Posts Tagged ‘artesanias’

Many years ago, I attended a benefit sale at Galería La Mano Mágica to raise money to enable famed ceramicist Josefina Aguilar to have cataract surgery. My eyes were immediately drawn to a sculpture by her granddaughter, Fran Garcia Vásquez. I bought it and the Tehuana sculpture remains one of my most treasured pieces — though she has had her ups and downs.

The 8.2 earthquake in September 2017 resulted in a broken arm. It was a clean break and I was able to make the repair.

Alas, in June 2020 (due to my carelessness), she suffered more serious injuries — the extent of which were well beyond my abilities to mend. She and all her pieces were carefully cushioned in a box and there she lay through the worst of the pandemic and my move to Barrio de Jalatlaco.

It was only a month or so ago that it dawned on me to contact her creator, Fran Garcia Vásquez to ask if she could repair my sculpture — after all, she had the clay, paint, and expertise! She readily agreed and on March 13, I took my treasured Tehuana to the workshop she shares with family members in Ocotlán de Morelos (Av. Morelos #428). Five days later, the repair had been completed and she brought the sculpture to my home.

Fran Garcia Vásquez

When Fran unwrapped and placed the Tehuana in my hands, I must admit I became a little teary eyed. The sculpture is as good as new and looks proud and serene in her new home.

March 19 was Día de las Artesanas y los Artesanos in Mexico and the entire month of March is designated “Month of the Artisan.” I want to thank all of them deeply for carrying on, often renewing, and always enriching traditions with their own creative spirit.

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There are only a few more days left to be delighted by “Manos que crean y ojos que leen” (Hands that create and eyes that read), a whimsical exhibition of popular art at the Biblioteca Andrés Henestrosa.  The pieces were commissioned by Rosa Blum (who, with Henry Wangeman, owns Oaxaca’s bilingual bookstore Amate Books) to celebrate reading and promote the incredibly creative artisans of Oaxaca who were suffering from a drop in tourism following the social conflict of 2006.

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So…  If you are in Oaxaca, be sure to see it before it closes at the end of this month.  If not, you might want to consider a trip down here (Oaxaca is NOT on the US State Department travel warning list), visit some of these artisans in their villages, see their work up close and personal, and perhaps purchase a few unique treasures from these talented people.

For other pieces in the exhibit, see Chris’s photos over at Oaxaca-The Year After.

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