Four years ago in anticipation of moving into the little casita in Teotitlan del Valle, I bought a painting by Oaxaca artist Pantaleon Ruiz Martinez, titled Sombras de Mi Ayer (Shadows of My Yesterday).
He had just finished an exhibition in Mexico City and luckily the painting I loved had not sold. I arranged to make periodic PayPal payments over several months to make the purchase seem more affordable. Here are some photos from Pantaleon’s 2008 exhibition catalog Mis Memorias–Mis Sueños (My Memories–My Dreams).
Then, when the construction took longer than expected, Pantaleon agreed to keep it in storage for me. He had to hide it because people who came into his studio over the years wanted to buy it!
When I got settled into the casita this last week, I asked Pantaleon if he would bring the painting and help me choose a place to hang it. I had in mind a house blessing with a bit of mezcal to go along. Without ART this is not really a HOME! We picked the center of the wall over the sofa.
Fortunately, I bought a drill and a concrete drill bit when I first moved in. It comes in handy and I know how to use it. With the help of his friend Venustiano, we got the painting hung in ten minutes. The before and after shot of mezcal helped.
Then, there was cause the celebrate! Las bendiciones por mi casa! Pantaleon’s style of painting has changed and evolved over the last four years. He is a multi-talented artist who is working in the Oaxaca graphics arts studio of Fernando Sandoval to make etchings, making collaborative metal sculpture in Mexico D.F., and has his hands in clay making pottery.
I told someone recently that I would rather buy art than food. Fortunately, with 20 handmade mole amarillo tamales in the refrigerator that costs $5 USD, I don’t need to make that choice. Maybe, I should say art and fresh flowers are what it takes to make a house a home. As we say in Zapotec, Chichi Bayo, salud, to good health, blessings.
When you come to Oaxaca, send Pantaleon an email to arrange a visit to his Teotitlan del Valle studio. You will love meeting him .
ONE Space Open, Oaxaca Documentary Film Workshop: Interview Subjects Confirmed
Norma Hawthorne announces that she has confirmed the interview subjects for the Feb. 19-26, 2010 documentary film making workshop to be held in Teotitlan del Valle. There is still one space open and it is not too late to register and attend.
Interview subjects are:
1) Magdalena (Magda) is an elder of the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle. She is the mother-in-law of Josefina, the proprietor of Las Granadas Bed and Breakfast. Part of Magda’s daily life is preparing organically grown corn (maize) to make masa and tortillas. This is a rich, cultural tradition. Embedded into this practice are issues about traditional, locally grown corn vs. bio-engineered corn imported at a lower price; the traditional role of food and women preparing it; and family relationships in a multi-generational living compound.
2) Pantaleon Ruiz Martinez is a 34-year old Zapotec artist who is a renown weaver, painter and jewelry designer. He translates indigenous life, dreams, images and ancient symbols into his art. His images incorporate mythical animal and human figures, and he uses sweeping strokes of paint applied by hands and fingers to his canvas. Paint pigments incorporate the natural dyes derived from local plant materials. He has exhibited widely in the U.S. and throughout Mexico.
3) Arte y Seda is a family-owned weaving cooperative that focuses on cultivating silk worms, feeding them the mulberry leaves from the trees grown in their courtyard, spinning the cocoons, dyeing the silk yarn with natural colors, and then weaving the fine silk threads into magnificent garments, scarves and shawls. Silk cultivation and weaving was introduced by the Spanish centuries ago. The family of Aurora Contreras has been working with silk for several generations. Today, she and her husband Reynaldo Sosa continue the tradition in the original style, preparing their own natural vegetable dye materials. The silk worms are dormant now and the mulberry trees on the property will be leafing out during our visit, however, there are lots of photos of the worms that can be used to augment the interviews, spinning and weaving.
Workshop participants will work in pairs to produce a 5-6 minute documentary video, learning all the storytelling, interviewing, b-roll skills and editing techniques necessary to produce a short film. This program is perfect for social cause advocates, artists, budding film makers, and anyone who wants to tell a visual story using video.
Comments Off on ONE Space Open, Oaxaca Documentary Film Workshop: Interview Subjects Confirmed
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Oaxaca Mexico art and culture, Teotitlan del Valle, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged Arte y Seda, documentary film workshop, Las Granadas B&B, Mexico advocacy, Mexico social commentary, Oaxaca art, Pantaleon Ruiz Martinez, silk weaving, video editing, video production