By Luciana Leitão

There’s a new spot in town: a five-story building dedicated to the arts. It’s called Macau Art Garden and if you haven’t seen it yet, you must. It is home for four associations and about 50 artists, but it is more than that: if it works out, it may certainly become an artistic hub next to the city centre.

The venue opens with a blue gate, giving passage to a big courtyard which surrounds the building. The cafe is tastefully decorated — there’s shelves full of art-related books on the walls, the sofas are comfortable, and the music set in the background fills the mood. Outside, lie several tables set on top of a wooden platform, for those who wish to enjoy the sunny days.

In front of the cafe, there’s the exhibition area, where artists are supposed to showcase their work. Going up the stairs, on the first floor, there a room decorated to suit the taste of the little ones, who are participating in the art workshops. On the second, third and fourth floors, to the left and right side, are located the almost 40 studios for the artists to use.

In some corridors, there are paintings outside; in others, you see nothing, just a series of closed doors. Some doors are more personalised with symbolic or artistic elements at the door, while others are simply bare. Inside, there are canvases, paints, books, brushes, depending on the door. In the corridors,there’s always someone going up and down the stairs and you can hear the music coming through the doors.

Of course, if we go back in time, there was once a place much similar in spirit to this one, overlooking Saint Paul Ruins, with a spectacular rooftop, tastefully decorated as well, which held some amazing parties. That, however, didn’t last.

There are four associations here represented: Art For All Society, Macau Artists Association, Macau Sky and Earth Ceramic Association and the Macau Sculpture Association. Hopefully, it will result in combined efforts to develop the sector. So, for the city’s sake, let’s hope Macau Art Garden does last. And that it really helps liven up the artistic scene of the territory.