It is hard to paint a beautiful enough picture of my workshop in Oaxaca this year. Wonderful city and people of Oaxaca, excellent and engaged workshop students, terrific partner and cultural curator (Jewel Murphy), stunning yet homelike accommodations, family atmosphere with an excellent and giving staff, and the constant creative inspiration every artist dreams of. My head is spinning.
From the artwork, (classical to contemporary, museum to street art), to the street vendors, public markets, little shops and exclusive boutiques, you become overloaded with imagination. It is truly unbelievable and something every artist should experience. This is not a rich society at all, but the people are wealthy with family, friends, celebrations, fiestas, ceremonies and above all, creativity. I cannot say enough about the kindness and warmth of this city, state and country. I am sad that our country has treated this one so poorly. And yet we are still genuinely welcomed here.
There is a celebration almost every day. Weddings include a parade of the bride and groom down the city streets, with dancing girls, a band and the wedding party passing out little shots of Mescal to all they encounter. Life is a celebration here. As I write this, the casa where I am staying is hosting a weekly jazz concert in their garden. People are streaming in. I love it here.
There is a supreme respect for tradition in Oaxaca. Mexicans come here from larger cities to see what life was like before things became modernized. Traditions are preserved here, but a lot of the young people are not interested in keeping the old ways alive. It could be that in another 50 years, all the old world arts will be lost.
Below I am posting some of the images of the art created here during our 10 days of creativity. You can click on the images to see them larger. They have paper clay milagros in the center of a papered box frame. We are already talking about next year's trip. They say if you eat the crickets (chapulines) you will come back. And I ate a lot of them on this trip.
Watch for my next posting of our work in Oaxaca and more images of our wonderful time here.