OAXACA - BASED PARTNERS & COLLABORATORS
Pastora Guiterez Reyes y Vida Nueva
PASTORA GUTIERREZ REYES, a Zapotec woman from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, is one of the founding members of the Vida Nueva (New Life) Women's Weaving Cooperative. Together with her mother, grandmother, and other women of her community, she helped found the first all women’s cooperative in their village in 1997. The group banded together to teach each other ways to create financial independence as well as educate themselves in topics that they encountered daily such as: prenatal health, domestic violence, substance abuse, and gender equality. Although the cooperative has experienced discrimination, sexism and enormous cultural hurdles they have gained cultural acceptance in their village and now 20 years later and 15 members strong, are officially recognized by the village government. The group sells their rugs as a cooperative and each year complete a project to benefit the community. Pastora is a natural dyer, weaver, traditional cook, traditional healer, and community organizer.
Ana Paula Fuentes
ANA PAULA FUENTES was born in Mexico City and holds a B.A. Degree in Textile Design with postgraduate studies in Knit and Fashion Knitwear Design. She is the Executive Director of CADA Foundation and the Outreach Director of Traditions Mexico. She has worked in Barcelona, Spain and Mexico City, and in 2005 she moved to Oaxaca City where she co-founded the experimental “11011 studio”, collaborating with more than twenty contemporary artists in exhibitions, performances, installations and concerts. From 2006-2012 Ana Paula was the Founding Director of the Textile Museum of Oaxaca (Museo Textil de Oaxaca). She has worked to develop promotion and marketing for the non-profit association “El Camino de los Altos” formed by Mayan weavers and French designers as well as for the cooperative La Flor de Xochistlahuaca, formed by 35 Amuzgo weavers in a project funded by the Rubin Foundation.
The XAQUIXE GLASS ART & DESIGN STUDIO was created by Salime Harp Cruces and Christian Thornton. From the beginning, Salime and Christian’s main goal has been to turn Studio Xaquixe into a true sustainable glass studio. Currently, they are showing this model a successful one through architectural and interior decoration projects and art, as well as glassware; all made with recycled glass and using renewable energies in the production processes.
Graciela Angeles Carreno y Mezcal Real Minero
“I am 38 years old and am part of the fourth generation of mezcal producers in my family. In my town I am one of the few women in my generation that was able to study and because of that I have the responsibility to open the gate for those who come after me. Currently I am the General Manager of Mezcal de los Angeles, assuming the responsibility of the production and commercialization of our mezcal with the help of my parents and sisters, as well as being the mother of two beautiful children. My professional background is that I'm a Communicologist with a masters degree is in Sociology with a focus in Regional Development, specifically Rural Development. In my hometown, women have always been fundamental in commercializing mezcal, which has been key to keeping production alive. Thanks to the MEZCALILLERAS, mezcal was able to be commercialized during years when its production was prohibited in Mexico. Today I am one of few women who participates in mezcal production, I am in a position where I make decisions about the production of the drink. In my life, mezcal is the only way to define the world. Its part of my identity and I consider it the my biggest passion, the greatest I will ever have. My experience in academia made me look back to the countryside and find in it the magueys that I had seen since I was a girl, the smell of cooked maguey that I am so used to smelling, and made it so that once was commonplace to me became extraordinary; it has allowed me to see and think about mezcal from a different point of view.
The biggest challenge that lies before me, is to be a modern women that coexists in an area that was previously closed off to women, to be a an evangelist of mezcal and represent a new generation of mezcalilleras...the women of mezcal.”
MADDA FORCELLA is an artist and textile designer whose work revolves around natural dyes. She loves to play with the empirical dye-process. Plants, bark, flowers And insects enable her to create an unlimited spectrum of colors, hues and saturations. She has vast experience working all over Mexico with indigenous weavers and artisans, sharing her knowledge on natural dyes and working as a design consultant on behalf of foundations and various organizations. She works with weavers from Chiapas and Oaxaca on commission based interior decoration projects. She applies natural dyes to her own line of clothing and accessories made from silk, linen, nuno felt and other fine textiles. And last but certainly not least she finds ways to make time to work on her own art.
Boulenc y Suculenta
BOULENC is a panadería (bakery) working with traditional artisan baking methods using masa madre (or sourdough), a natural fermentation formed with microbiotics that give their bread its character and unique flavor. Their mission is to bake high quality bread while providing optimal nutrition for the human body. Their ingredients are meticulously chosen, as organic and locally sourced as possible. Boulenc was founded in 2013 by three young people with the hopes of changing practices of consumption in the country and the world -- to use their bakery as a way to transmit knowledge and exchange social and economic services in support of a sustainable community and conscious consumption.
