Nov 26, 2007 — Every year in mid-November, through a tremendous amount of hard work on the part of both foreigners and Mexicans, a wonderful arts and crafts fair takes place for three days. This year the Feria del Arte was in the lovely Chapala Yacht Club, and you can see a boat on the lake between these two Oaxacan rugs:
We got there early on the first day, and strolled around before getting down to serious shopping. The organizers gave out lovely large shopping bags, as you can see on the arm of the woman on the right:
The artists come from all over Mexico, and pay no fees for their booth nor percentage of sales. They are put up and fed by local Mexican families. The whole thing is a labor of love, to help keep Mexico’s incredibly rich treasure of arts from dying out. It’s funded by a 50 peso entrance fee and I imagine by donations.
Many of the items were somewhat beyond my budget, but when I chatted with one artist, I learned that the straw painting I admired had taken her about a week and a half. Maybe next year! Kelly took a photo of this lovely Virgin, and I trimmed out the background so you can see her. She was made here in the state of Jalisco. Every table had a small page you could take, telling about the artist, how to reach them, how they did their works, and so on. Unfortunately, I didn’t get one for this piece.
Many items are also very reasonably priced. Here, I had just bought this folk art style cross from Felipe Benitez Miranda, who painted it, and he kindly allowed me to take his picture. These crosses were 220 pesos (about $20 US) and have great detail. He is from Guerrera but lives now in San Miguel de Allende, where the address on his card is Artesanias Benitez, Andador Lucas Balderas, 3rd section, Local #15.
Once home, I spread a few of our new treasures out on our bed. Our cat Misty was interested in the stuffed cat! All but the cross are destined to be gifts.
Kudos to Marianne Carlson and the many volunteers who make this such a wonderful event! Here’s a very nice blog article (by someone else) about Marianne Carlson with background on how the Feria del Arte came to be, with photos.