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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I mentioned this fair in another thread but it was a sub-text of another subject and got lost among a number of other posts somewhere so I thought commenting again on the fair would be worthwhile.

The 12th Annual Feria Maestros del Arte, a " Mexican Folk and Indigenous Art Show" featuring high quaity art, this year by 65 artists from all over Mexico, just concluded in Chapala (November 15 through 17 on the grounds of the Club de Yates de Chapala on Paseo Ramón Corona on the shores of Lake Chapala. The fair features not only the works of these artists but also regonal music and dancing from various parts of the country as well.

The reason I think this art show is worthy of comment is that it is sponsored and run by a non-profit organization with the participation of some 150 local volunteers for the benefit of the artists themselves who are in attendance selling their own wares. These artists must be Mexican citizens and no middle-men are allowed . The artists must be selling their own works and they are a mixture of the grandes maestros del arte popular, up and coming artists who have won prizes at state or national fairs and artisan´s cooperatives who help their own communities.

Some important features:
* The fair takes no parts of the artists´ profits from sales of their art work and charges no fees for sales booths.
* Artists are hosted by local volunteers from around the Lake Chapala area in the vicinity of the Chapala Municpality who provide guest housing and food in their own homes.
* In the cases of artisans coming from afar as in Chiapas, Oaxaca and other regions, the fair board helps supplement their transportation costs.
* The requirements for invitations of artisans to the fair are very stringent and some of the artisans are exhibiting top museum quality art. No uninvited artisan or third party is allowed to participate at the fair so attendees may be assured that sales booths are allocated only to the invited artisans and their associates themselves and any profits from sales go to the artisans abd their famlies or cooperatives in their home communities.

I think this art fair has these special characteristics mentioned above that are unlike other artisanal fairs in Mexico that I know of and the artisans say the same thing - that´s why I am posting this information on this board for the benefit of those seeking fine art from the actual sources of that art around Mexico.

To learn more about this fair held in Mid-November each year, the fair board has a web site at [url=http://www.mexicoartshow.com where you can get more information on the fair and the artisans in attendence exhibiting and selling their works. Anyone interested in attending to buy or just to browse around can get onto the fairgrounds for a mere $50 Peso admission fee with no obligation to buy anything. I promise you that attending this very successful fair will prove a highlight of your trip to Mexico or, if you live in Mexico, to Lake Chapala.

Just for the record, I have no financial interest in this fair at all. My wife does work as for the fair as Chiapas Coordinator but strictly as an uncompensated volunteer either directly or indirectly. In fact, all volunteers working for this fair are uncompensated and are involved in the fair for the love of the endeavor and the artisans with whom they work every year.
 

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Oh my. I'm a goner for sure. Just seeing Sparks' first photo of that beautiful ceramic ware has caused me palpitations. Be still, oh my heart! I hope this wonderful endeavour continues for many years to come, and I look forward to attending- if not next year at least in the not too distant future. For me the best part is the recognition and celebration of master craftspersons who are truly masters of the art. I hope this show also helps inspire future generations to continue with this tradition.
 

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And thanks for posting 4 days after it 's over.........
Is there a thread on this forum dedicated to regional ferias? I would love to hear about these special celebrations being held around different parts of the country. I've already found out about a guitar celebration in August in Michoacan and the Encuentro de Cocina Tradicional de Michoacán in early October.

I would love to hear about other regional festivals, especially those that are annual events.
 

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the site is Mexico Art Show Maestros del Arte Art Fair, Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Some of the most popular artists are usually invited every year but there is no fast rule on it. We try to rotate many artists and have new ones as well to keep the Feria interesting.

The dishes in the first pictures are from Guadalupe Rios from Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan. She lives on the plaza there. She worked for many years for her husband who is very famous. He signs Morales and she did many of his pieces..She now signs her own name and so do her children. Her husband studied some of the Japanese techniques and her pieces are stunning. A rice bowl will fetch 450 pesos..not the every day inexpensive type of rice bowls...
The Linares family was invited but Leonardo had to take an emergency trip to the hospital and was not able to come.
His grand father invented the papier mache alebrijes and then Oaxaca made some in wood and so on.. Many museums from around the world buy their pieces. He will be with us next year.
Jose Manuel and Roberto Abraham RUiz are also very famous for their bone carving. They make exquisite bone carvings with Mexican themes but from the distance their pieces could be mistaken for Asian Ivory carving although their subjects are tree of life and death, indigenous Oaxaca women and so on.

The quality of the show is unique in Mexico and the artists all agree that it is the top quality show in Mexico. Fomento Cultural Banamex sometimes attends and they do sponsor top artists to attend.

