Lady in Red Contemporary Art Gallery
It was a rainy late winter afternoon in the Algarve during a 12-day road trip and we were looking for something to do indoors. So, I took out all my travel notes and told Paul that there looked like an interesting art gallery called Lady in Red close by that we could visit. Paul loves art galleries. For me, I can take them or leave them, but I try to be open to new experiences and this contemporary art gallery was definitely a weirdly interesting one.
An abandoned-looking building.
It turns out that we had passed by this gallery several times while exploring the Lagoa-Carvoeiro area and never stopped because it looked abandoned. Paul finds these types of buildings interesting. I don’t, but marriage is a compromise, and since I was the one to suggest going there, I put on my brave old girl pants, and we drove into the parking lot.
Wine and art.
I do agree with some who think that wine and art are a winning combination (especially the wine part for me). I just wasn’t expecting to see that combination in this building. But yes, this is not only an art gallery, it’s also the home of the Adega de Lagoa, a working co-op winery. I guess I should have figured that out when I saw old wine barrels (artfully?) displayed in the parking lot along with a piece of “car” art. Note to self: I need to be more open-minded.
Come on in.
Once we entered the building, we saw that the wine cooperative was closed, but on other days, you can go downstairs to purchase wine and see the facility. To the right of the main entrance, a large hand, crafted from paper mâché, held open a paper mâché curtain to the gallery. The hand reminded me of the old The Addams Family television show and “Thing”…
An old factory repurposed.
The main part of the gallery takes up the top floor of what was once a factory. There are heavy wooden beams on the ceiling and concrete walkways, with the center of the space open to the floor below where we could see crates of wine ready for shipment. A narrow set of stairs leads to what was once the factory foreman’s office. As it was a rainy day, the space was damp and cold, and we kept our jackets on. In some places, water dripped in from cracks in the ancient wooden ceiling. It was musty and the entire place needed a good
This gallery promotes itself as a space with an industrial, urban vibe more common to big cities than small towns in the Algarve. The gallery displays work from local, national, and international artists. There is a mixture of sculptures, paintings, and ceramics. Apparently, the lighting (or lack of lighting) is on purpose, to make the art pieces seem as if they’re floating within the space.
I’m not an expert in art or artists. But I do know when I like a piece of artwork and when I don’t. I’ve been to many art galleries and Paul and I have purchased a few pieces over the years. Since I’m married to this creative and artistic guy who appreciates many different art forms, I have been exposed to several types of art over the years. The impressions I’m writing about in this post are solely my own. Personally, I like galleries that are clean and bright, not musty, dusty, and dark. If you visit this place, your impressions might be different. After all, the one art thing I know well is that it is highly subjective.
Some of the art in this gallery I liked. But most pieces just did not resonate with me at all, and some creeped me out!
Lady in Red Gallery also offers the gallery as an events venue although I personally thought that was a stretch just from looking at the condition of the space. But maybe it’s good for funky types of events.
The wine was the best part for me.
Next to the entrance to the main gallery, there is the Lounge Bar with sofas, tables, and chairs to enjoy a glass of wine, or tea, coffee, or craft beer. It’s a much brighter (and less damp) area (even if the sofas were a bit dusty). After perusing the gallery, Paul and I had a glass of local white wine. In the warmer months, there’s a terrace out front (near the car art display). At the Lounge Bar there is a small selection of gift items for purchase.
If you visit:
LIR Gallery is located within the Adega de Lagoa wine cooperative. Check the website for hours of operation.
Most of the artwork is for sale. Shipping can be arranged at the gallery.
Most pieces have a description of the artwork and artist. There are also QR codes that accompany most pieces for more information.
Admission to the gallery is free, but donations are gladly accepted.
The Lounge Bar offers local wines by the glass, craft beers, teas, and coffee.
Public restrooms available for customers – ask for the key at the Bar.
Plenty of free parking at the door.
Entrance to the gallery is through the wine co-op entrance.
Muito obrigada (many thanks) to Jenny L. for supporting Our Portugal Journey through Buy Me a Coffee. Your generosity and interest help to keep this publication free to subscribers.
Until next time…