Both the Soho Hotel on 10th Avenue and The Palm Hotel on 8th Street have impressive murals on them. The one thing they have in common is that one local artist from Playa Del Carmen painted them. Her name is Lou Andrea. She has been a resident of Playa Del Carmen for several years now and is not only a painter but business owner here. We caught up with Lou Andrea and asked some questions to know more behind the person that painted these murals.
Where are you originally from?
I am from Montreal, Canada
What brought you to Playa Del Carmen?
I had an aunt that bought a house in Playa Del Carmen 15 years ago. I came as a tourist then and have kept coming back since. When I first came the place was incredible, and still is, just different. I think there were only about 5000 people living here then.
How did you get into art?
I grew up in a family that liked art so it is in my genes sort of speaking. I started painting when I was about 12 or 14. I enjoyed painting and for 22 years I was able to mostly support myself by selling my art.
How did you find out about the murals or work at the two hotels here in Playa Del Carmen?
It was through word of mouth.
I first did the mural at The Palm Hotel in 2012 and that took two months to do. The Soho Hotel mural was done in 2013 and it took me one month and one week to finish that one.
Did you have a choice of the murals or were there guidelines?
The Palm Hotel mural gave me elements of design in what they wanted and the rest was all my ideas. The Soho Hotel had in mind what they wanted and it was to look like a building in Soho New York, so I did not have much liberty there.
Are you going to be doing any more murals in Playa Del Carmen?
Yes, I have a few more commissioned, I cannot give out details on that yet, but I am looking forward to doing them. Besides the newly commissioned murals, I actually am available to go anywhere in the Riviera Maya and Mexico to do murals. People can contact me for more information.
If people want to see more of your work, where can they go?
I currently have Facebook page called LouAndrea Art.
What do you do in Playa besides paint murals?
I am co-owner at Sala Rosa Bar on 38th St. I opened it with my sister about 4 years ago. At that time there was nothing at that end of Playa. You can find me there Tuesday, Wednesdays and Friday nights usually.
What is your favorite thing about owning and working at a bar in Playa Del Carmen?
I like the interaction with the people and everyday is different. In high season we have about 50% locals and 50% tourist stopping in and in low season we have about 80% locals and 20% tourist.
What do you like to do in Playa Del Carmen on your time off?
I do like to paint and spend time with my family. If I go out in Playa to eat I like going to Romeo on 4th St. They have really good calamari and a good wine selection plus the atmosphere is nice. For other restaurants I basically like everything north of 30th St on 5th Avenue. If I go to the beach I like going to Playa Esmeralda on the north end of Playa.
What advice to you have for tourist coming to Playa Del Carmen?
I would tell people to explore and don’t just stay on the surface. There are still some authentic places in Playa Del Carmen to discover.
Thank you Lou Andrea for talking with us and letting our readers know a little more about you and life in Playa. We look forward to your next mural to grace a wall in Playa Del Carmen.
Just as a note to this article, we wanted to include a photo of Lou Andrea’s lasts work. This is a large building on 42nd street between 5th Avenue and the beach. Stop by and check it out.