SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO—A hotbed of various cultures, the cobblestone streets, Colonial and Spanish architecture, Mexican handicrafts and vibrant street markets attract tourists and homesteaders alike to the historic city center here. That, in a word, is beauty. Seeking to charm travelers and showcase the rich artisan heritage of this community is Rosewood San Miguel de Allende’s first art concierge, Alexandra Long.
“The city of San Miguel de Allende is a thriving creative community, brimming with artisan workshops, galleries and unique spaces where local artists express themselves,” said Long. “A haven for art enthusiasts since opening in 2011, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende encourages travelers to embrace the traditional and contemporary art of the region through a variety of different programs, which include a rotating art exhibit displayed in the hotel’s public spaces; a monthly market that showcases up-and-coming Mexican artists; and the Artist in You, a unique welcome amenity that allows travelers to express themselves with paint brush and canvas.”
Fluent in the arts through educational pursuits, Long earned a Master of Arts in Italian and Classics at the University of Edinburgh in 2015; studied at the University of Bologna, working in field archaeology at the Marzabotto excavation site; and volunteered at the Medieval Museum of Bologna.
“Given that so much of art looks back to the past for inspiration, I concentrated my art background in the world’s first civilizations… I really wanted to focus on the Greeks and the Romans and how their work transcends time and continues to influence artists today,” said Long. “I also spent a significant portion of my academic studies in Italy, where I helped excavate the Etruscan archeological site of Marzobotto and learned about museum curation, Baroque art and cultural significance of preserving art,” said Long.
As the art concierge for Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Long is now applying her previous experience to the role as Mexico shares with Italy a deeply rooted appreciation for creativity and the arts, she explained.
“In both destinations, the locals and tourists treasure the native art, whether it’s hanging in a gallery or on a street corner,” she said. “My goal is to enhance the overall guest experience and further develop Rosewood San Miguel de Allende’s robust art programming. From curating and adjusting the aesthetics for our on-property galleries to crafting unique walking tours that specialize in the city’s street and contemporary art styles, I want our guests to be truly immersed in the vibrant culture of San Miguel, which is defined by its local artisans.”
At the luxury resort, the art exhibitions are ever-changing to reflect new and upcoming artists from both San Miguel and the surrounding regions of Mexico.
“We really try to highlight a combination of traditional and less well-known pieces. In the coming months, we are featuring two new exhibitions,” she said. “The first ones are “A Retrospective of Oaxaca,” which showcases the colorful artwork of the titular region, and “Reinventing Clay,” a stunning collection of twice-baked ceramics that closely resemble the aesthetics of woven fabrics. Both are breathtaking in their own unique way.”
Each thread of one-of-a-kind experiences creates a tapestry of sensations that stays with the guest long after they’ve returned home. Long also arranges for guests to discover the local art scene and pick up tangible mementos of their visit.
“As art concierge, my job is to immerse guests in San Miguel de Allende’s rich art scene, whether it’s coordinating walking tours that showcase the city’s vibrant street art or giving suggestions on where to purchase the most unique pottery and artisan gifts,” she said. “I also curate the many pieces of artwork found in the hotel, coordinate educational art talks and supervise the on-site artisan market that is hosted on the property every month. Essentially, I’m here to use my expertise in art history to create one-of-a-kind experiences for travelers.”