Leitura: 13 min
The Instituto Inhotim is a Contemporary Art Center and Botanical Garden located in Brumadinho, 60 km away from Belo Horizonte, MG. Its 140 hectare visitation area is made up of forest fragments and gardens, with an extensive collection of rare tropical species and where contemporary art works of international relevance are installed.
Inhotim was conceived by the Minas-born entrepreneur Bernardo Paz and was opened to the public in 2006. It is strongly committed with the development of the community in which it is included. The Institute participates actively in the making of policies for the improvement of the quality of life in the region, either in partnerships with the public administration and with the private sector or acting independently.
The structure and organization of the space guarantee a singular venue. In addition to breaking away from the architecture and the exhibition and visitation modes that are associated to conventional museums, the Institute offers to its visitors an opportunity of fruition and brings works of art and environmental circuits close together. Over 2 million people have visited this singular venue, one of the main touristic and cultural destinations in Minas Gerais and in Brazil.
The Inhotim Institute is a nonprofit private entity qualified by the Minas Gerais State Administration and by the Federal Administration as a Public Interest Non-Governmental Organization (OSCIP, initials in Portuguese). Inhotim actions are supported by the Federal Act for Cultural Incentive of the Ministry of Culture.
Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos and installations by over 100 renowned Brazilian and international artists from 30 different countries make up Instituto Inhotim’s collection. From a collection of over 1.300 works, about 500 pieces are currently on display. The pieces have been produced in Brazil and abroad from the 1960s to the current days. They are located outdoors on the Inhotim Botanical Garden or exhibited in galleries.
Four of the 23 pavilions are dedicated to temporary exhibits – the Lago, Fonte, Praça and Mata galleries. Each gallery has approximately 1000 square meters and large open spaces which allow for a versatile use of the area for showing videos, installations, paintings or sculptures. Every two years these spaces present a new show to introduce the Institute’s new acquisitions and to create re-interpretations of the collection. In addition, new individual projects are inaugurated every year, making Inhotim a place of constant evolution.
The 19 permanent galleries have been developed specifically to receive works by Tunga, Cildo Meireles, Miguel Rio Branco, Hélio Oiticica & Neville
d’Almeida, Adriana Varejão, Doris Salcedo, Victor Grippo, Matthew Barney, Rivane Neuenschwander, Valeska Soares, Janet Cardiff & George Miller, Doug Aitken, Marilá Dardot, Lygia Pape, Carlos Garaicoa, Cristina Iglesias, Carroll Dunham and Claudia Andujar.
Instituto Inhotim is concerned with the environment and is located amid a forest area which is a remnant of the Atlantic Rain Forest and the Cerrado, or Brazilian savanna: two of the richest environments in terms of biodiversity and, at the same time, two of the most endangered environments in the planet, regarded as world hotspots.
From the 140 hectares of the area made up of secondary semideciduous seasonal forests, 35 are gardens. Adding to this extensive portion of land is an area protected as Natural Heritage Private Reserve which, since May 2010, is aimed at collaborating permanently with the conservation of biodiversity by connecting Inhotim to the south of the Espinhaço Mountain Chain, considered as one of the most important plant diversity centers in the world.
The landscape works for the exuberant gardens which would eventually make up Instituto Inhotim initiated in the mid-1980s. Along time, numerous species of palm trees and native Brazilian and exotic trees from several regions in the world were acquired and adapted themselves very well to the grounds. The gardens value the luxuriance of the flora and integrate it in a spontaneous, harmonic way with the landscape and the lakes by means of pathways, stairways and patios built upon natural quartzite rock formations. These innovations have become popular in Brazilian landscape art.
In 2010 the Institute’s expressive collection allowed for its recognition as a Botanical Garden with a botanical collection. This collection is made up by close to 5,000 species, out of which two families are noteworthy: the Palm Trees (Arecaceae) with over a thousand species and varieties, and the Philodendron, Anthurium and Calla Lily (Araceae) with over 400 species and forms – regarded as one of the largest in the world. It is also important to point out that the wide botanical collection combined with the robust structure of the Educational Plant Nursery allows for carrying out research and educational activities that collaborate for the ex situ conservation of the flora.
Inhotim has been more and more committed with the Brazilian Network of Botanical Gardens for the development of strategies to collaborate with attaining the goals for the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.
About 1,500 students from the public and private schools in Brumadinho and Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Area visit Inhotim every week. The educational programs promote a number of actions to bring society closer to values related to art, environment, community empowerment and cultural diversity.
With the proposal of aiding the critical development of the students who visit Inhotim and raising awareness on the current situation of the environment, its conservation status or how art permeates our lives, the Institute works on two fronts: Art and Education, and Environmental Education.
In addition to the partnerships with schools, city halls and city and state Education departments, the Institute also offers free educational guided visits to the public in general in order to contextualize visitors who wish to know more about what the park offers in terms of Contemporary Art, Botany and Environment.
