Most of us who appreciate indigenous and cultural handicrafts are often unaware as to how such pieces are actually made. Even after learning about and observing a process, it is informative and humbling to experience the awkward clumsiness of a tool-in-hand before enough confidence is gained for it to feel somewhat natural. The quiet hours of instruction, practice, mistakes and repetition become new facets of understanding.
With a life-long fascination for indigenous art mediums, and over 28 years experience working with Indigenous Artists of the Pacific Northwest Coast, it wasn't surprising that Program Director Jennifer Bjarnason would gravitate towards the applied, traditional arts of Michoacan when she first arrived here in 2015. Over the past four years, the concept of an educational arts-outreach has surfaced many times, but finally came to fruition this December after Rose Calderone of Casona Rosa B&B posted this hysterical picture of her heading out on tour with two dear British guests - in one of Lupe's Combi Vans!
It wasn't long before Rose would suggest contacting art-lover, promoter and dearly respected friend of many Michoacan artists, Teresa Baumgart - who, despite trying to cut-back on getting involved with new projects, pulled out her calendar to see that yes - she was available!
Guadalupe's Combi for the Arts was thus born. Named after Combi owner Guadalupe (Lupe), who is head-housekeeper, cook and mum-extraordinaire to everyone who stays at Casona Rosa B&B, it isn't lost on anyone that Our Lady of Guadalupe is also exceptionally iconic and revered in Mexico.
As 2019 is our Pilot-program, we are starting with only 5 workshops this season. With the help of your participation and feedback, we look forward to adding more workshops in 2020, with the possibility of a Fall and Spring program. Thank you to everyone who is in support of the artists & their workshops - you are the biggest reason this is going forward!
MEXICAN FOLK ART ADVISOR
With over 40 years invested in cultural arts of Mexico, Teresa Baumgart has extensive experience working directly with artists of Michoacan as the Michoacan Art Coordinator for Feria Maestros del Arte of Chapala Jalisco.
Teresa is currently Michoacan Ambassador to the Jalisco Private School Escuela Nacional de Ceramica (National Ceramics School), a role she has had for 3 years.
Teresa has worked closely with many artists in our 2019 program, and will be instrumental in our program expansion. Her contributions are a huge asset to the educational value of our workshops, including her assistance in translating all lessons from Spanish into English.
Jennifer's background with Indigenous & Cultural Arts began as head-duster at her Amma & Afi's home when she was 6 years old and more officially in 1991 at the Campbell River Museum.
After working in the museum and galleries featuring indigenous arts of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Jennifer opened Copper Moon Gallery in Nanaimo BC Canada in 2004. As an online emporium, Copper Moon Gallery now includes Mexican Handicrafts, with special focus on Michoacan.
As the concept-originator of Guadalupe's Combi for the Arts, Jennifer has been instrumental in the founding of our arts program for 2019.
More information coming soon!
Guadalupe (Lupe) Guevara of Tamualipas Mexico is head house-keeper, cook and mum-extraordinaire to everyone who stays at Casona Rosa B&B - but what many don't know, is that Guadalupe also owns two Combi Vans.
Lupe's Combi Vans are normally part of Morelia's city transportation system - but she has been known for making her Combi Vans available for random tours around the Lake Patzcuaro Region.
Guadalupe is pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to our program by making one of her Combi's available this year.
TRANSLATOR & GUIDE
Galy studied Culture and Arts Management at the Universidad de Guanajuato. In 2015 she embarked on a student exchange in Paris and now lives in Morelia. She currently works on independent photo, video and animation projects. She's passionate about traveling, music, languages and crafts.
Fluent in Spanish, French and English, Galy has worked as a translator for Soul of Mexico Tours, and is looking forward to offering translation services for our art programs!