Artists’ Profile – StaySea


One of the primary objectives of Artify Jacó is to support artists. We have received an overwhelming amount of submissions from muralists and graffiti artists the world over interested in joining the Artify movement. Unfortunately, our limited resources prohibit us from securing more than a few commissions per year. Nonetheless, we do attempt to pair artists with patrons looking to invest in murals and custom artwork.

It is not always easy, pairing home & business owners with an artist that can embrace their vision. We found a nice match in early February when visiting artist Stacey Coon installed a beautiful mural for the lovely family of James and Annette Maggs.

When we arrived to the Maggs’ residence on a sunny Monday morning, the house was humming with life. Kids were splashing in the pool, parents were in the kitchen blending  smoothies, everyone smiling. Armed with paint & her travel brush kit, Stacey got to work. By day two, she had completed this custom design of approximately 10 square meters.


Stacey credits her ability to paint fast & not over think her pieces to the year she spent working primarily in face & body painting. The experience helped her develop faster technique but also allowed her to release the notion of possession of her work. She is a master at channeling her clients’ emotions & desires into her custom pieces.

If you would like a custom painting in your home or business, contact us. We have a wide network of artists eager to leave their mark in our beautiful seaside town. Thank you James, Annette & Stacey!






Yiyo Graff Behind the Scenes

The making of a mural is a recipe that changes with every installation, every artist, every wall or space. You never know how it’s going to go until it’s gone. Not easy, but what is?

In our latest installment of this ongoing quest to beautify Jacó, and unite our community, we were drawn to Yiyo, a Costa Rican graffitero from San Ramon. In fact, we’ve been trying to find the right spot for Yiyo for months, but only when we were called by the Epicentro Civico to collaborate with the Municipality, did we find the perfect spot for him in our program. The Municipality had a look out building that was ragged and tagged.

They promised to clean it up and refinish the walls if we could find an artist and coordinate a mural installation. If we found a sponsor to refinish the floor, they would install it. Fair enough.

When contemplating the project, I immediately envisioned what I wanted; a 360 art installation, fully immersible for the visitor. We needed an artist who could paint walls, a roof & ceilings, a physically demanding job. Among the Artify team, we all agreed Yiyo was the man to realize our vision. But as with any large installation, nothing is a one man job. It takes a village. Fortunately for us, we are blessed with philanthropic, helpful, loving villagers.

A huge thank you to our Artify Jaco supporters who made this possible. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but Ale, Natalia, Heidi, Lou & Olivia comprised Yiyo’s Pacific Coast Crew.

I would also like to extend a very warm thank you to Stay in Costa Rica, David Karr Properties, Panaderia Artesanal, Green Room & Juanitas, Familia Sin Zapatos / Graffiti & PuddleFish Brewery.


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Artify Escuela Jaco – Pilot Project

Greetings from the Central Coast. As we near the close of another year, we are reflecting on all of the blessings 2017 has brought to Artify Jacó. This year we completed  3 large murals, more wings, & closest to my heart, was the opportunity to lead a program teaching painting and color theory to our local elementary school students, at Escuela Jacó.

The school is large. More than 700 kids attend classes from pre kindergarten through 6th grade. The teachers are nice. The librarian is amazing. The kids are awesome. The volunteer teachers and assistants are invaluable & talented. The director had an open mind and allowed us to carve out the program on the fly.

All in all, it was a cool experience. We worked from the library, when it was available. We saw more than 600 kids. We made a lot of color wheels. We also made a model of Fantasy Jacó  with recycled elements, glue and paint. This was a school-wide initiative. It is a 3 dimensional representation of the town as seen by the next generation of Jacobeños.

We feel very fortunate to have teamed up with the Centro Civico for a mural that we will be installing with some of our students with the talented people at the Centro Civico. If you would like to visit our mural and see the maqueta, it will be on display at the Centro Civico in December.

Thank you Doña Vera & Pilar. And a very special thank you to Leti, Lou, Diana, Graciela & Merylis. We look forward to the exciting lessons we can learn together next year.

art. LOVE. nature.

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Farid Rueda Explodes the Jaco Art Scene!

We are so happy now that the Farid Rueda mural is done that we can hardly contain our excitement! The response from the community has been incredible and we feel so honored to have had two such artists in Jaco to start our Street Art movement off right!


Farid used a lot of symbolism in this lateral totem mural. He explained that the Jaguar symbolizes the sun in many indigenous cultures. In this instance, the Jaguar represents the sun, surrounded by the moon which is represented as two halves of an owl’s face in order to depict the phases of the moon. The Earth is represented by the red and green macaws, which are animals that have been rescued and preserved in the Jaco area and have become a part of our beach town’s identity. We are truly blessed to live in this beautiful beach community, and we feel very lucky that both Farid Rueda & Jade Rivera may have plans to return to create more art in the future. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Both the Farid & Jade murals can be viewed when you enter the Max X Menos parking lot in the center of Jaco.