The Feria is usually on the second week of November but you can ask to be added to their newsletter and you will know of the date for sure every year.

Chiapas has 3 competitions.

In July there is an amber State competition in San Cristobal de las Casas and in Tuxtla and exhibit sponsered by Instituto Casa Chiapas

In October there is the Fray Bartolomé state competition in the ex convento in Chiapa de Corzo (does not include amber)

In January there is a CONACULTA state competition in the ex convento in Chiapa de Corzo.

Unfortunately the dates are not fixed so you have to google to find out the dates sometimes there are not published until after the event a la Hound Dog.

I am the Chiapas coordinator and this year I asked CONACULTA in July when the Ocotber competition would be. No one knew and I was told to check the internet for the convocatorio.I did ..nothing appeared and I found out the date from the artisans I know who called me when the convocatorio appeared on the streets.The date never appeared on the Casa Chiapas site. I got a plane ticket at the last minute.
When I got there I asked if I could get in any time withing the dates shown, I was told I could. I showed up with an indigenous artisan and I was told I could not get in..it was only for artisans. I was lucky and one of the governor´s assistant saw me and invited me in otherwise it would have had to do another trip to Chiapa de Corzo.

I am involved with several other people to put a list together of all the interesting high quality fairs and if we ever get the list together I will post it. We are only interested in top quality folk art fair so it will not be a complete list of all ferias. We are also trying to compile the list where revendors are not admited.

Another two shows worth seeing are the shows at the Refugio in Tlaquepaque in February and August
There revendors are admited. The quality of the merchandise is usually good.
There is also a Latin American Fair in Tlaquepaque in October at the Refugio.

The Uruapan State Fair is something to see at least once , it starts on Saturday before Palm Sunday and the Day of the Day week Fair in Patzcuaro is nice. It is on one of the plazas.

Watch for the exhibits on the pieces participating at the National Ceramic Contest in Tlaquepaque as well as the Competition in Tonala.

The top competitions are usually sponsered by CONECULTA; FONART; the various states casa de artisanias and many other organizations. Some very good shows are organized by various chamber of commerce.

Please post about any good feria you have been to with the plus and minus. The artisans need to network and find out about these fairs and I can pass on some of the information.

Unfortunately some of the dates are not that easy to find out. I soon will have the list for Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Michoacan and Chiapas abut there are many others.

We are looking at fairs where revendors are not allowed.

For addresses and contacts of great artists look under "artisans "and the various artisans that have participated over the years in the Chapala fair will appear with their contact information

I am meeting with CONACULTA CHIAPAS to discuss recommendations to ensure the success of the exhibitions and give them some tips about increasing the success of the show, like telling the artisans about fairs they can attend with a long leaway than 3 days...Putting out names of artists and contact information would be a plus..publishing the dates of Ferias would be another plus..we are taking one step at a time and have to go through the same info every 4 or 5 years when all the bureaucrats switch chairs so nothing is very easy or fast or efficient ...

Any dates, information and feed back on fairs is greatly appreciated.
 

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Chicois

I am glad my husband posted about the feria so now you can get yourself ready to go the next one..better late than never.. Without him I would not have posted because I am extremely busy and involved in other facets of ferias so. Out of a negatives there is always something positive if you look for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hound Dog, the link didn't take, so this is the link to MexicoArtShow.com.
ElPaso:

The link, [url=http://www.mexicoartshow.com should work for you as it does for us. Perhaps the problem is that you are capitalizing. Also, perhaps from the U.S., you may need to input .com.mx. Let me know if you continue to have problems. This a a great web site with all sorts of information about fair and the artisans themselves.

Sorry that you missed the fair this year, Chicois. Hope to see you there next November. Since we both have lived in Mexico awhile, that gives us both a lot of time for procrastination. Since I retired and moved to the tropics, I need that. Come to think of it, I had already mastered that skill in San Francisco.
 

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I meant that it didn't work as a link in the original post. I had no problem finding the site, spending some time on it, and writing about it in a subsequent thread about Community Work and Charity. I put it out as a functional link for the convenience of others who might not want to cut and paste.

It's nice to see people like your wife who are actually doing something to help versus just talking about it, which is the theme of the new thread.
 

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Is there a thread on this forum dedicated to regional ferias? I would love to hear about these special celebrations being held around different parts of the country. I've already found out about a guitar celebration in August in Michoacan and the Encuentro de Cocina Tradicional de Michoacán in early October.

