Category Archives: November 2014

Editor’s Letter

“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.” Charles Horton Cooley

I am an art junkie! When I travel, getting to know a place would not be complete without a visit to the local museum and galleries. For me art is about the in-between spaces of our regular lives, little gems of creativity that slip out- these are the moments that make living interesting. Artists give us a glimpse of their inner lives so that we may better understand them and ourselves. Continue reading Editor’s Letter

Alebrijes Unrivalled in Oaxaca: Artisans Jacobo Ángeles & María Mendoza

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.54.35 AMBy Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

A starved dog scratching fleas; a bear with its paw in a honey pot; a snake constricting a wincing jaguar; a startled cat; a woman with braided locks and an armadillo’s body. Every hand-carved and painted wooden figure, or alebrije, that the workshop of Jacobo Ángeles and María Mendoza produces is remarkable. The realistic and flowing movement, fanciful stance, or familiar pose, strikes a chord with each figure’s popular characterization. Continue reading Alebrijes Unrivalled in Oaxaca: Artisans Jacobo Ángeles & María Mendoza

From Portnoy’s Complaint to Nemesis Philip Roth: Chronicler of the American Identity

By Carole Reedy

Shock waves hit the literary community last year when Philip Roth announced his retirement after 50 years of writing and more than 30 novels to show for it. We rarely think of writers entering the world of non-work. They write until death, right? Roth claims he has nothing more to say except that he’ll be working on his own autobiography from now on. Continue reading From Portnoy’s Complaint to Nemesis Philip Roth: Chronicler of the American Identity

Music’s BFF in Huatulco: Carminia Magaña and Amigos de la Música de Huatulco

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.54.19 AMBy Deborah Van Hoewyk

Since practically the minute Carminia Magaña set foot in Huatulco, Amigos de la Música de Huatulco has been enchanting audiences from across the municipio of Santa María Huatulco with concerts, performances, and art events. An accomplished painter herself, the petite, silver-haired dynamo arrived in Bahias de Huatulco in 1998. Having lived in Mexico, Europe, and the United States, she was looking for the kinds of cultural activities she had always used to fully experience particular places and people wherever she was. Continue reading Music’s BFF in Huatulco: Carminia Magaña and Amigos de la Música de Huatulco


Street Sculpture: Art Available To All

One of the great joys of roaming Mexico City by foot (or even from a bus window) is stumbling on the stunning street sculpture, nowhere more prevalent than on the main street Reforma in the neighborhood of Cuauhtémoc. Mondays can be a difficult day to be a tourist as 99% of museums, including Chapultepec Park and the zoo there, are closed. Theaters are “dark” too. Not to despair. Use this day to do one of two things (or both!). Continue reading WALKING TOURS OF D.F.


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By Leigh Morrow

After dying in obscurity and being buried in an unmarked grave over a century ago, José Guadalupe Posada, must smile with some irony this time of year at his enduring popularity as Dias de los Muertos begins again. Whether you recognize the name, the work of Posada, who was born the seventh son to working class parents of Indian descent in Aguascalientes in 1852, has left an indelible fingerprint on the Mexican culture and continues to shape art, design, politics and spirit in the country. Continue reading THE ARTIST BEHIND THE SKELETONS


Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.53.46 AMBy Brooke Gazer

With its unique ability to manipulate light stained glass has an “ah inspiring” quality which made it popular for decorating churches over many centuries. It fell out of favor during the Reformation, when churches across Europe were stripped of their ornamental attributes, and did not regain its popularity until the late 19th century during the “Arts and Crafts” movement.   Continue reading GREAT GLASS

Leonardo da Jandra

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.53.30 AMBy Julie Etra

The well-known Mexican author and philosopher Leonardo da Jandra is certainly no stranger in our midst. Although born in Chiapas in 1951, da Jandra has spent over 20 years in Huatulco where he lived with his wife, the painter Agar García. A large part of those 20 years was in Cacaluta, where part of the Parque Nacional de Huatulco and Laguna Zanate is located. He left for Mexico City in 2008 after being told by the authorities that his house was on private property (Cacaluta is also where massive development is underway on properties owned by Fonatur (Fondo Nacional de Turismo)). Among his more well known books about the Oaxacan coast are the trilogy La Almadraba, Huatulqueños, and Samahua. Other works include La Hispanidad, Fiesta y Rito. Though not available in English, those of us non-native speakers that enjoy Spanish literature will find his books challenging, with somewhat complicated sentence structure, extensive vocabulary, and colloquialisms. Not light reading. Continue reading Leonardo da Jandra

Craft Centers in Mexico

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.53.13 AMBy Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken

A fascinating part of our trips in Mexico has been the opportunity to visit villages known for having artisans who create distinctive crafts utilizing locally available materials. In many of these villages, techniques for producing these handicrafts have been passed down from generation to generation, but the final creations vary over time and from one artisan to the next. The shopper’s challenge is to identify the most appealing ones, as no two are identical. Continue reading Craft Centers in Mexico