SUCULENTA began two years later as a splinter project, which has since been incorporated into Boulenc, demonstrating the same sustainable and nutrition- focused ethos. Suculenta uses local, “in season” produce to create preserves, ferments and pickled goods stored in recyclable glass jars. It’s a centre of experimentation and creation where living microflora are given the chance to become edible, nutritious and delicious products to be enjoyed by all. The products are sold in the shop front of Boulenc and also showcase in Boulenc’s diverse menu.
MEZCOUTING is a one of a kind tour service, offering intimate and customizable mezcal, artisan, and gastronomic outings in Oaxaca, Mexico. The service was created by ANDREA HAGAN, a traditional mezcal educator, food lover, and translator based in Oaxaca. Mezcouting works directly with traditional mezcal producers, local cooks, and makers and offers a unique experience at the source of traditional mezcal and its surrounding gastronomy and craftmanship. The outings are intimate, allowing people the incredible opportunity to enter people´s homes and workspaces to see how its all made and to participate in its creation.
Innovando la tradicion y Colectivo 1050
INNOVANDO LA TRADICION is a multidisciplinary network of people working to increase the symbolic, economic and cultural value of Oaxacan pottery, offering a collection of services in response to the present needs of the artisans. They organize workshops, courses and exchanges that allow potters to develop new skills and knowledge. These are designed as spaces to freely imagine and create. They also provide advice on subjects ranging from organization and design, to technical skills and marketing. Innovando la tradición is convinced that through traditional wisdom, we can find solutions to the problems of our contemporary world. Therefore, they also conduct research projects to encourage discovery and invention, to honor and learn from traditional pottery. Innovando is a non-for-profit organization whose endeavors are sustained through the sales of Colectivo 1050°, as well as collaborators, volunteers and donors.
COLECTIVO 1050° is a brand of clay objects made by hand in Oaxaca. Colectivo’s designs are created collectively. Traditional potters and designers collaborate to create jugs, fruit bowls and other functional objects inspired by Oaxacan traditions of clay and adapted to contemporary lifestyles. Their pieces merge the wisdom of tradition with the dynamism of innovation.
Espacio Pino Suárez Taller de Artes Gráficas
ESPACIO PINO SUAREZ, a Graphic Arts workshop, is formed around a printmaking studio that does not only serve to reproduce the image but also to question it. Espacio Pino Suárez is a space for printmaking, drawing, illustration, photography, painting, dance, discussion, etc. It is a space formed by the creative process.
Spaces intended for artistic practice must be adaptive to change, as art is not static and will continue to shift and develop. Keeping in mind the advancement of technology, and the ways in which we reform our relationships both personally and globally, Espacio Pino Suárez aims to serve as a dynamic space for artists pursuing traditional, alternative or experimental practices.
TALLER TEÑIDO DE MANO works to preserve the tradition of dyeing with natural dyes, offering products and workshops to raise awareness of its importance today. They work closely with local weavers and international designers. The workshop was founded in 2015 by Eric & Elsa Chavez.
Evelyn Méndez y Al compás del Tango
AL COMPAS DE TANGO is a project, founded 8 years ago by Carla Pais, a classical, contemporary and professional Tango dancer born in Argentina, stemming from her desire to share her dance and culture with Oaxaca. She has been teaching Tango in various venues over the years and in 2015 formed a group of dancers, all Oaxacan, whom she taught to dance Tango professionally.
Evelyn Méndez, who is part of the group, has been dancing since 2008, beginning in the Compañía Estatal de Danza Contemporánea de Oaxaca. In 2013 she left the company to create her own work independently and in partnership with various artists. She has been Carla’s student for 4 years. Due to the recent absence of men in dance and their company, they actively reaffirm that the roles of Tango are not exclusively between man and woman, but that this dance / conversation can also happen between two women or, similarly, two men.
Fom Evelyn: “In some Oaxacan communities, dances traditionally done by the men have begun to disappear due to migration to the United States. We are following the example of other women who have rescued the dances of their ancestors by taking on the male role, not only representing them but by appropriating the role that the dance suggested. Carla and I are two very different women -- not only by way of culture and our physical appearance, but simply because our past and experiences are different. Yet through dancing the Tango together we can talk, dance, enjoy, and share the movement of our souls.”
EL DIABLO Y LA SANDIA is a beautiful and lush little hotel in the center of town from which we run all over our larger programs. It is a traditional colonial home with eight rooms, recently restored and located just a few blocks from Santo Domingo. It maintains its original adobe walls and traditional tile floors and welcomes guests as if they were friends. A traditional ashtray from Michoacán in the shape of a devil eating a watermelon, placed on the bar at her parent´s house in Guadalajara was the inspiration for Maria to come up with the name of the hotel.
