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The only gods worshipped at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray are those of art, color, and self-expression.
This compound/gallery/event space is the home and passion project of American artist Anado Mclauchlin and his partner, Richard, and has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic, and more.
Photographers, art lovers, and seekers of the strange are all drawn to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray, where an explosion of color is not-so-hidden behind a rainbow painted fence in the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Entrance to the chapel of Jimmy Ray
Kismet Street, a mosaic-covered wall, is the centerpiece of the compound and is surrounded by the mosaic-covered everything else that’s sprouted from the creative mind of Anado over the years.
An Anado effigy made of sticks guards the gardens while the Chapel of Jimmy Ray – a gallery named for Anado’s father (and himself, Anado’s birth name was Jimmy Ray before he took the name Anado during his travels in India) – showcases sculptures and art from Anado, his assistant, and local artists in San Miguel.
There’s an anatomically correct Lucha Libre fountain.
There’s a large number of dogs.
There’s nothing quite like the Chapel of Jimmy Ray.
Anado Mclauchlin, the artist behind the Chapel of Jimmy Ray and our tour guide for the day
How to Book a Tour of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray
Because the Chapel of Jimmy Ray is Anado and Richard’s home, visits are by appointment only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Email Anado at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the tour times on the date you want to go and confirm your appointment.
When we went, our Saturday tour had about 12 people and was led by Anado himself, who explained his background, art, and inspiration as well as the ever-changing identity of the compound itself.
Tours cost 200 mxn / 10 usd per person and last about an hour to an hour and a half from start to finish.
Art by Anado and others inside the Chapel of Jimmy Ray gallery
How to get to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray from San Miguel
The easiest way to get to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray is by taxi or Uber.
Dan and I took an Uber and the 30-minute trip cost 100 mxn / 5 usd. Getting back to San Miguel isn’t quite as easy, but still possible without a car.
Kismet Street mosaics
You can ask your Uber or taxi driver to return after the one-hour tour is finished, or you can call a taxi at 415 113 7519
If all else fails, bum a ride back into town with someone else on your tour 🙂
The ride back will be more expensive and you can expect to pay closer to around 300 mxn / 15 usd for the driver to make the round trip from San Miguel to the gallery and back again.
A second gallery housing more of Anado’s art
What to see at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray
Your tour will be guided by Anado so you don’t have to overthink this part of your trip too much.
It begins at the colorful entrance gates and then turns down onto the property where you’ll see the stick-statue version of Anado, a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and a mosaic arch and staircase leading down to the main event.
It’s a toilet. Don’t overthink it.
The Chapel of Jimmy Ray is a small gallery full of murals, paintings, statues, and bedazzled cow skulls, while an outhouse from a rainbow-colored version of outer space sits not-so-subtly beside it.
Along with a second gallery, this part of the compound it an oasis of color and calm among the trees, greenery, flowers, and cacti that surround it.
Then, we went to Kismet Street, the long wall running along the back of the property.
It’s covered in more mosaics by Anado and visitors, including the famous ‘Dump Trump’ sign and a wall dedicated solely to his dogs, which we were fortunate to meet many of along the way.
Anado and Richard’s house
Finally, our tour concluded with a peek inside Anado and Richard’s home – which was somehow even more vibrant than the exterior – and their shared workshop.
If you come to San Miguel de Allende, plan a visit to the magical, mesmerizing, and oh-so-memorable Chapel of Jimmy Ray with this guide!
This article is part of the San Miguel Day Trip series. Read the rest below:
Then, explore the Mexico Series for more tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country!
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