Hello Friends! As we approach May 5th, we thought we’d mention that we saw a wonderful feature on Pittsburgh Today Live this morning about Cinco de Mayo with Heinz History Center CEO Andy Masich. Mr. Masich informed us that this year is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. A video of the entire segment is available for viewing on the Pittsburgh Today Live site right now. As some of you know, Cinco de Mayo is also the anniversary of our Murray Avenue store location and ordinarily we make a bit of a to-do about that, but Jean-Pierre is hard at work on the feature film “Promised Land”, and so we promise that next year, on our 10th anniversary, we’ll throw a proper fiesta for everyone!
In March we had the good fortune to return to our favorite shopping destinations: Mexico City, Puebla and Oaxaca. These roads always lead past the much beloved El Popo and Iztaccíhuatl. Luckily for us, a spate of eruptions from El Popo, as well as some strong earthquakes all began occurring after we were safely back home! Puebla was bustling as always and at every turn jacarandas in full bloom filled hearts with gladness:
Most of the time was spent in finding new acquisitions of Talavera, but I did manage to fit in a quick visit to our dear old friend, the Great Cathedral.
Here is a beautiful example of one of our new finds in Talavera, a unique chalice that we hope will go to a very deserving priest serving a Latino community.(sorry, it did…SOLD!)
On the first stroll down the Alcala upon arrival in Oaxaca, we were amazed to realize our good fortune at the chance to see the 2501 Migrantes exhibit by Alejandro Santiago. When standing or walking amongst the Migrantes, one felt their presence most distinctly and it was a truly beautiful and unforgettable experience. Though we already placed an album of these images on the store Facebook page, we include them some of them here:
There were other beautiful views to be had from the balconies along Alcala, including azaleas in bloom and Tehuanas strolling:
Our next day began in Mitla, on a bright sunny morning with true blue skies and long stark shadows.
The beauty of the mysterious temples, the bells and birdsongs of Mitla are something we will always remember…
The rest of our Mitla images are in this album on Facebook.
Remember to click on images here to view full sized. So from Mitla we proceeded to Teotitlan del Valle, where more extraordinary views awaited…
An example of dye making and spinning wheel demonstration materials:
..the finest rugs have only natural and organic origin dyes, two of the most commonly used are the recently infamous cochineal beetle and indigo. An example of one that came back with us:
We heard it long before we saw it, beautiful yet plaintive music, from far at the end of the main avenue that runs the length of Teotitlan. I said to Jean-Pierre, “That definitely sounds funereal”. And by the time the procession reached us, we saw that it was indeed.
Like so much that we see when in Mexico, it was a beautiful amalgamation of the ancient ways and the new.
The following day began with a reunion with the renowned Aguilar family of Ocotlan and Maestro Carlomagno Pedro Martinez of San Bartolo Coyotepec. Don Carlomagno, in addition to being a celebrated artist, with his spare and elegant, and always eloquent style in Barro Negro, is also the Director of the Museo Estatal de Arte Popular in Oaxaca. We acquired two wonderful new pieces from him but can’t yet show them to you as they haven’t arrived! But here is one that we already have, and a shot of Don Carlomagno in the courtyard of the Museo.
From there we met up with Demetrio Garcia Aguilar, another Great Maestro and favorite of collectors from all over the world. The piece that Demetrio is holding there, called “Dualidad”, came back with us.
We missed seeing Josefina Aguilar, who wasn’t at home at the time, but nonetheless came back with some beautiful things from her, like this Virgin of Guadalupe. (sorry, the Guadalupe has sold!) We also visited with both Guillermina and Irene, and in addition to buying more new things from them, we also asked them both to pose for new pix for us…
A darling, giant painted gourd with gatos was too irresistible to leave behind!
And so we’ll leave it at this; there is still more to report, more photos to share and more new things still arriving and and being photographed as well, so next time we’ll pick it where we left off. ¡Until then, saludos!