Bronze earrings by Mexican artisan Armando Lozano take the shape of masks. © Alvin Starkman 2008

Armando Lozano Ramirez, master sculptor and jeweler: Oaxaca’s “man of steel”

A Voice from Oaxaca Gallery: Some 30 years ago, a youthful 27-year-old acquired a piece of machinery by chance. Not knowing exactly what to do with it, or how it could somehow become a positive factor in his life, he took a gamble and purchased some modest tools and metal. Armando Lozano Ramírez was then […]

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Juan Pascoe at his press Photo reproduced by kind permission of Juan Pascoe

Did you know? Mexico has one of the world’s oldest still-functioning printing presses

One of the oldest printing presses still in operation anywhere in the world is in Tacámbaro, Michoacán. Juan Pascoe lives on a remote ex-hacienda outside Tacámbaro, Michoacán. Visitors invited to view his work often think they’ve lost their way in the surrounding sugar-cane fields, but then suddenly catch their first glimpse of the former Great […]

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Colima dog

Dog with a human mask: The ceramic dogs from Colima

Mexicans love wearing masks. My favorite is a statue of a dog wearing a human mask created about 300 A.D, and found near Colima. Masks are part of the Christmas pastorelas, depicting the devil, the hermit and Sin, dressed in red satin. Masks are an integral part of many ritual dances (the Spanish word is danza for ceremonial dances.) […]

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Virtue - book cover

Did You Know? Famous artists pioneer art community in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

A young couple who became famous artists pioneered the San Miguel de Allende foreign community. San Miguel de Allende’s vibrant art and music scene is deservedly famous. Among the early pioneers responsible for this are two Canadian artists: Leonard and Reva Brooks. John Virtue’s book about the couple, subtitled Artists in Exile in San Miguel […]

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Tupátaro church

Did you know? The Sistine Chapel of Mexico

A small church with a rather nondescript exterior in a tiny village (Tupátaro) just off the main highway between Morelia and Pátzcuaro hardly sounds like the kind of place where you’re likely to find one of Latin America’s artistic masterpieces, but initial appearances can be very deceiving. The whitewashed exterior of Tupátaro’s church may be […]

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The Folkloric Ballet (Ballet Folklórico) of Guadalajara, Mexico

The whirling skirts of a dancer from the Ballet Folklorico at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara fill this month’s cover. The costume belongs to the Jalisco segment of the show, which features traditional dances from all regions of Mexico, now in its 37th consecutive year. Following the Sunday morning spectacle, I spoke with Carlos Ochoa, […]

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