Essaouira has become quite a centre for painting and sculpture, and many of its artists have made a name for themselves in both Morocco and Europe. Artists with their own distinctive styles tend to have an entourage of second-rate imitators, so it’s worth checking that the artist whose works you’re looking at really is the one whose work you were interested in, as it should be in any of the galleries listed here.
Association Tilal 2 Rue du Caire t 0524 475424. A gallery exhibiting the work of half a dozen or so local painters with quite distinctive styles. Many of the pieces exhibited here have been knocked up quickly to sell at low prices: to buy some of the artists’ better work, you’ll have to speak to them personally and perhaps commission something. The association should be able to put you in touch. Daily 8.30am–12.30pm, 2.30–7pm.
Espace Othello 9 Rue Mohammed Layachi, behind the Hôtel Sahara t 0524 475095. Owned by a Belgian, originally as an overflow for the artwork he was exhibiting in his nearby restaurant; it’s now a standalone gallery, with paintings and sculptures by local artists. Daily 9am–1pm & 3–8pm.
Galerie d’Art Frederic Damgaard Av Okba Ibn Nafia t 0524 784446. Paintings and sculptures by twenty or so locally based artists, in a gallery run by a Danish furniture designer, who uses the traditional thuya techniques in a highly imaginative, modern context. There’s also an atelier (workshop) at 2 Rue el Hijalli, just off Pl Chefchaouni. Daily 9am–1pm, 3–7pm.
La Petite Galerie Just off the north end of Pl Prince Moulay el Hassan in the passage through to Rue Ibn Rochd, t 0665 660630. A small but well-chosen selection of works by local painter Slimane Drissi. Daily 9am–9pm.