencia, located in the old Valeriola Palace, the Centro de Arte
Hortensia Herrero is a cultural gem that seamlessly blends the rich history of Valencia with
contemporary artistic expression. The story of the Centro de Arte Hortensia Herrero begins with the Palacio Valeriola, an extremely captivating architectural facility. Through excavations, it emerged that there were Roman and Visigoth settlements beneath the palace. This hints at the site’s importance
throughout Valencia’s history.

Pedigree experience

This complex has a dynamic presentation of temporary and permanent exhibitions
featuring renowned national and international artists throughout. In the past, the museum has
showcased works by prominent artists. These include Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons, and
Louise Bourgeois. Currently, there are pieces by artists of international repute. These include Rafael Canogar, Anselm Kiefer, and Ángel Duarte. Also, Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jason Martin. And Rashid Johnson, Olafur Eliasson, Juan Genovés, Manolo Valdés, and many more.

Regardless of what artists they currently have, they aim to prioritise pieces that explore diverse artistic movements and contemporary societal issues. The museum welcomes visitors of all ages and demographics, from casual visitors to art enthusiasts.

A gem for all ages

The Centro de Arte Hortensia Herrero offers activities periodically to different age groups
or all ages, which are sometimes free. In May, they offered three different
activities, the first being “An Ideal Museum”. This activity offered families the chance to recreate
their spin on the Hortensia Herrero Art Center using a 3-dimensional cut-out reproduction. First,
there was a tour guided by a mediator that explored the various spaces of the centre, which
struck thoughts into the brains of the participants on their relationship to the art. After this tour,
they were brought into a work room where they constructed their 3-D model using many

The participants were able to put any art piece of their choosing and then present it to
the rest of the group. The CAHH allowed them to take their models home as a souvenir. The
next activity that was offered was titled “Iridescent”, an experience that was made to enjoy many
works of art differently. This activity focused on the “iridescence” of some of the pieces and their
relationship to the culture within Valencia.

This guided tour focused on works from Tomás Saraceno, Jaume Plensa, Olafur Eliasson, and others to let the participants experience the sensory journey of a lifetime. The last activity offered was a Night-Time Guided Tour, which gives visitors the chance to see the museum in a unique way that creates a great atmosphere with fewer visitors than normal. Each of these experiences was completely free and ranged from 50 to 90 minutes.

A centre for international art and culture

The next activity that CAHH is offering is on July 2, when Xuan Lan, a leader of wellness and yoga in the Spanish-speaking world, is coming to present her book right inside the walls of this beautiful museum. There are two tickets available, one being €8 (CAHH visit and presentation) and the second being €25 (CAHH visit, presentation, and a copy of her book).

CAHH also has three education packages that you can purchase. In “Story – Active
Visit”, you witness a combination of interactions and activities that foster creativity, critical
thinking, and curiosity among students. Through play, performance, video art and innovative
communication methods. Each component is interwoven to create meaningful connections
between the collection and reality. This education package is 90 minutes and is €100 per group.

Another group education activity is the “Visit + Workshop”, which is aimed at pre-primary,
primary, lower secondary, and upper-secondary schools. It gives students a chance to have a
more hands-on experience. This education package is also 90 minutes and €100 per group.

The last education package offered is the “Self-Guided Visit”, an experience for teachers to visit
the CAHH with their classes and have them focus on whatever they deem most important. This
is free for primary student groups and €50 for secondary and baccalaureate groups, each being
90 minutes.

Magnificent cultural hub for Valencia

The Hortensia Herrero Art Centre (CAHH) is a magnificent cultural hub in the Valeriola
Palace which offers a unique blend of historical significance and contemporary artistic pieces.
This art centre showcases works by world-renowned artists while providing interactive activities
for all age groups. It serves as a valuable resource for the community and a testament to
Valencia’s heritage. Each day the CAHH will continue to grow as a space for artistic discovery and
exploration. One of the highlights of my summer in Valencia, that’s for sure.

Centro de Arte Hortensia Herrero (CAHH), Carrer del Mar 31, Ciutat Vella, 46003 Valencia; +34 689 30 30 10;

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