I would love to hear about other regional festivals, especially those that are annual events.
Starting two years ago, the Ajijic Society of the Arts initiated an annual Open Studios Tour, featuring 50 or more artists working in their studios or being hosted at another artist's place. The arts group includes artists and craftspeople from the entire Lakeside area, both foreign born and Mexican. The next weekend tour will be February 8th and 9th, 2014. (This is a "reverse" Feria in that the artists are not traveling to the Lake Chapala area, but are living there.) So far, the show has been attracting many visitors and buyers. If you're in the area, a "passport" is only 50 pesos to visit all studios and home/studios. Publicity will be coming out in January.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I meant that it didn't work as a link in the original post. I had no problem finding the site, spending some time on it, and writing about it in a subsequent thread about Community Work and Charity. I put it out as a functional link for the convenience of others who might not want to cut and paste.

It's nice to see people like your wife who are actually doing something to help versus just talking about it, which is the theme of the new thread.
Thanks, ElPaso:

I read you comments under the Community Works and Charity Thread. Your comments here and there are appreciated.

My wife is an inveterate, committed worker and always has been while I like to spend my time soaking up the sun and sipping tequila. I guess it´s because she was raised in frenetic Paris and I was raised in sultry and complacent Mobile near the beach where enthusiasm for stimulative endeavor is hard won.

It´s good that the great works of Mexican artisans and their respective market opportunities can be identified and promoted on a public forum for informational purposes versus profit. Your contribution is important and now that I have said that, back to the beach.

Thanks, Lagoloo for that post as well. we´ll keep that ASA event in mind and take part if we are in town and not in Chiapas although we will probably be down there then.
 

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Helping the artisans is one of the most rewarding things we have done here. Mexico has lots of hidden treasures that are going to disappear and it will be a big loss to Mexico and the world at large. Fine artisania is harder and harder to find and many of the young people are leaving the field because life is tough .
I know of the son of one of the great masters who is fabulous with metal work. He went to the States to work and there he could not work his trade because he was illegal. He was illegal because he could not get a visa...and one of the great artisan from Mexico who could teach his art in the States was working putting up sheetrock....talking about a shame.

Many of the people you encounter when looking for fine artisans have a tough life, not all but many and they could pursue a more rewarding carreer with a little help Sometimes a little capital,, sometime a little education, just a few things can make a lot of difference. It is not a question of giving money to these people but investing time and passing on what you have learned over the years from banking, to marketing, selling or simply reading or writing and understanding how what you know can help them. We let them tell us what help they need, sometimes as an organization we can help with transportation or our knowledge of Ferias or sales.
We are retired,were lucky had nice carreer and it is time to give back, the most rewarding work of all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok Isla Verde, now put mid November in your calander for next year and come up to visit! You will love it.
 

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Ok Isla Verde, now put mid November in your calander for next year and come up to visit! You will love it.
I will, as soon as I buy my 2014 agenda. I wonder if there's any way I can help with the Feria in addition to attending.
 

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Yes we caan use all kinds of help f you want to help from translating to working with some of the government agency to be the liaison with the artists to let us know and you have the perfect spots with your working with the MAPA director to being on the look out for some great folk art from the DF area...you can do lots of things.
I will be in the DF around the 12th and will visit Leonardo Linares and the bone carvers the Ruiz bros. I could use a good writer to tell their stories and do not worry I can find all kinds of projects for you. Thanks for offerering.
While here you can also set up with various things, I will turn you over to General Lynda.
I have some plane and bus tickets I need to change. As soon as I firm up the appointments I will let you know and we can get together while I am there..

By the way more and more Mexicans are participating in the Feria which is great. Every year more Tapatios are coming and we have several Mexican hosts and volonteers. It started out all foreign but it is changing and that is another exciting part of the feria.
 

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Yes we caan use all kinds of help f you want to help from translating to working with some of the government agency to be the liaison with the artists to let us know and you have the perfect spots with your working with the MAPA director to being on the look out for some great folk art from the DF area...you can do lots of things.
I will be in the DF around the 12th and will visit Leonardo Linares and the bone carvers the Ruiz bros. I could use a good writer to tell their stories and do not worry I can find all kinds of projects for you. Thanks for offerering.
While here you can also set up with various things, I will turn you over to General Lynda.
I have some plane and bus tickets I need to change. As soon as I firm up the appointments I will let you know and we can get together while I am there..

By the way more and more Mexicans are participating in the Feria which is great. Every year more Tapatios are coming and we have several Mexican hosts and volonteers. It started out all foreign but it is changing and that is another exciting part of the feria.
I've been looking for a way to put to good use my energy and love of Mexican artesanías, and now I've found one. I'll be in touch soon with a response to your suggestions about how I can help.
 
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