Meet the Galería Namu Staff


Aisling FrenchIt has been my joy and privilege to bring Galería Namu into existence. My training as a teacher has dictated the gallery’s style and approach. It is my wish to encourage visitors to the gallery to learn as much as possible about the wonderful art on display. The selling of the art pieces often takes a back seat to the teaching about its background.
People come back again and again and they recommend friends, family and fellow travelers, because they know that patronizing Namu means that they are supporting art from communities that are often as fragile as the environmental beauty for which Costa Rica is renowned. They are also impressed by the ‘fair trade’ practices of the gallery which bring more than the usual financial security to its artists.


ConallI was very instrumental in encouraging the owner, and incidently my mother, to focus on the indigenous arts of Costa Rica. We both realized that the presence of tribal arts was sorely lacking here so we established Galería Namu in 1998 knowing that it would be the first of its kind in Costa Rica.
My own background in fine arts, museum studies and anthropology has worked well as a foundation for the research of the indigenous side of the gallery’s offering. It has even nudged my mother to expand the gallery’s scope by exhibiting remarkable art from other indigenous people’s of the Central American isthmus, such as the small, but culturally rich Panamanian tribe, the Wounan, amongst whom I worked and lived throughout 1999 and part of 2000. Their carved tagua (vegetable ivory) nut art is stunning as are the ‘ceramic-like’, tightly-woven baskets created by Wounan women.


RobertoAnyone who comes into the gallery will have met me. I have been with the gallery since 2000 and I take pride in my work assisting Aisling to maintain the gallery in a well organized way that will show the beauty of every little piece. I help clients to ensure that their purchases are packed safely for the journey ahead of them, and that the client will leave with as much written background information as we can provide.

11 thoughts on “Meet the Galería Namu Staff”

  1. Roberto packed a large Pefi piece for me a couple of years ago at the BEGINNING of my trip… fared perfectly to the Osa and all the way through the rainforest and then back to New York and sits beautifully on a shelf in my bedroom…..
    We LOVE visiting Namu Gallery, it is one of the highlights of our trip to San Jose….now, we try to go at the end of our stay!!

  2. Hello Aisling,
    I was at your gallery last April (2011)and bought a few memorable pieces, notably a brown chunga leaves monkey mask, a half a dozen bronze and silver shamans, an original print by Jose Alejandro Herrera, and a few pieces of tagua jewellery. I would have bought more, especially some of those nut carvings. Next time, I will! Your place is like a little museum packed with treasures on every shelf, table and wall. It has a soul, the soul of all the indigenous people who lovingly create these beautiful works of art. Thank you for creating such a place.
    I above all remember our long and lovely conversation about Costa Rica real estate (I was looking for a property to buy), among other things. When I received your email, it brought back so many good memories of my last trip to your country. The pieces I brought back make me smile often (especially the monkey and the shamans).
    I wish you all the best and hope to visit you again in the near future.
    Isabelle (from Paris, France, via Toronto, Canada)

    1. You are more than kind, Isabelle. It is always such a pleasure to receive such appreciation. We too hope you visit us again in the near future – our little gallery of treasures is only getting better!

  3. I really enjoy shopping at your store, I have bought glazed tiles with animal figures on them. I have been there at leat a dozen times in the 5 trips I have taken to Costa Rica. Three years ago I brought in a picture of a cat owned by a friend of mine and the Columbian tile ladies painted the cat on a tile and fired it and framed it and my friend Marilyn loved it.
    I have bought small coconut ivory carvings, wall hangings, serving dishes and many ceramic tile coasters and trivets and look forward to many more.
    It is my favorite store in San Jose. Thanks to all the staff who could not be more accomodating and helpful. Look forward to going back and visiting and shopping.
    Hopefully you will get more Bruka forest animal carvings, they look great.
    Jerry (from Palo Alto, Ca)

  4. I have visited the Galeria Namu at least 6 or 7 times during four trips to Costa Rica. It is my favorite place in San Jose as it is to me a miniature museum showing how clever and skilled are the native people. Usually, I spend no less than an hour just looking.
    I come home with whatever I can afford at the time (wish it were more): jewelery, paintings, ceramic tiles, Brunka tribe masks (my favorite) and have a rain forest theme for one room at home.
    There is always plenty of back ground information and enthusiasm provided by the staff. What fun…great job! A must see!

  5. We love visiting your website and look forward to enjoying your store even more. You do a beautiful job of photographing the work for your site.
    We wish you continued success in providing an outlet for this amazing work.

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