Come celebrate with us as we explore artful alternate realities in images of la Virgen de Guadalupe, the much beloved patrona of my San Miguel neighborhood, the arts district of Colonia Guadalupe. She’s also known as Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas and Queen of Mexico. In her pre-conquest identity, she’s Tonantzin, Mother of all the gods, Aztec Mother Earth, or Coatlicue. Fifteen artists have created 12x12” works in all techniques, representative of her feast day December 12.
La Diosa Sin Fronteras! With talk of "the wall" and the refugee crisis, we find La Virgen on the border, at the crossroads. She has infiltrated the consciousness of millions, crossing borders not only between Mexico and the U.S. but between sacred and secular, old world and new, the powerful and the oppressed, Catholic and non-Catholic, Native and non-native. "12x12: Guadalupe/Tonantzin" explores the cultural borders and boundaries through the works of painters, sculptors, digital and mixed media artists.
For all the history, ideaolgy and colonization she represents, she remains a helpful mother figure, a fierce warrior, and the one we call on when we or our world are in distress.
In addition to this multi-artist collective, I’ll be showcasing my collection of Guadalupe memorabilia from nearly thirty years until today, never before viewed all together. It should make for a powerful addition to her feast that the entire country will celebrating next week. Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
The top of my 1998 calendar.... this says it all.
Here in Mexico, locals and foreigners alike begin the month of November by celebrating and honoring death in the colorful, festive and sometimes macabre manner long associated with Dia de los Muertos. Local artist Marti McGinnis has seized the opportunity of this season to introduce her newest work in an exhibition entitled “Shrouds Reconsidered” at La Huipilista Artspace in Colonia Guadalupe. Known locally for her whimsical, colorful paintings, this show required the artist to explore different materials and a plunge into a decidedly different theme. Since La Huipilista specializes in textile work, McGinnis decided to create a series of fabric shrouds.What is a shroud? Simply put, a shroud is a covering, usually a garment that is associated with burial. Throughout history and different cultures, we see this type of garment used, from simple muslin or gauze in ancient Egyptian times to modern populations choosing just the right garment in which to send off their loved ones from this world. Cloth generates meaning across time and cultures in many different ways. From the Shroud of Turin, to the practice of swaddling babies in tight packages of fabric, cloth is a material that veers wildy from everyday usage to costumes or special garments used for rituals both sacred and secular.
McGinnis hopes that the shrouds will open a dialogue about death, particularly among people for whom death has been a taboo subject. In conjunction with the exhibition, La Huipilista Artspace will host a panel discussion and sharing salons that will address the practical and spiritual aspects of death and transformation, of moving from one realm to the next.
Madame Pele Speaks: Volcanic Conversations
VOLCANIC CONVERSATIONS at LA HUIPILISTA ARTSPACE By Zola Delburn
Hawaii-based artist Rose-Marie Glen is all about the lava. From the moment she arrived on the Island of Hawaii seven years ago she was taken by the inescapable old flows cutting swaths down the mountains defining the landscape. As a painter, and installation artist her focus has been the effect of time passing, the changes made to our environment and what is lost and what is gained. The lava embodied all of this.
Known for large scale installation pieces created in Germany and in Gloucester, Massachusetts, she recently immersed herself in the art of Japanese wood block printing known as Mokuhanga, studying with Hawaiian National Treasure artist Hiroki Morinoue. Carving blocks and hand printing with energetic movements seemed a natural way to express this force of nature. The Mokuhanga artist does all aspects of the print making from preparing the wood block, carving the design and hand printing with water color on washi (rice or mulberry paper) with a baren. She recently was one of 6 artists from around the world who attended the Mi-Lab Mokuhanga Artists Residency in Kawaguchiko, Japan at the base of Mount Fuji.
The legend of Pele is deeply embedded into the cultural of the Hawaiian People. She is revered and feared and accepted. The awe of the birth of new land mixed with destruction is taken as all part of life. The story of Pele is of a rambunctious vengeful and jealous woman who fought with other gods and her sister before finally settling at Hale Ma’u Ma’u crater on the summit of Kilauea. Today her power cannot be denied. This power drives the art.
Rose-Marie Glen is Artist in Residence at La Huilpilista Artspace. Exhibit continues through Aug. 11.
Mokuhanga, Japanese Woodblock print
Barcelona-based artist in residence at the Artspace, Cynthia Fusillo's majorly popular exhibition is in its last week.... it's hard to imagine how much busier we could all be, but here we are. "The Bird in Me Wants to Sing" opened on Jan. 27 and has been mesmerizing the crowds ever since.
Bringing work from her six-month artist residency at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Fusillo has created and re-created installations since arriving. Paper dresses, shoes, hats, drawings and paintings were collaged on the wall, representing the breadth and depth of experimentation there. Now they live side by side with works that she created here in San Miguel, from natural, organic and recycled materials found, borrowed or otherwise given with love.
Fusillo herself refers to her work as autobiographical, because “I use my own body as a model or measure for the dresses and figures. I then ¨collage¨ my experiences on them combining several techniques. I like to work with materials that have been already used and I get so involved in a process such as sewing, burning, printing so as not to think so much, somewhat like a meditation. My goal is to shake up those ideas we have about a particular material or form or its use and take it apart so as to create something new and surprising."
“A doll is one of the most intimate expressions possible of the human spirit….a commentary on human society, the little world of dolldom reflecting the great, for everything that happens in the great world is reflected in the little. A dollographer, when he studies a doll, studies also people, a social scene; and sometimes there may be only a doll to tell the story.” Marguerite Young
The American novelist who scripted this quote was a doll collector and creative writing instructor. One of her students, Edward Swift, grew up around rag dolls lovingly made by his grandmother, but he confesses “they were something mysterious, not cute or precious.” His work in this exhibition, bundled paper-mache creatures that frolic, haunt, twist and turn, hint at the story of his relationship with those childhood dolls. Swift sees them as people bewildered by the complexities of life, yet with a sense of humor about their journey. Some seem to be waving a flag, others appear to sing; all are thought-provoking.
La Huipilista Artspace, Julian Carrillo 1, Colonia Guadalupe, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato,Mx