By Mary Spicka
The fourth annual “Huatulco Being” benefit art exhibition and sale will be held on Friday February 20, 2015, from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. at Mansiones Cruz del Mar, in Santa Cruz. The evening exhibit will be followed by an open studio the following morning (Saturday, February 22) from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Mansiones, Cruz del Mar has generously donated the venue this year; with its elegant, spacious setting and inspiring hill-top views, guests will be able to enjoy complimentary wine and tapas, experience a wide variety of artistic expression, meet the artists, discuss their works and socialize with friends. Co-hosting the event this year is Jane Bauer and Kino Healy, Remax Huatulco. Limon Bistro (the restaurant in Mansiones Cruz del Mar) will be open for dinner and drinks. Reservations for dinner may be made by calling cel. 958 116 1111. Also, Mansiones representatives will conduct tours of their newly completed project and show suites open for viewing.
“Huatulco Being” was established by Jim Spicka, an artist from Boise, Idaho, and his wife Mary, who are long-term seasonal residents of Huatulco. Starting in 2012 with a small exhibition of Jim’s work, the couple has worked to realize a vision of expanding the stage for, and increasing recognition of, local artists, along with the role of art as an asset to tourism in Huatulco. This year, in addition to art sales, there will be a very special silent auction art piece created by Carminia Magaña. Supporting the local community is an essential part of this vision; as in years past, the event benefits the Bacaanda Foundation / El Sueno Zapoteco. Again as in the past, there will be a raffle with a dozen or more prizes donated by some of Huatulco’s signature businesses, as well as sales of the Foundation’s artisanal crafts. The 2014 event raised $40,560 mxn for the Foundation.
Funds raised by the event will support the Foundation’s Rural Schools initiative, which assists schools in small villages in four municipios surrounding Huatulco. Rural schools are overseen by CONAFE (Consejo Nacional de Fomento Educación) a separate agency within the Secretariat of Public Education. CONAFE provides basic community education for primary and secondary (middle/junior high school) students, training high school graduates as teachers; after serving in a CONAFE school these teachers then receive college scholarships. The Bacaanda Foundation works directly with regional CONAFE personnel to solicit applications for assistance from CONAFE schools; the Foundation provides everything from packets of school materials to complete new school buildings.
“Huatulco Being” has grown; this year’s exhibit includes 12 artists from the Huatulco community and elsewhere in Mexico.
José Arturo Escudero Cordero (Tehuantepec, Oaxaca) teaches in the CONAFE rural schools; his pencil art combines a strong sense of massing with an austere detail depicting multiple viewpoints.
Abdías García Gabriel (Bahias de Huatulco) holds classes in drawing and painting at the Casa de Cultura; his works are influenced by music and fantasy, inviting reinvention of the self.
Oscar Guzmán Ayala (Merida, Yucatan) is a photographer who uses optical technology that combines the camera with a computer to create 360-degree panoramas in a new form of visual representation.
M.J. Kelly (Bahias de Huatulco) retired from Canada to discover that “Living here is breathing in color!” Her large paintings explode with those colors, creating a resonant interaction with the viewer “usually too deep and powerful for words.”
Carminia Magaña (Bahias de Huatulco), founder and past Director of Amigos de la Musica de Huatulco, was educated in art history and fine arts; she is a landscape painter and her work could be considered expressionistic in character.
Ann McLeod (Bahias de Huatulco) has lived in Florida and the Southwest, and her realist sea- and landscapes in watercolor, oils, acrylics, colored pencil and pastels are in corporate and private collections across the U.S. and abroad; her work in Huatulco has begun to explore new media and forms.
Fiona Nichols (South Africa, Britain, Bahias de Huatulco) works in multiple media to create works that depicts Mexican themes, many focused on people in their context; she also does commissioned portraits.
Rafael Ortega (Bahias de Huatulco), founder and current director of the Case de Cultura de Huatulco, uses his paintings to express his concerns with change, instability, and indefinite potential.
Richard Saunders (Bahias de Huatulco and California) is a sculptor fascinated with “that elusive quality that makes things beautiful”; he does metal shaping and fabrication in his California workshop, and bronze casting in his studio in Huatulco.
Stephanie Schikora (Merida, Yucatan) creates figurative-abstract paintings that create “positive feelings through forms and colors,” working primarily in acrylics, but incorporating drawing and mixed media.
Jim Spicka (Boise, ID, and Bahias de Huatulco) has been a lifelong, self-taught artist who works in multiple media to create works in vibrant colors drawn from his surroundings, expressing our relationship with context and environment.
Kevin Spreitz (Bahias de Huatulco) is a Canadian fine art and documentary photographer inspired by the creative arts, the nexus of reality and dreams and the ideas of visual geometry, ethnography, and the mathematics of beauty.