News Flash! Annual Art Market begins at Baan Sillapin Art Center

After two full years without posting, we are back! And the big news that’s brought us out of our shell is the opening of the annual Art Marketplace at the vastly expanded Baan Sillapin Art Center (known also as Hua Hin Artist Village) just up the hill from midtown Hua Hin. If you’ve not visited this wonderful public center, or if you haven’t been there in a while, you owe it to yourself to go. The place has changed immensely and is positively humming with life and fun for everyone.

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As it has been for many years, the Baan Sillapin Art Center is a leafy oasis on the outskirts of booming Hua Hin where everyone can get away from the hustle and bustle, enjoy cool mountain air and relax with great art and wonderful people. Not to mention the best coffee around.

For many years, the Artist Village has been known as a sleepy, semi-private reserve that didn’t go out of its way in attracting visitors.  A relatively small number of seasonal and full-time residents have always known it as the premier place for training in art and crafts under the wonderful Kru Nang Kesa-Ngam. All of that has changed, and the Baan Sillapin Art Center is ready to take its place among the area’s must-see attractions.

Nangs ArtYard: Art for Everyone!

To start with, Kru Nang’s original small classroom has expanded hugely with new staff and a full art supply shop to serve children and adults of all ages. You can visit it on Facebook as Nangs ArtYard, and you and your family can spend many happy hours when you go there. Even if you’ve never dreamed of it before, you can be making your own original art from the first hour. There’s no schedule, and the costs are beyond reasonable.

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Nang and her staff have developed the gift of working with each student exactly where that person is ready to be.  Just come, sit down, and before you know it you’ll be happily on your way! Also, children absolutely love it! You can leave your little ones at the ArtYard in confidence that they are safely occupiedunder adult supervision and having the time of their lives. In other words, fun for children of all ages!

Galleries and Artist Studios

Of course, an Art Center is all about art and artists and Baan Sillapin has a huge variety of art galleries and working studios.

TaweeArt_141213_01The main hall at Baan Sillapin exhibits world-class art from members of the Hua Hin Artist Group and other artists from all over the world.  A rustic building houses the magnificent collection antiques inherited from Khun Chumpon, the original founder and benefactor of the Artist Village.

Besides these principal galleries, Baan Sillaping hosts more than 20 working studios of individual artists. In these facilities, you can meet the artist, often see them at work and of course view and purchase their work.

Shopping

Besides art of every kind, the Baan Sillapin Art Center now has a number of individual shops selling clothing, jewlery, and souvenir items. During the month-long Art Market, the offerings are expanded further with various ‘gypsy’ vendors putting into the Baan Sillapin port-of-call.

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Eating, Drinking, and More!

The opportunities for food and drink  at the Artist Village have expanded greatly. The centerpiece is the Cup By Cup coffee shop in the middle of the ‘main plaza’ . With lots of seating around that area (and elsewhere in the complex), it’s a great way to while away the hours.

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Between Nangs ArtYard and the  famous Clay Houses, you will find Jiab’s Kitchen serving well-known Thai dishes lovingly prepared and served. During the Art Market, additional vendors are offering traditional snacks as well as beer and wine. No one needs to go hungry or thirsty!

As if that’s not enough, you can also get a fine massage in an air-conditioned shop. Highly recommended is the 30-minute ‘relaxer’ foot massage at just 100 baht!

Getting to Baan Sillapin

The Baan Sillapin Artist Village is located just 4km from the center of Hua Hin on the main road that leads West from the city. (This road continues on to Wat Huay Mongkol with it’s giant monk statue, Hua Hin Vinyards, Pala U waterfall and other attractions. So you can make a great day of it.)

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Hua Hin Artists’ Exhibition in Bangkok

Since 16 September, and continuing through October, nine of Hua Hin’s finest artists are showing their work in a special exhibition in the lobby of the SCB Bank headquarters in central Bangkok.

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The nine, including Hua Hin’s most prominent artist Tawee Kesa-Ngam (ทวี  เกษางาม) are all associated with the Baan Sillapin Artists’ Village on Route 3218 (the Pala-U Road) in Hin Lek Fai district in the hills above Hua Hin (watch for it on the the right 1 kilometer after you crest the hill).

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Hua Hin’s Painting and Sculpture

'Buddha Face in Gold & Black' by Wiroj Nakharat. Oil 70x90 cm (image courtesy of the artist and Happy Gallery

Hua Hin has long enjoyed a very active community of painters and sculptors. There are at least 18 commercial art galleries in the town and surrounding area.

