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What is Luz y Vanguardias?

Salamanca hosts Light and Avant-garde Arts, an annual event that transforms the city into the national center of reference for a recently introduced art form that combines the worlds of plastic art, video creation and installation.

Its second edition will take place from June 14th to June 17th 2018. The past two editions, 2017 and 2016,  showed themselves as an open event that was enjoyed by the thousands of locals and visitors who came to the city attracted by its celebration.

Light and Avant-garde Arts is a festive and cultural event that fills Salamanca with art and light. Visitors and locals can have a walk around the city and discover the latest artistic trends while enjoying Salamanca’s rich history and World Heritage. The projections on monuments are displayed for several hours each night of the festival. See the “Tour” section for more information.

The streets of Salamanca and their unique buildings become the festival’s stage where a selection of international artists, university students and companies in the fields of video creation and installation, project their creations, especially designed to relate with the architectural features of the selected buildings.

Some of the selected buildings for this edition are: the City Hall (Plaza Mayor), the Casa de las Conchas, the New Cathedral (Plaza de Anaya) and the Church at the Convent of San Esteban.

The festival makes Salamanca the Spanish capital of the light art and the artistic creation related to this new trend. It is intended to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their age or artistic tastes.


Light and Avant-garde Arts is divided into four sections: the curated artists, the competition section, the young talents section and the parallel program +Luz.

In the curated artists section, renowned international creators are commissioned to create or adapt a specific work for an iconic building of Salamanca.

Independent artists and specialized companies take part in the competition section with works intended for the same building. A jury of experts awards the prize to the best creation. The works submitted to competition are projected onto the facade of the City Hall at Plaza Mayor.

In order to discover and promote the young talent from the city’s two universities (USAL and UPSAL), there is a section focused on the university students of Salamanca. Their selected works are projected onto the facade of the Casa de las Conchas.

The + Luz (more light) section shows a parallel program promoted by a variety of Salamanca’s museums and other art venues that will share the light as their common theme.


Message from the Mayor of Salamanca

“The city of Salamanca is committed to culture, heritage and art, as it has always been throughout its history. The streets of Salamanca are the stage of the Lights and Avant-garde Arts, and the city’s most celebrated landmarks are the stars, becoming the screen through which we show to the world.

Light and Avant-garde Arts is an artistic event that offers each person, regardless of his age, artistic preferences, whether he lives or visits Salamanca, the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful artistic and cultural experience.  On the other hand, it exhibits and promotes the talent of new creators and art students. During these days Salamanca fills with light and celebration, allowing us, even the ones that live here, to discover it through a new look. The Festival shows a creative and different image of the city, highlighting its historical wealth and heritage. Besides revitalizing the day to day life, the festival demonstrates that culture also boosts the local economy through tourism and job creation.

Light and Avant-garde Arts has a vision of permanence and consolidation based on Salamanca`s leading artistic and cultural heritage. I would like to communicate my pride and excitement with this event that is possible thanks to Iberdrola. The Festival combines tradition and modernity through light and promotes Salamanca as a worldwide reference in the avant-garde arts scene.”

Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, Mayor of Salamanca


Message from the President of Iberdrola

“It is a pleasure for Iberdrola to support Light and Avant-garde Arts and to place Salamanca as an international reference of one of the most thriving manifestations of contemporary art. Our city represents the ideal place to connect light, artistic avant-garde and some of its architectural gems, admired throughout the world.”

The strong ties that link Iberdrola with Salamanca, and our active work of restoration, conservation and lighting of its historic and artistic heritage, lead us to support this cultural event which clearly states how energy, being the indispensable basis for development and quality of life, can also become the raw material of art.

I am very pleased that salmantinos, and those who visit the city attracted by the Festival, can enjoy a first magnitude artistic event that sets a new milestone in the brilliant cultural history of Salamanca. “

Ignacio S. Galán. President of Iberdrola


Message from the organizers

Through devising and organizing this festival, Estudio de Comunicacion aims to transform Salamanca in a privileged observatory from which to contemplate the evolution of the Light art as well as its best creators, while it provides the young talent a platform to project themselves to national and international levels. Each Festival’s edition discovers new artistic concepts, as well as an art indisputably linked to the emerging development of the XXI century.

Estudio de Comunicacion is a corporate and institutional Communication Company founded in 1983 and whose work is to help companies communicate effectively with their different target audiences. In addition, Estudio de Comunicacion has an extensive experience in organizing and promoting cultural, financial and institutional events, with renowned examples such as the Spain Investors Days and the Foro America.