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We would like to give a special thanks to all of the supporters of the ARTIFY JACO Project. Our vow is to make our beach town more beautiful through art and we are far from done! We are planning on taking a short break to re-organize and drafts our plans for the next big murals. Thank you for your enthusiasm and for the inquiries about walls as well as all of the artists who have reached out and are interested in paintings murals in Jaco. Please contact us if you are interested in making a donation. All funds go to the artists and to continuing the ART in Jaco.


Stay tuned to see what else is happening in Jaco and what new art pops up around the community. We love to receive photos of art as well… So if you see something new that maybe we haven’t seen, we would love to hear from you!

JADE Mural a Success! More Coming Soon…

Now that the Jade Rivera mural in Jaco is finished, we could not be happier with the end result. Jade is such an incredible artist who was able to come to our beach town and capture a part of the soul of Costa Rica in just a few days, and then interpret it into an inspiring masterpiece for our community to enjoy. We feel so lucky to have had Jade and his wife here during the time it took to complete the mural. They also said they enjoyed Jaco, which fills our hearts with pride as we strive to make our community a fun destination that people go home and tell their friends about.



The mural, named “Legado” or “Legacy” incorporates Boruca indigenous art from Costa Rica in a thought provoking scene of a boy wearing a jaguar mask being blessed by the hand of the Universe. The masks depicted in the mural are made by the Boruca tribe, hand carved usually out of Balsa or Cedar wood and all uniquely hand painted. Use of the masks dates back to when the Spanish Conquistadors first came to Costa Rica to conquer the land. The Boruca Indians we able to ward them off for a period of time by wearing masks and jungle foliage and surprising their enemies in their home territory. This style of Boruca masks are still worn in the Boruca village for “The Festival of the Devils” which happens every year around New Years.

But don’t think that the excitement in Jaco has ended just yet. Tomorrow, Farid Rueda will be arriving in Costa Rica. We are very excited to work with him and get started on the second large mural installation in Jaco for 2017. Stay tuned for details on the next location and design and see what unravels with Farid later this week…


Don’t forget about the PHOTO CONTEST that is ending August 15th. Art lovers and Photographers are asked to… take photos of the murals in Jaco and post them to social media and hashtag #artifyjaco, email them to, or send them to us on Facebook. Use your creative minds to challenge the normal point of view! The winning photo will be announced on August 18th on our Facebook & Instagram pages. The winner will receive a limited edition silk screen print by Jade Rivera AND a Two Night Stay in a BEACH FRONT 2-Bedroom Condo in Jaco brought to you by VACASA. (Some restrictions apply.)

As always, thanks for keeping up to date with ARTIFY JACO. We appreciate your support!

Announcing a Photography Contest!


If you are in the Jaco area and are admiring the street art, please take some photos of the newest additions to our town and tag them with #artifjaco on Facebook or Instagram or email them to us We would love to check out your point of view!

The deadline to submit your photos is August 15th and the winner of the contest will be announced on August 18th.

The winning photographer will receive a silk screen print of this beautiful artwork by JADE RIVERA. 267d90b58342c193073e9d291b4d2552

The winner will also receive two nights in an ocean front 2-bedroom condo

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We are very excited and proud of the mural that Jade Rivera has been working on in Jaco. As long time fans of his work, it is a dream come true to have him create one of his original artworks on a wall in our beach town. Jade has also been telling us how he is really enjoying Jaco, even though his race against the weather has been somewhat challenging. Today, for example, it was down pouring in Jaco this morning which puts a slight delay in the painting schedule, but he has been diligently working through the challenges.

Although taking a little break because of the weather has allowed him to take in some sights like the beach in Esterillos, Tortuga Island, and the Tres Piscina waterfalls in Parrita. And let’s just say he is a little enchanted with our quaint beach town! Especially with how green everything is this time of year.

The progress of the mural in just one week has been incredibly fast! Normally, most artists might take a month to finish a work of this scale. There are only a few artists around the world who would take on a task this large and be able to complete it so quickly. Jade also had an offer to travel to paint in a Street Art Festival in Canada this month, but lucky for us he and his wife picked Costa Rica for their next adventure.


Thanks for staying up to date with news from ARTIFY JACO. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed about the progress for the Jade Rivera mural and…. Farid Rueda will be in Jaco end of July to begin his work!


Exciting Things Happening in July in Jaco…


Welcome to ArtifyJaco.

This past weekend we completed a NEW mural in our community! Kamel from the Boruca tribe created an amazing mural in his traditional style, featuring a jaguar, frog and eagle.

This coming July we have 2 internationally recognized artists coming to Jaco to do large-scale murals in our town! We couldn’t be more excited. The theme for all the current murals is: ART. LOVE. NATURE. Raising consciousness of Nature through Art.

July 10, Jade Rivera of Peru @riverajade (FB link) will bring his incredible talent to Jaco. His work transports us to a world of subtle mystics and fantastic illusion, celebrating man’s relationship to nature. It is surreal & ephemeral.


