Benefit Art Exhibition Returns to Huatulco for Third Year; With Opening Gala Reception

By Mary Spicka

The 3rd Annual “Huatulco Being” benefit art exhibition and sale will be held on February 21, 2014, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM in Commercial Local 1 at Sueno del Mar Condominiums, just west of the Xquenda Spa on Playa Chahue. The exhibit will be followed by an open studio the following day (Saturday, February 22) from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Sueno del Mar developer Uli Kaufhold and his wife Maria have generously donated the exhibit venue for the third year in a row; the exhibition is co-hosted by Kino Healy, President of Remax Huatulco. “Huatulco Being” has grown; this year’s exhibit includes seven artists from the U.S., Mexico, and Great Britain (brief bios appear below). Wine and tapas will be served as guests enjoy the wide variety of arts—meeting the artists, discussing their work, and socializing with friends.

Benefiting the local community is an essential part of the show’s vision; as in years past, the beneficiary is the Bacaanda Foundation / El Sueño Zapoteco, with 50% of the art sale proceeds going to the Foundation; the show includes a raffle with prizes donated by some of Huatulco’s signature businesses—100% of raffle proceeds go to the Foundation.

Five years ago, the Bacaanda Foundation started working with the indigenous Zapotecs in the mountain villages north of Santa Maria Huatulco; they set up two dental clinics, followed by additional health, education, and employment programs. The Foundation’s workshop in Tangolunda showcases crafts made by young artisans using all natural materials from the region. (The artisans will be demonstrating their craftsmanship at “Huatulco Being”, and items from the workshop will be available for purchase.)

Bacaanda’s newest program focuses on building, repairing, and expanding programming in 31 rural schools in the municipios of Santiago Xanica and Santa Maria Huatulco.   The Adopt-a-School campaign gives donors multiple opportunities to help, from providing school supplies to building a school from the ground up.

About the Artists:

Jim Spicka. Jim’s Huatulco-inspired art fills the room with powerful, buoyant energy. A lifelong, multi-faceted artist, his media include paper on glass, acrylics on wood, mixed media on canvas, and recently, Gyotaku Huatulco fish prints. Jim says his art is intended to “inspire joy, give energy to large spaces, and be affordable.” He goes on to add “owning a good piece of art should not be restricted because of affordability. It’s about owning something you love … its color, mood, energy and its presence in your environment.” Jim and his wife Mary live in Boise, Idaho, and Huatulco.

Richard Saunders. Richard’s primary fascination has always been with line and form, and with that elusive quality that makes things beautiful. The sculptor’s work is an inquiry into the question, “what is beauty—really?” Is it only in the eye of the beholder? Or is there an absolute beauty, a natural law that invariably shapes what our mind’s eye sees, and shapes our response to it as well? Richard works in stainless steel, aluminum, and cast bronze. Richard and his wife Susan James are full-time residents of Huatulco.

Rafael Ortega. Since his graduation from the National Institute of Fine Arts and the Academy of San Carlos of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Rafael has participated in over thirty solo and group exhibits. He founded and directed the Casa de Cultura in Bahias de Huatulco, and was reappointed to the directorship in 2008. Rafael’s paintings display his concerns with change, instability, and indefinite potential: “I want to provoke the imagination, I despise labels. I would exchange for a while the sea for the valley, the sun for the clouds, and day for night.” Rafael lives in Huatulco.

Fiona Nichols. Fiona is a semi-retired travel writer, photographer, and editor who has sidelined her Nikons and notebooks for pastel and pencils. Born in Britain, she has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, living in the US, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Italy, and lately in France, but spends time in Huatulco every year. Her favorite medium? Probably drawing, though pastel and watercolor come in as a close second. She exhibits regularly in South Africa, selling paintings in South Africa, Britain and Mexico, as well as offering work through her internet website,

M.J. Kelly. Happily retired from a dual career as an art educator and producer of non-profit art events in Canada, Kelly connected with the landscape and energy of Huatulco the moment she set foot on the tarmac and had her breath taken away by the perfectly landscaped misty mountains. She sees her painting in Huatulco as all new—the medium, the size, the subject, and the energy. Kelly believes that a work of art is an “interactive communication between the viewer and the artist,” stemming from a creative process that “connects the two in a meaningful way.” Kelly and her husband Tim live in Alberta, Canada, and Huatulco.

Abdías García Gabriel. Born in Santa Maria Huatulco, Abdías studied at the School of Fine Arts in the city of Oaxaca, specializing in painting; he has participated in numerous local and state-wide exhibitions. He now teaches drawing and painting in Huatulco, and held an exhibition of his and his students’ paintings in La Crucecita last November. In 2011, in “Irresponsible Dreams,” a joint exhibition with Chelo Vaca, Abdías showed work influenced by music and fantasy, inviting reinvention of the self. Abdías lives in Huatulco.

Ann McLeod. Ann is a self-taught artist working in all media, but mostly oils. She says her work is realistic representational landscapes, still lifes and floral, and a few fish and bird paintings in watercolors. In her extensive Southwest and Grand Canyon paintings, she bases her work on photographs taken on extended trips through the canyons of Arizona and Utah. Ann sells her work through various art galleries in the US. Some of her Grand Canyon painting are in print and sold by Joan Cawley publishing company in Scottsdale, Az. Originally, from North Carolina, she spent many years in Arizona and now lives in Huatulco.

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