Monday, February 24, 2014

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca

MACO, Museum of Contemporary Art, is a magnificent building located right in the heart of the historic center in Oaxaca City.  This colonial mansion was built in the late 1600's.  It originally belonged to Pinelo and Lazo de La Vega family whose coats of arms are carved in stone with Saint Miguel in the center niche.  The building has passed through many hands, one being a professor at the Institute of Sciences and Arts in the early 1900's.  An interesting tidbit, he was the first person to own a car in Oaxaca.
In 1992, it was the efforts of artist, Francisco Toledo, who together with the National Institute of Fine Arts that MACO came to be.  It was later restored in 2009. 

 The Museum also has bikes for rent.
Last March I shot this photo of the large gallery on the second floor with its windows overlooking Calle Macedonia Alcala. 
What I love about MACO is that there is always changing exhibitions of contemporary art of all medias by well known national and international artist.  This last October, this exact space had taken on a new life with these mesmerizing murals. 
The current exhibition, Hecho en Oaxaca (Made in Oaxaca), is composed of works of twelve diverse national artists depicting forms of street art.  I just love how this artist so skillfully created these images above and below without being constricted by the room's corners.
This exhibition continues out in the streets of the city where the facades of historic buildings take on a new life as temporary canvases. The scene just magically flows.
It is brilliant on how the angles of the painted wood sculptures interact with the images painted on the walls.
"Reflejos de Huido" by Lapitola is beautifully done.   I love this little boy deep in thought (reflejos / reflections) surrounded by the birds fleeing (huido) from the birdcage.
The open birdcage just completes the scene.
One of my favorites murals is "Festin"  (feast) by Saner.
What a magnificent pagan feast.
This wall I coveted and would love to have that painted in that exact blue on my white stucco wall in my backyard.  Maybe a summer project...
My friend Bonnie could not have had a better outfit on that day to have this black and white mural as her backdrop. 
Yescka's Last Supper is pretty wild.  It reminds me of a scene right out of Quentin Tarantino's vampire movie, To Dusk To Dawn starring George Clooney, Harvey Keitel and Julliette Lewis.

The Museum is a spectacular building with outstanding art.   I can hardly wait to see what the next exhibition will be.

Museum Of Contemporary Art - MACO
Calle Macedonio Alcala 202
Open Daily except Tuesday:  10am - 8pm
And, there is a nice gift shop too!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day


3 sticks (3/4 lb.) sweet butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light.
Add the flour and salt, then the vanilla.  Mix well.
Gather dough into a large disc, wrap in wax paper and chill.
Roll out chilled dough to 1/4" thickness. Using a 3" heart cookie cutter, cut out cookies.
Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a 325 oven for 15 minutes or until the cookies just start to color lightly (not brown).
Cool on a rack.

Makes 30.
I stacked a few of the cookies on a large square piece of cellophane that I had cut with my scalloped pinking shears.  Then I tied it up with a white grow grain ribbon along with a silver heart milagro.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Join me on an Oaxacan Adventure in October

An Oaxacan Adventure in October

I have put together an eight day guided tour in Oaxaca 
and the Oaxaca valleyfor October 5 - 13, 2014.

For those who have joined me on my San Miguel de Allende tours and my Artisan and Architecture tour in the state of Michoacan, I know if you join me again, Oaxaca will also capture your heart.

The main plaza, the zocalo, is one of the most spectacular in all of Mexico with its gazebo that usually has mariachis or a marimba band playing in it at night, vibrant cafes and restaurants lining the plaza on the main and second floor, the Cathedral on one side, towns people visiting...
One morning we will explore Monte Alban, the Zapotec ruins that was founded around 500 B.C..  At its grandest, over 25,000 people lived here.
The architecture is diverse from this 16th century monastery in Cuilapam, the brilliant painted church in Ocotlan, the Baroque Santo Domingo Church in the historic center of Oaxaca with its amazing ethnobotanical gardens off to one side to the impressive modern building that houses the only stamp collection in Mexico.
Oaxacan cuisine is some of the  most interesting and colorful in the world.
It is known for its queso de Qaxaca (string cheese), tlyuadas (above), chocolates, empanadas with squash blossoms...
And famous for its numerous and diverse moles
We will visit the City of Oaxaca market, the true spirit and soul of Oaxaca 
with the indigenous people dressed in their colorful clothing.
A real stimulation of the senses.
We will take in a cooking class one day.

We will visit many of the Oaxacan masters in their villages such as the Aguilar Sisters famous for their ceramic figures,the Bulmaro weaving family in Teotitlan de Valle known for their rugs and natural dyes, the workshop of Jacobo and Maria Angels world renown for their hand-carved wood painted Alebrijos (animals), the Nevarro Gomez family in Santo Tomas Jalieza and see them at work on their back-strap looms...
There is an abundance of museums:  Rodolfo Morales Museum in Ocotlan, Rufino Tamayo Museum with its Pre-columbian collection,
Museum of Textiles and Museum of Contemporary art in Oaxaca.  
There are cutting edge galleries in the historic center of town
Lovely climate and fabulous restaurants.

Oaxaca has maintained its artistic identity.
The culture, folk art, contemporary art, music, native dress, cuisine....

An adventure I would love to share with you.
I already have a few commitments!  

Please let me know if you are interested in joining me at your earliest convenience 

and I will send you additional information.

An Oaxacan Adventure in October
Sunday, October 5 - 13, 2014.

Robin Mullen