Benito Berceruelo, CEO of Estudio de Comunicación


City Hall of Salamanca. Plaza Mayor

The works of the artists and companies participating in the competition section are projected on the facade of the City Hall of Salamanca. The Plaza Mayor of Salamanca condenses and describes the events and transformations that the city has undergone throughout its history. The construction of its present appearance took place between 1729 and 1756. Since then, the square has witnessed the most important cultural, political, civil, festive and religious events of the city.

The Plaza Mayor of Salamanca was declared a National Monument in 1935, for being the most decorated, proportioned and harmonious square of its time. It was also considered a Historic Artistic Monument in 1973.

The plaza reached its 250th anniversary at the dawn of the twenty-first century.


Casa de las Conchas

It is one of the most popular palaces of Salamanca and one of the best examples of Spanish Gothic civil architecture. It was commissioned in the late 15th and early 16th century by Don Rodrigo Arias Maldonado, a relative of the Catholic Kings and Knight of the Order of Saint James. The shells are the main ornaments of the building’s facade.

The basement of the house later became the place where University students paid the penalties imposed by what was then their Vice-chancellor. It is currently used to house a public library and an exhibition room.


New Cathedral. Plaza de Anaya

The Cathedral of the Virgin Assumption, popularly called the New Cathedral, is one of the two cathedrals of the city of Salamanca together with the Old Cathedral. It is the headquarters of the diocese of Salamanca. It was built between the 16th and 18th centuries mixing late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. It is the second largest cathedral of Spain in dimensions and its bell tower occupies the second position also in height among the Spanish cathedrals, with 110 meters.


Convent of San Esteban Church

The Dominicans settled in Salamanca between 1255 and 1256. In the present site, occupied by the parish church of San Esteban, they erected a convent that was destroyed to build the current one in 1524 on the initiative of Cardinal Fray Juan Álvarez de Toledo.

According to tradition, Columbus stayed in the primitive convent when he went to Salamanca to defend before the geographers of the University the possibility of reaching the Indies by sailing towards the West.

During the Counter-Reformation it was an important center where many Dominican fathers were formed. They founded the Salamanca School, with Francisco de Vitoria at the head, and helped  St. Teresa de Jesus and St. Ignacio de Loyola.


University of Salamanca’s historical building. Patio of Schools

The cover of its facade is divided into three sections. In the central road from the first section appears a medallion that includes the image of the Catholic Kings, Fernando and Isabel, together with a Greek written text that says “The Kings to the University and the University to the Kings”. In the second section three shields appear, the largest one has representations of all the kingdoms that gathered Spain by the time of the construction.

SALAMANCA-Palacio de Monterrey_preview

The Palace of Monterrey

The Palace of Monterrey is one of the jewels of the Plateresque style that characterizes Salamanca. It was initiated in 1539 for the Counts of Monterrey and even though the original project was never completed, it is still one of the most spectacular monuments of the city. It has been recently restored and its currently open to the public. Its interior houses some artistic treasures belonging to the House of Alba, current proprietor of the palace. Monterrey’s architecture inspired numerous building in Spain and Hispanic America back in its era as well as during the Neoplateresco revival at the beginning  of the 20th century, also known as Monterrey Style.


The festival starts on Thursday, June the 14th and ends on Sunday, June the 17th, 2017.

The building lighting schedule:

  • Thursday and Sunday, from 10.45 pm until 1 am.
  • Friday and Saturday, from 10.45 pm until 2 am.


Light and Avant-garde Arts is an annual event that has transformed the city of Salamanca into the Spanish center of reference for a recently introduced art form in which plastic art, video and installation are mixed together. This event is held with the support of the Salamanca City Council and the active involvement of Iberdrola. It has four distinct sections: the exhibition of selected artists’ works, an open contest section evaluated by a prestigious jury, the exhibition of university students’ work, and the parallel program +Luz. The works are projected on the most iconic buildings of Salamanca.


The festival’s second edition will take place from 14th to 17th June 2018.


To attend the festival it is not necessary to register or pay any admission. Light and Avant-garde arts is open to all, both salmantinos and visitors, and is totally free of charge.


Some of the buildings selected for this edition are: the Town Hall, the Casa de las Conchas, the new Cathedral or the Church at San Esteban convent.


Unlike other light projection events, usually based on the video mapping technique, in Salamanca, artistic works are projected on the facade of several historical buildings. Thus, Light and Avant-garde Arts combines the latest light techniques, avant-garde art and culture. It is both a festive and cultural event, something that makes it unique.

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