Most notable of these is Baan Sillapin Artist Village, the home of the Hua Hin Artists Group, active in promoting the interests of artists  and encouraging the development of quality and originality
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Guide to Hua Hin Art Galleries

Alisa Art Gallery

Naresdamri Rd next to the Hilton Hotel, Hua Hin tel. (0)3 253 3385

Aourd Art Gallery

74 Poolsuk Rd., Hua Hint tel. (0)84 862 3994 email: aourd_artgallery@yahoo.co.uk

Arkom Gallery

Dechanuchit Rd., Hua Hin tel. (0)85 292 1359

 
 

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Hua Hin’s Remarkable Arts Centers

For a town of its size, Hua Hin is lucky to have several large, open-air art and performance centers. Rather amazingly, 3 out of 4 of these opened just in the last year! Let’s have a look…

Baan Sillapin (Artists Village)

Baan Sillapin (or Artists Village) opened in 1998 on a 10-rai (approx. 4 acres or 1.6 hectare) site in the hills just to the West of central Hua Hin. Baan Sillapin includes large galleries of arts and antiques, artist studios, a coffee shop, and classrooms for the very-popular classes in painting and sculpture. The facility is a frequent host of special exhibitions and performance events.

Baan Sillapin is open every day except Monday, from 9 am to 5 pm. The ‘campus’ is located on the “Pala-U” road (route 3218) approximately 4 kilometers from the center of Hua Hin.

Vic Hua Hin Performing Arts Center

Vic Hua Hin Performing Arts Center, opened in January 2010 by the famous Patravadi Mejudhon of Patravadi Theatre in Bangkok, is a large and impressive complex just to the South of downtown Hua Hin. The center features the state-of-the-art 300-seat Vic Hua Hin Theatre, the ‘Flower Dome’ (Dome Dokmai) outdoor performance space,  a ‘sculptured’ residence area called the Arts Camp, and numerous classrooms, shops, etc. The campus is home to the Patravadi High School Hua Hin, Thailand’s first ‘alternative’ high school with a performing arts emphasis. In January and February 2010, the Vic Hua Hin hosted the Fringe Festival Hua Hin, with numerous music, dance, and dramatic performances.

Every Saturday evening throughout the year, there are full (and impressive) theatrical performances in the Vic Hua Hin Theatre, as well as dining and performances around the Dome Dokmai. Public classes on dance, sculpture and music are held Saturdays and Sundays. Admissions and fees vary. The Vic Hua Hin is located on Petchkasem Road (the main road South), about 3 kilometers from the center of town and approximately 500 meters beyond the ‘flyover’.

Cicada Market

Cicada Market at Suan Sri is a lovely outdoor ‘park’ featuring weekend live performances, large galleries and art market, numerous vendors of crafts and antiques, and extensive food and beverage service.  The site is very beautifully landscaped, with large trees and several old ‘beach-style’ buildings, and it’s a real pleasure to wander here in the evenings. Saturday nights are especially good. All the shows are free, and you only need pay for your purchases of food and drink, crafts, art, etc. Every town should have a place like this!

The market is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening throughout the year. The site is located in Khao Takiab, Hua Hin’s Southern ‘annex’. To find the market, proceed to Khao Takiab from downtown Hua Hin. Watch for signs for the Hyatt Hotel. Suan Sri is on the left, right on the corner of the soi that leads into the Hyatt.

Plearn Wan Vintage Eco Village

Plearnwan Vintage ‘Eco’ Village is not, strictly speaking, an arts center. But it deserves a look  if only for its extraordinary architecture. The unique structure is built almost entirely of recycled materials! A futuristic entryway leads you into a ‘theme park’ made to resemble a Thai town (such as Hua Hin) as it might have appeared 100 years ago. There are a lot of antique items on display, and there is an old-style open-air cinema at the rear. Lots of small shops and food sellers. This place has been a huge hit with the Thai public, who seem to have a suppressed yearning for the “Good Old Days” (which is the translation of ‘plearnwan’) There usually some music on the weekend day, and on Friday and Saturday night a very competent duo from Bangkok perform in the upstairs pub. Go take a look.

Plearnwan is located on Petchkasem Road at Soi 40, just North of the King’s Palace. Open daily until 10 pm (midnight Friday and Saturday)