GALERIA QUETZALLI Galeria Quetzalli is a gallery and cultural institution. When it opened its doors in 1986 it was one of the first galleries in the city, and quickly established itself as one of the most important institutions of its kind, thanks to the select group of Mexican artists it represents. Regular exhibiting artists include Francisco Toledo, Maximino Javier, Alejandro Santiago and Jose Villalobos. Galeria Quetzalli’s work extends beyond the promotion, sale and certification of artworks-- one of its main objectives is the development of projects for social and cultural development in the city of Oaxaca.
Today, the Galeria has expanded from its original gallery space and center of operations, housed in in a traditional Oaxacan home with a central patio and a number of smaller rooms on the southeast side of Santo Domingo. With the opening of Bodega Quetzalli in Murguía Street, they have been able to expand activities to a new space that responds to current museological requirements through its simplicity, spaciousness and brightness. The two sites where the Galeria Quetzalli amplifies its operations unbeatable advantage museological possibilities, in which experimental proposals that place the viewer in a global context within a privileged environment are displayed: the warm tradition of Oaxacan capital.
Thus, Galeria Quetzalli represents the synthesis of the past and the present of art in the city of Oaxaca. Its two spaces not only display the work of established artists with extensive experience, but also exhibits the young and upcoming to provide an eclectic sample: Oaxaca’s individual vision and the current art scene in Mexico.
PAN CON MADRE, a bakery that only uses sourdough, and when possible, wheat from regions free of agrochemicals. Jorge provides the opportunity for the community to take part in sourdough workshops and has encouraged the creation of a centre for sharing knowledge about food. Pan con Madre is a place for food and bread lovers, commitment to the use of local and clean ingredients.
MEZCALOTECA is a project dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of traditional mezcal. It was founded in 2010, as a bottling company and appointment-only tasting room to educate people while supporting rural Mexico’s dying breed of small-batch mezcaleros.
MEZCALOSFERA is a new branch of Mezcaloteca dedicated to the export of mezcal with traditional recipes, seeking to educate palates outside of Mexico and inspire the category in the use of traditional recipes for making mezcal and exporting. Maestro mezcaleros are born into a long-standing tradition of mezcal production inherited from their fathers and grandfathers. The mastery of the tools, processes, care and selection of magueyes that maestro mezcaleros have varies from region to region and is tied to the natural and cultural environment that it inhabitants have developed over generations. This results in “historic taste”, the traditional taste. By definition, each Maestro Mezcalero is attached to the particular taste of his region. Traditional mezcales reflect the enormous biological and cultural diversity of the regions where they are produced.
Due to the complex topography of our country, each type of maguey – whether sweet, acidic or aromatic – can release a range of flavors depending on altitude, climate and soil. Careful selection and harvesting of the plants combined with the knowledge of production methods unify the xperience. This savoir-faire, or know-how, of each region makes mezcal a drink of the gods.
ORQUIDEARIO LA ENCANTADA (THE ENCHANTED) is a botanical garden Specializing in native Oaxacan orchids, many of which are endangered. It is the (self-funded) life project of architect and orchid expert Octavio Gabriel Suarez. He has been working on this project for over 30 years ago at his home near San Andres Huayapam. Octavio has over 1200 native species of orchids from the state of Oaxaca and is the author of Algunas Orquideas de Oaxaca.
Seasons of my Heart
SEASONS OF MY HEART is both a cooking school and a line of gourmet Mexican food products available both nationally and internationally. The cooking School offers comprehensive courses and tours to give you an insider’s knowledge of Mexican culture through its cuisine, and an experience of Mexico most visitors never see. The classes, culinary tours and lectures focus on pre-Hispanic food, traditional culinary, medicinal and spiritual herb usage, and the Spanish influence on the contemporary Oaxaqueño kitchen. The participation- based classes are combined with market tours, and demonstrations in local homes and cottage industries to immerse the students into the Mexican culture.
Dona Aurora Toledo y Restaurante Zandunga
Doňa Aurora Toledo is the founder of Zandunga restaurant in Oaxaca City, a beautiful and modern space serving traditional cuisine from the Isthmus region. She was born in San Miguel Chimalapa (in the Isthmus region of Oaxaca) of a Zoque father and Zapotec mother. She is Zoque Zapoteca, the seventh of nine children and was a teacher of pre-school education for 30 years. A lover of the kitchen from the beginning of her life, promoter of reading, a cook for taste, passion and choice, she is now the Mama of Marcos and Germán, grandmother of Santiago, wife of Marín, as well as founder and partner of Zandunga.