This morning I’m creating a paper mache chair in my studio that will be part of a large wall piece. But, I’m thinking about going out into the community to do paper mache on the spot. People can see what I’m doing and maybe be part of the process.
Last summer I returned to Guanajuato, my favorite city in Mexico. I decided not to take any art materials with me and after a short time, my gut feeling was to do paper mache! I had studied papier mache with Felipe Olmos in Oaxaca years ago, but I wanted to create a new body of work: portraits of artists and writers of the Magical Real. I gathered my materials: brown paper (unsized), white flour, and some styrofoam forms from the local crafts shop. Within weeks I had completed portraits of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Remedios Varo, and Jorge Amado.
On November 13, 2013 I did an art project for the opening of “Brasil & Arte Popular” at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. We had about 100 people learning to make relief prints to illustrate Brasilian folk tales. Theie prints became the covers of booklets (to take home) which are called Literatura de Cordel (stories on a string) in Brasil. Cordels are a part of a tradition in the northeast part of Brasil.
Watch this interview by Sophie, a fifth grader at one of Albuquerque’s bilingual elementary schools! She asks some very good questions. Enjoy!
This is my third summer in Guanajuato. I always stay with Ana Cervantes, pianista. Her house is the perfect place for me-two hundred steps up from all the activity in the Centro Historico: music, street theatre, art and people walking around the plaza. This summer, I am working on the cordels–little books–about the famous people in the history of the accordion. Ana has a beautiful patio where I have set up shop.
I’m so excited to have been chosen to do the poster for Globalquerque 2013! The posters will be available through the Globalquerque website and at the festival September 20th and 21st. If you attend the music festival, you will also see my art work inside the National Hispanic Cultural Center. For Globalquerque, I created a large piece of an accordion player and maps behind him that tell some of the history of the accordion–where it was invented, and the journey of the instrument with migrating peoples. Please come to Globalquerque to enjoy music from many parts of the world and see the pieces that I have created to go with the festival!
“Literatura de Cordel” comes from northeastern Brazil: little books that artists and poets create to hang on a string. Always about local events, people or legends, every town has a cordel shop…and the “cordelistas” often read their stories in public markets.
Here in my neighborhood, ten of us got together to make cordels at my studio. For the covers, we carved linoleum blocks and printed them on my press, then at Jimmy and Allison Abraham’s we printed the titles using their letter press. We each wrote a story about the Wells Park/Sawmill neighborhood. I wrote mine about Mountain Road. You can see all of our cordels at the Coffee Shop on Mountain and 8th St..