Later in the month, July 25th, we have Farid Rueda. @farid.rueda (FB LINK) From the birthplace of Muralism; this Mexican artist has made a name for himself internationally. He is currently touring and installing large paintings on the streets of Europe. His murals can be described as contemporary figures from the natural world, with design elements rooted in an ancestral Mexican aesthetic.

Locations and details to be announced soon. Watch our page! If you’d like to sponsor a wall to help further the cause, please contact us for more information. We’d be happy to talk. #jaco #jacobeach #artlovenature

Traducción Español…

Bienvenido a ArtifyJaco.

¡El pasado fin de semana terminamos un NUEVO mural en nuestra comunidad! Kamel de la tribu Boruca creó un mural increíble en su estilo tradicional, con un jaguar, una rana y un águila.

¡En el próximo mes de julio tenemos a 2 artistas internacionalmente reconocidos que vienen a Jaco a hacer grandes murales en nuestra ciudad! No podríamos estar más emocionados. El tema de todos los murales actuales es: ART. AMOR. NATURALEZA. Elevar la conciencia de la Naturaleza a través del Arte.

Julio 10, Jade Rivera del Perú @riverajade (FB link) traerá su increíble talento a Jaco. Su obra nos transporta a un mundo de místicos sutiles y ilusión fantástica, celebrando la relación del hombre con la naturaleza. Es surrealista y efímera.

Más tarde en el mes, 25 de julio, tenemos Farid Rueda. @ Farid.rueda (FB LINK) Desde el lugar de nacimiento del Muralismo; Este artista mexicano se ha hecho un nombre internacional. Actualmente está recorriendo e instalando grandes pinturas en las calles de Europa. Sus murales pueden ser descritos como figuras contemporáneas del mundo natural, con elementos de diseño arraigados en una ancestral estética mexicana.

Ubicaciones y detalles que se anunciarán próximamente. ¡Mira nuestra página! Si desea patrocinar un muro para ayudar a promover la causa, póngase en contacto con nosotros para obtener más información. Estaríamos encantados de hablar. #playajaco #arteamornaturaleza


Mystic Boruca Art of Costa Rica

In Jaco, this weekend we were lucky enough to have Boruca tribe member and artist, “Kamel” Melvin Gonzalez, visiting to paint a mural on a wall in town and to share some of his culture with us. Melvin prefers to be called by his traditional name Kamel, is 38 years old, and is working hard to help keep the Boruca roots and traditions alive through his paintings, mask making, and by giving inspired presentations on history and culture from his tribe. Melvin at such a young age is considered one of his tribe’s leaders and is helping to pave the way for his people’s future. 


The are 7 indigenous tribes throughout Costa Rica: the Gutatusos (Malekus), the Chorotegas, the Huetares, the Cabecares, the Bribri, the Terrabas (Teribes), the Guaymies, and the Boruca (Bruncas).  Like many native American groups, the Borucas were influenced by Mesoamerican tribes from Central America and cultures from South America. The people of the Boruca tribe are still in close touch with their ancestral traditions, but this wasn’t always the case…


In the 1980’s Kamel’s father, Ismael Gonzalez (pictured above),  realized  that the culture of his people was slipping away. He began working with the young boys of the community, teaching them how to carve masks and carry on the Boruca traditions. He founded an artisanal workshop for his town that would transmit ancestral knowledge on to the new generations.  Ismael received several awards for his efforts to rescue the arts & mask making culture of the Boruca people including the Premio Nacional de Cultura Tradicional, the Premio Magon, as well as receiving recognition for his work towards the conservation of his people’s environment. Ismael Gonzalez was deemed a living human treasure before he passed away in 2014 at the age of 86.

Kamel says that his inspiration comes from his elder male influences of the Boruca village Including his Uncle Nemesio who is 88 years old. The elders taught him that everything in life is connected on a spiritual level. They taught him the legends of the spirit world including the energies and nymphs of the mountains, waterfalls, lagunas and oceans. Because of these teachings he has a deep respect for nature, which is represented brilliantly through his art.

Sadly for the Boruca people, they have experienced the loss of many of their elders in the past 2 years, leaving many of the younger men in charge of cultural relations and keeping their heritage alive. Kamel, following in his father’s footsteps, is one who has taken on the task. As he happily told me after he finished his work, “El arte se traduce bien a todo tipo de personas.” Art translates well to all types of people. 


Artify Jaco is an organization that has been working with artists to promote street art and artistic expression in Jaco. We feel honored to have had Kamel in town for the weekend to share with us and leave his mark in Jaco. The mural is located in central Jaco, just to the right of Tico Pod Art House & Pizza Pata, next to Jaco Fine Meats. Art works by Kamel Melvin Gonzalez can be purchased in Tico Pod.



Written By: Emily Easton Reyes

Jaco, Costa Rica June 25, 2017

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