On Friday, June 1st, a monumental bronze sculpture entitled, “The Fisherman,” by the father/daughter sculpting team of Jim and Christina Demetro was inaugurated during an evening ceremony next to the beach in between Langostinos Restaurant and the Los Arcos Hotel in the Zona Romantica.
This multi-pieced sculpture installation portrays an old fisherman sleeping as he leans against a wooden piling with his grandson napping in his lap. At their feet are a dog, a cat, and a bucket of fish, while a large pelican sits on top of the piling. The sculpture was inspired by a real event that Jim Demetro witnessed just 50 feet down the beach towards Vallarta`s sculptural pier. A pelican had flown down and stolen a fish from the bucket next to the fisherman and then flew nearby to the ocean. The bird next flipped the fish into the air to catch in its mouth, but it landed sidewise and he could not swallow it. The pelican soon returned to the beach, and the fisherman grabbed it and opened its mouth while a friend reached in, pulled out the fish, and threw it back into the bucket. Jim was so moved by the experience that he thought it should be captured as a sculpture, so he contacted Christina and they began the long creative process that resulted in “The Fisherman.”
A large crowd attended the unveiling as the master of ceremonies, Professor Enrique Barrios Limon, introduced leading members of the municipal government and business community. Barrios is the founder and director of the famous Xiutla Folkloric Dance Troup and has become a very close friend of the Demetro Family.
Seeing this group perform and the beauty and charm of Vallarta inspired Jim and his wife Eva to acquire a condo and spend half of the year here. Jim has always sought to capture fading cultural traditions in his work, so soon after he and Christina created the “Vallarta Dancers” sculpture and donated it to the city to be installed near the beginning of the extension of the Malecon. In the several years since then Jim has completed the “Washing Woman,” at the beach by the Molino de Agua Condominiums, “Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor” at the entrance to the Casa Kimberly Boutique Hotel, and the sculpture of a burro, “Andale Bernardo,” at Parque Azulejos, formerly known as Lazaro Cardenas Park.
The Demetro Galeria is located across the street, and a cocktail reception was held there following the “Fisherman`s” unveiling. In addition to Jim and Christina Demetro`s sculptures, the gallery features the work of a number of local artists including several from Galeria Pacifico, which has also represented the Demetros` sculptures for several years. From mid-November to mid-April Pacifiico`s owner, Gary Thompson, conducts the Free Sunset Malecon Sculpture Tours on Thursdays at 6pm that start at Galeria Pacifico`s Historic Zone location at 174 Aldama and proceed south along the Malecon until ending with a wine reception at the Demetro Galeria and a chance to hear Jim talk about his work.