The 18th annual Feria Maestros del Arte happened last weekend at Lake Chapala, Jalisco, about 40-minutes from Guadalajara. I had never been before and I decided it was time! Plus, it gave me a chance to spend some time with friends Chris and Ben, who moved to Ajijic from North Carolina last year.
I knew that Oaxaca would be well-represented among the 87 artisans participating. I was especially eager to see Teotitlan del Valle weaving friends Estella Montaño and Family, and mother-son team Maria de Lourdes Lazo Sosa and Isaac Armando Lazo.
And, there was another good friend, flying shuttle loom weaver Alfredo Hernandez Orozco with his son Yaolt, who make extraordinary cotton cloth home goods and clothing. Their workshop is in El Tule.
There were other Oaxaca artisans whose work I know and respect: alebrijes makers, ceramic artists and sculptors, basket weavers, and some very fine clothing weavers from remote areas of the Oaxaca coast and Mixe regions. Many of these are included on our Oaxaca Discovery Tour coming up at the end of January 2020 (yes, a few spaces are available).
- Juan Toribio from San Juan Cotzocon, whose work I wear with pleasure
- Sebastiana Guzman Hernandez from Pinotepa de Don Luis, who we visit on our Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour
- Antonio Guzman Hernandez hand-carves jicara gourds for jewelry, lamps, drinking and serving vessels
- Martina Avila Morales, Pinotepa Nacional, who makes exquisite embroidered blouses — we see her on the coast, too
- Maria Aragon Sanchez and Gloria Cruz Sanchez, who craft fine red clay pottery in San Marcos Tlapazola up the road from where I live
- There are the carrizo (river reed) woven baskets by Amador Martinez Antonio, Santa Cruz Papalutla, Tlacolula
- Represented are two alebrijes makers from San Martin Tilcajete: Enrique Fabian Ortega and Zeny Fuentes
- Jewelry designer Francisco Jesus Hernandez Perez also makes collage in the style of Rodolfo Morales, is across from Santo Domingo Church
- Others include: Shoemakers Clara and German Garcia Antonio, prize-winning Atzompa potter Alicia Leticia Garcia Blanco, palm jewelry artist Monica Diaz Martinez, and Cuarto Suspiro high-fire clay studio located in San Andres Huayapam
An added bonus of going to the Fair was participating in events hosted by Los Amigos del Arte Popular. This is a non-profit group that supports Mexican folk art. They are appreciators and collectors, and do a lot to underwrite this Feria and provide scholarships for artisans to travel here.
I also had a chance to connect with friends Mariann who moved to Ajijic from Philadelphia, friend Ellen who comes to Oaxaca every winter, her sister Sally, and locals Elizabeth and Greg who live in Chapala. I also bumped into David and Barbara from San Diego, too.
Unlike the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe that covers the world, this Fair reunites those of us with Mexico-LOVE. While I’m most happy living in Oaxaca, coming to the shores of Lake Chapala is a refreshing change of pace and a great party all the way around. I had to come home to rest!