For visitors, Inhotim also offers a visit program which takes place in scheduled hours and pre-determined locations.
– The art theme visit provides a meeting between educators and visitors to discuss artists and artworks from the collection. The visit offers a conceptual outline of works on display. Starting points may be a gallery, an artist, or a specific route within the park. On average, this type of visit lasts 1 hour and happens on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, at 2:30 p.m.
– The environmental theme tour allows visitors to walk through the gardens, see part of the landscaped botanical collection, as well as to appreciate the ornamental ponds, waterfowls and other elements that make up this space. This tour lasts one and a half hours and happens on Saturdays and Sundays, at 10:30 a.m. (leaving from the reception).
– The panoramic visit provides an overview of the dynamics of Inhotim. By walking through a certain area of the park, the visit emphasizes landscape design and works located in the gardens of Inhotim. Lasting, on average, one and a half hours, the panoramic visit takes place from Tuesdays to Sundays and on holidays, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. This visit leaves from the reception area.
In 2007 Instituto Inhotim initiated its relationship and commitment with the development of Brumadinho. This is the city in which the Institute is located, in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Area. The municipality has an area of 640 square kilometers and a population of 34,013 inhabitants (IBGE Brazilian census authority, 2010 ) and is divided into 5 districts: Brumadinho, Aranha, Piedade do Paraopeba, São José do Paraopeba and Conceição de Itaguá. The rural population is distributed into districts and settlements, including six quilombola (former slaves) communities. Four of these communities have been recognized by the Palmares Foundation for the preservation of Afro-Brazilian Culture, connected to the Ministry of Culture.
The commitment to the social development of the local population led to the creation of the Department of Inclusion and Community Empowerment, which has operated since 2007 in three areas: Music, Art and Culture in the
Paraopeba Valley, Land Development and CIMP (acronym for Centro Inhotim de Memória e Patrimônio, or the Inhotim Center for Memory and Heritage).
One of the main goals of this Department is to strengthen the social capital of the municipality with the support of community or social leaders and organizations. All actions aim at the autonomy of the subjects, and have the people and the social groups as the central object of their work.
Inhotim aims at the sustainability of the programs, the collection, management of resources and the increase in the capacity of the organizations, strengthening new or already existing leaderships. All of the projects proposed seek to guarantee the accessibility, interaction and social inclusion of the population to the concepts and processes developed by Instituto Inhotim.
At Inhotim, visitors have several food choices, from fast snacks to more elaborated dishes. The Inhotim Restaurant has a pleasant environment and is integrated with the gardens and the contemporary art collection of the institution. The menu consists of an excellent and varied salad bar, à la carte dishes, extensive wine list, and also a variety of desserts.
Created by designer Paulo Henrique Bicalho, known as Ganso (Goose), the Inhotim Bar is a pleasant space to have a drink with your friends and enjoy the delicious international cuisine. The menu has à la carte dishes, appetizers and light snacks. The Bar do Ganso is a bona fide art gallery with pieces signed by renowned Brazilian designers, special lighting and an ambiance referring back to the 50s and 70s.
The cafeteria is located at the Burle Marx Center for Education and Culture and is the ideal place to enjoy a delicious coffee, the specialty of the house. Café do Teatro also has several options of hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, snacks and sweets.
The Oiticica Restaurant is located next to the work Penetrável Magic Square #5, De Luxe. It is a pay-by-weight buffet and the menu includes salads and choices of hot casseroles. The restaurant opens on weekends from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m.
Inhotim visitors can also check out other gastronomic spaces as the Pizzeria, the Hot Dog stand and snack bars located in the Fonte, True Rouge and Miguel Rio Branco galleries. There are sandwiches, pastries, hot dogs, cheese rolls (pão de queijo), juices, soft drinks, among other things.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saritur Bus Transport
Leaving from the Belo Horizonte Bus Station (Rodoviária) from Tuesdays to Sundays at 9 a.m. (platform F2) and returning at 4:30 pm on weekdays. On weekends and holidays, the return trip is at 5:30 pm.
Inhotim is located in the municipality of Brumadinho, 60 kilometers away from Belo Horizonte (approximately one hour and fifteen minutes). The access road is at km 500 of BR 381 highway on the Belo Horizonte – São Paulo direction.
You can also reach Inhotim by BR 040 highway (approximately 1 and a half hours). The access road is at the entrance of Retiro do Chalé on BR 040 highway on the Belo Horizonte – Rio de Janeiro direction.
The Inhotim gift shops are located at the entrance of the Institute and offer items for decoration and everyday use, books, toys, clay pieces, vases, plants and regional cuisine products.
On Wednesdays, admission is free of charge. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is R$ 25. On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, admission is R$ 40. Half price for senior citizens (60+) and students (upon presentation of valid school/college ID). Children up to 5 years of age do not pay.