Posts Tagged ‘Rufino Tamayo Museo de Arte Prehispanico de Mexico’

Day four of B’s Week in Oaxaca had B relying on yours truly for the day’s sights and sounds.  Where to begin?  The answer, because it was near Casita Colibrí and we had just been to Mitla and Monte Albán, was the Museo de Arte Prehispánico de México Rufino Tamayo (Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art).  The collection is spread over five rooms surrounding a courtyard in a 16th century colonial building.  Each room is painted a different iconic Mexican color, chosen by the late Zapotec Oaxaqueño artist Rufino Tamayo, to highlight the pieces of his extraordinary collection.

Next we walked down to and through the iron gates, designed by Francisco Toledo, and across the brick pathway of the Centro Cultural San Pablo (Cultural Center of San Pablo).  We explored the interior rooms of this ex-convent, now an academic research and cultural center, that hosts concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and houses a library.  Pausing to rest, we took advantage of the cafe in the courtyard to order a couple of aguas.

Our thirst quenched, we walked around the corner to the Museo Textil de Oaxaca (Textile Museum of Oaxaca) to explore the ground floor and upstairs exhibitions of one of this textile lover’s favorite museums.  One of the exhibits was the stunning “Almas bordadas, vestido y ornamento en el Istmo de Tehuantepec” — displaying the iconic embroidered clothing of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.  (Think, the dress of Frida Kahlo.)

Forty-five minutes later, we were certifiably hungry and, lucky for us, Origen, restaurant of Top Chef Mexico 2016 winner, Rodolfo Castellanos, and one of my oft recommended restaurants in Oaxaca, was only a block away.  As always, its relaxing interior, attentive service, and delicious food provided a perfect respite.

Once rested and satiated, it felt good to set feet to pavement for the short walk to the Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption).  The cathedral towers over the zocaló and the Alameda.  The construction of this green cantera (stone) edifice began in 1535 and was consecrated on July 12, 1733.  It is dominated by a spectacular altar and lined, on both sides, with chapels — the most important being that of Señor del Rayo.  In addition, it is home to one of the historic pipe organs of Oaxaca.

After being wowed by the Cathedral’s soaring ceiling, altar, art, chapels, and organ, we crossed Independencia for a taste of the modern — the Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (Museum of Oaxacan Painters).  This, often overlooked, two-story restored colonial era mansion showcases the creativity and talent of Oaxaca’s painters.  I had been to the museum only a month before, but the exhibitions are ever-changing, and new artists were on display.

Of course, no day in Oaxaca is complete without a parade and we were not disappointed.  We departed the Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños to be greeted with a calenda (parade) by “Ranchu Gubiña” from Union Hidalgo in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region — attired in clothing similar to that which we had seen earlier in the day at the textile museum.  We had come full circle!

Another long day’s journey into evening….  However, we weren’t finished yet; two more days await!

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November 5th was opening day of the inaugural Oaxaca International Independent Film and Video Festival. Having volunteered at the Mill Valley Film Festival for eight years and attending it for many more, I enthusiastically poured over the nine-day schedule and made sure to arrive at the newly reopened Auditorio Ariel for the first film a half an hour early. Of course, the theater wasn’t open, no line had formed, and the only other people not sporting official film festival badges or wearing official volunteer t-shirts, were other gringos. When will I ever learn?!!

Other days and films followed, including the wonderful documentary, Awakening From Sorrow: Buenos Aires 1997. The voices of the now grown children of the disappeared, tortured, and murdered during Argentina’s “dirty war” of the late 1970s and early 1980s, are woven, along with haunting artwork, music and archival film footage into an exquisite “tapestry of remembrance” in their quest for justice. And, come to find out, it screened at last year’s Mill Valley Film Festival.

In addition to the films, the festival also featured an English language and a Spanish language literature competition. The Oaxaca Lending Library, where I volunteer, underwrote the English competition, including bringing the winner, Charles Whipple, to Oaxaca from his home in Japan(!) and hosting a reception on Nov. 11. The evening temperatures were mild, perfect for gathering in the courtyard of the stately 17th century home of the Rufino Tamayo Museo de Arte Prehispanico de Mexico, savoring the delicious canapés created by Jean-Michel Thomas of ¿Donde esta el chef?, and listening to Charles Whipple read his awarding winning story, A Matter of Tea.

The evening closed with the Mexican premiere of, Twenty Five Hundred & One, a documentary chronicling Oaxacan-born artist, Alejandro Santiago’s sculptural tribute to the thousands of men and women who have left his pueblo almost deserted, in their search for jobs. Alejandro Santiago and several of his family members and the crew who help create the 2,501 sculptures were present, as was director, Director, Patricia Van Ryker. It was a lovely way to spend an evening…

Photos from the reception can be found in a photo album on the Oaxaca Lending Library’s website.

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