According to a saying in Quito, "There is no blank wall." The walls in Quito are covered with graffiti, which is part of Ecuador's urban culture. Graffiti in Ecuador often expresses social and political ideas or poetic sentiments. For example, one graffiti artist wrote on a wall: Es más fácil describir lo que no es amor, which means "It's easier to describe what isn't love." Each different graffiti group has its own signature. During speeches, politicians and journalists frequently quote the messages on the walls.
The indigenous people in Ecuador have long been known for their musical ability and talent. At festivals, groups play both indigenous and Spanish-European music. The instruments include bamboo flutes, pan pipes (called rondador), ukuleles, drums and violins. Popular folksongs that are performed by musical groups at fiestas include "Rosa Maria" and "El Condor Pasa." Ecuador's most popular dance tunes are called sanjuanitas.

Ecuador's churches and monasteries show both Indian and Spanish influences. Contemporary art reflects social and cultural values in Ecuador. Camilo Egas's pictures reflect social conditions and Manuel Rendon's paintings depict religious themes.

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The first official School of Fine Arts was established in 1822 by Simón Bolívar. Its first director was the sculptor Gaspar Sangurima. Simón Bolívar was so excited by this sculptor's work that he created the centre and made him the director.

Quito is also famous for its museums. One of the most popular museums is the Guayasamín Museum. It contains many pre-colonial and colonial sculptures. It also has a collection of the paintings of Oswaldo Guayasam¡n, one of Ecuador's most famous painters.

Ambato, a city in central Ecuador, is known as the "city of the three Juans." Juan Montalvo is considered the father of Ecuadorian philosophy. Juan Leon Mera was a famous musician who wrote the words for Ecuador's national anthem. Juan Benigo Vela was a famous politician and political essayist.

Ecuador has produced many novelists and poets. Jorge Icaza wrote a controversial novel called Huasipungo in 1934, which depicted the plight of indigenous peoples in the Sierra and the problems created by the oil industry. Jorge Enrique Adoum's Entre Marx y una Mujer Desnuda (1976) is a novel about novel-writing itself, and about life in Ecuador.

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The creation of pottery has a long history in Ecuador. Pottery figurines discovered in the village of Valdivia date from 3300 B.C. Most of the figurines are of women. The originals can be seen in museums, but potters in Valdivia also make similar figures today.