The Journalism Society of the Araucania (Sociedad Periodística de la Araucanía) made a valuable contribution to the city of Valdivia through the acquisition of the Martens-Hoffman house in 1990. The house is an important building that has worked as home for the Cultural Center El Austral for over 25 years. It is located a block away from Los Canelos Tower (Torreón Los Canelos), in a well-known sector of the city. It was built during the decade of 1890 by Alberto Thater Döring and it is considered an example of the local wooden architecture.
The building features three rooms with a variety of museum-like and visual arts exhibitions; all of them open to the public the whole year and free of charge. Painting, carving, sculpture, and even botanic exhibitions are part of the agenda of the center. By now, more than 300 exhibitions have taken place, gathering renowed and emerging artists. Moreover, and specially for the local community, the institution offers a diversity of workshops on areas such as plastic and creative handicrafts, music, personal development, and languages. Futhermore is a recurring place for conferences, concerts, and master lessons.
Source: Tanya Wagemann, Administrator and Manager of the Cultural Center El Austral.