Artists Diego Buitron and Gilberto Almeida

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Blog | 4 comments

Artists Diego Buitron and Gilberto Almeida

Diego Buitron, Lillian & Gilberto Almeida

If you love art and spending time with those who create it; the northern Andean region of Ecuador has much to offer in terms of talented artists, fine craftsmen and craftswomen and their works.  More information will appear in other posts, but I decideded to kick off this series of posts by sharing a bit about two artists that completely ‘made my day’  during our tour visit to each of their homes.  I was recently privileged to conduct a tour to the village of San Antonio de Ibarra.  The tour would not have been possible without the help of Diego Buitron, a generous man who is a husband, father, self-taught painter  and long-time resident of San Antonio de Ibarra.

Buitron’s works speak to the feminine side of nature as seen in has voluptuous and joyful female figures set amidst natural forms and elements.  His umbrella and bicycle paintings  invite people to enjoy life, and his paintings with simple glyph like figures and symbols give a feeling of being in touch with ancient archetypical beings and the source of creation.  He opened his home to our group and shared his gardens, studio, new guest quarters, and a wonderful lunch prepared by his wife Maritza.

Lillian Gilberto and Sra Almeida 2

A great friend of Buitron’s is the esteemed Ecuadorian painter Gilberto Almeida Egas.  We were able to visit him in his home and view his private collection just a week before his 86th birthday (May 30, 2014).  At 85 he exhibited undeniable passion for his work and the liberating influence he has had on younger generations of Ecuadorian painters.  He spoke energetically of the work of the American ‘Action’ painters and his appreciation for the work of modern artist Vasily Kandinsky. He has exhibited and been collected internationally, and has an amazingly long list of recognitions and honors in Ecuador and abroad.

Almeida’s wife and daughters were so extraordinarily kind and hospitable that it was truly an honor to be received in their home and allowed to visit with this artist who is still warm, witty, adept at expressing his point of view,  and who is known to have a somewhat mischievous sense of humor.

The featured image shows Diego Buitron and Gilberto Almeida on the day of our tour, May 24, 2014 in Almeida’s private gallery.





  1. What a wonderful tour! How lucky were all of you to be admitted to the homes of such artists and given such a warm welcome, too. You are doing Ecuador a great service by calling attention to their artists and craftsmen to the American public and ex-pats living around there. Americans are not know for their love of the Arts, but your tours certainly will make a dint in that reputation–at last. 🙂

    • You will always be welcome at my home to my workshop and to San Antonio de Ibarra

  2. Many years ago my wife and I were traveling through Ecuador and
    meeting with Mr. Almeida. He presented us with an incredibly unique piece of art work constructed with nails.

    I need to find a value on this piece. It is about 4 ft by 6 ft and
    is rather heavy due to the thick base of wood needed to support the
    many nails used for the image (Crucifix)

    I can supply a photograph

    • Hello George. I am not sure how to get an evaluation. As Gilberto Almeida is no longer alive I suppose someone in his family might have a contact with someone who could do an appraisal. I have contact with his family only through the painter Diego Buitron. He does not speak much English but I will send you his email address and you can translate your message into Spanish so that he can reply to you. The email is:

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