art, culture, Travel

Oaxaca: Textiles and Alebrijes


Oaxaca Textiles

Sacramento, CA – Carved Copal wood, papier-mache creatures and hand- woven textiles from the southern State of Oaxaca, Mexico are exhibited as, “Oaxaca: Textiles and Alebrijes,” will grace the walls and halls of La Raza Galería Posada with an exhibition in midtown Sacramento — beginning April 9 and concluding May 14, 2011.

            On Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 6pm to 8pm, La Raza Galería’s Board of Directors and staff along with honored guests, Sacramento’s Consul General of Mexico and Supervisor Phil Serna, will welcome the three visiting artists from Oaxaca, Mexico– Joel Garcia, Sergio Martínez and Eleazar Morales. The public is invited.

            Many people recognize each brightly colored fantastical art piece, (the alebrije) as a “nagual,” an animal or being which represents the spirit or mystical force of the person who has dreamt or chosen it. In many families, the men carve and the women paint, but this is not a rule. The first alebrijes, along with use of the term, originated with Pedro Linares. After dreaming the creatures while sick in the 1930s, he began to create what he saw in cardboard and papier mache. His work caught the attention of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Linares was originally from San Antonio Arrazola, Oaxaca and on family visits, demonstrated his designs there. The Oaxaca valley area already had a history of carving animal and other types of figures from wood, and Linares’ designs were adapted to the carving of the local copal wood.

            Joel Garcia, is a master papier-maché artist. From the age of eleven, Joel lived and apprenticed with his brother-in-law, Miguel Linares. He studied under Linares family scion, Pedro Linares, whose innovations elevated papier-mache from a street craft to an internationally valued art form. Joel’s creations are a revelation. He has refined his technique until his pieces have the lustre and detail of fine porcelain, but maintain a whimsy and character all their own. While respecting the traditional, he’s creating new art forms: a skeleton chair with a devil perched on the throne, experiments with combinations of animal and mythical characters.

            Eleazar Morales was born in Arrazola, Oaxaca, in 1976. Oaxaca is known worldwide for its woodcarving traditions. Morales completed high school in his home town and is totally self taught as a woodcarver. By the time he was 14, he knew he wanted to be a carver, and he began learning the craft through his job as a tour guide. It was during this time that he got to visit studios of established carvers like Manuel Jimenez, and he picked up some of their “secrets.” However, it was mostly through his own determination that he achieved the level of mastery that he demonstrates today. He is now widely recognized as one of the most talented woodcarvers in the region.

             Sergio Martinez is a master Zapotec weaver and designer of heirloom quality tapestries. Each one of a kind rug is unique hand woven.   Sergio and his family woven in the tradition that has persevered for generations which includes, hand spinning and dyeing with both natural and aniline dyes. Sergio’s tapestries have been collected by celebrities and discerning rug collectors throughout the world.

            Additionally, several new Oaxacan workshops and films are announced below:

-April 13 6:30 p.m: Workshop: “Making your own Alebrije” with master alebrije artists, Joel Garcia and Eleazar Morales

-April 14, 6:30 p.m: Join La Raza Galería Posada and Council General of Mexico in the welcoming reception for the three featured artists, Joel Garcia, Sergio Martínez and Eleazar Morales. Oaxacan food provided.*

-April 15, 7:00 p.m:  Friday Film at the Galería: ¡Qué viva México! (1931) by legendary Russian filmmaker,Sergei Eisenstein. Stalin suppressed the film for decades(financed by author Upton Sinclair); not released until 1960s. B/W w/narration.

-April 16, 1:00 p.m: Workshop: “Begin your own Textile/Rug.” With master Zapotec weaver, Sergio Martinez

-April 21, 7 p.m: Thursday Night Films at the Galería: Animas Trujano (1962) Academy Award and Golden Globe -nominated film staring Toshiro Mifune. B/W w/subtitles.

-April 28, 7 p.m: Thursday Night Films at the Galería: The Last Conquistador (2008) Critically-received PBS documentary

-May 5, (Cinco de Mayo) beginning at 4:30 p.m: Join us at the back patio for an afternoon to mingle and then at 7pm join for Thursday Night Films at the Galería. Film commemorating Cinco de Mayo

*On Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., La Raza Galería’s Board of Directors and staff along with honored guests, Sacramento’s Consul General of Mexico, Carlos González Gutiérrez and Supervisor Phil Serna, will welcome the three visiting artists from Oaxaca, Mexico– Joel Garcia, Sergio Martínez and Eleazar Morales. The public is invited.

**NOTE: La Raza Galería Posada also announces new hours: Tuesday-Friday 1pm to 9pm, Saturdays 11am-6pm,

Second Saturday 1pm-9pm

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