PaperCity Magazine

September 2018- Dallas

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Page 137 of 167

OAXACA O n our flight to Mexico this summer, a beautiful Mexican woman walked down the aisle of the airplane. Her skin was a roadmap of wrinkles, her hair was braided long down her back, and she wore a colorful traditional woven dress. She approached my 10-month-old son Lachlan, tickled under his chin, and began chatting with him. He let out one of those wonderful baby giggles. She was delighted. They continued to have an exchange — one I wish I could have documented. The moment was beautiful. Two different languages were spoken, generations apart, an Aussie- American and a Mexican — yet none of those things hindered their connection. It was this moment that launched our trip to Oaxaca, which we took in preparation for a show at my gallery focusing on Mexican art. (The show opened late August and runs through October 7.) This encounter was the beginning of the exceptional warmth we experienced during our time in the 500-year-old city. Each day, we were welcomed into peoples' private homes and studios. We witnessed community parades in the town center and visited local businesses, studios and galleries, where we learned about a city that is rich in tradition and complex in its history. DAY ONE: FRANCISCO TOLEDO Our first day had dual themes: the city's history and Francisco Toledo, the patriarch of the art community in Oaxaca. First stop was the Templo de Santo Domingo (Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán). The church, which began construction 50 years before the oldest European building in the U.S., is an outstanding example of colonial architecture. The hyper-ornate interior whet our appetites for the rest of the day. Later, we visited the mainstay Galeria Mano Magica, one of Oaxaca's first galleries. This was followed by a visit to Quetzali Bodega Gallery, where we saw fine examples of work by Francisco Toledo as well as by his wife, T r i n e Ellitsgaard — both of whom have pieces in the " M e x i c o " s h o w a t my gallery. Toledo is one of the most well known Oaxaca-born artists (he even has a mezcal named after him), and his equally famous generosity is abundant throughout the city. One of the many entities he supports is the Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca (IAGO), which contains a world- renowned arts library containing every art book imaginable. The library began from Toledo's donation of his personal collection and has since grown into world-class, visited by curators and artists from all over. DAY TWO: FOLK ART Oaxaca has a rich history in the tradition of craft. We began with a visit to La Familia Garcia Mendozo, a family of potters. When we arrived, Señor Garcia Mendozo was sitting on a chair, building a large clay figure nearly as big as he was. We were WITH A SHOW DEDICATED TO MEXICO ON VIEW THIS MONTH AT HER NAMESAKE GALLERY, ERIN CLULEY TAKES US INSIDE HER VISIT TO ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S OLDEST, MOST COMPLEX CITIES. WANDERINGS OF ART AND Francisco Toledo La Mano Mágica Gallery Familia Garcia Mendoza Quetzali Bodega Gallery Biblioteca del Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca (IAGO) 136 (continued on page 138)

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