Nov 5, 2017


Every year for Dia de los Muertos, I invite a small group of friends to help me construct an altar for this ancient tradition of honoring those who came before us. Altars at this time of year are called "ofrendas," on which we offer food, drink, sugar skulls, etc. to the visiting souls. 
Dia de los Muertos ofrenda 2017

Everyone brings photos of family and friends who are no longer with us, and share our memories and stories about them. Often there is a certain focus or dedication, and this year, I chose to use the huipil "Behind the Label" to remember those in the garment industry who have lost their lives in the work of making the clothes we wear. 

Tribute to the garment workers of the world.

Fashion Revolution, a movement begun
after collapse of Rana Plaza

In the photo below, I chose to remember and honor Petronila, or Doña P as she is lovingly called. I met her in Antigua a few years ago, and many of my huipiles and cortes are from her collection. She left us this year, and joins that spiritual legacy of women in the garment industry who beautify us and our world. 


Then yesterday morning, when I walked into the room, I heard a voice say "Release me" and though I don't know which one said it, I knew it was time to disassemble the ofrenda. And so it is. Until next year. 

Oct 17, 2017


La Huipilista Artspace has been open two weeks now, and I'm as excited as ever to have landed in this incredible location, in an old house that transformed beautifully into an art gallery. The inauguration was well-attended; we had fun, wine, sales, and a huge downpour. A portion of all sales that night was donated to earthquake and hurricane victims, shared between Oaxaca, Mexico City, Chiapas, Tepotzlan and Puerto Rico. Thank you all who braved the weather and contributed to a successful first event whose ripples go out far and wide beyond San Miguel and our own loving art community. 

and last week, Jessica Antonelli shot this little interview for Lokkal:

Please stop in to say hi and check out my new space when you're in San Miguel. Hours are 1-5, Thursday - Saturday, and by appointment. The rest of the week I'm in my studio making more art, still on Carlos del Castillo, only a couple of blocks away. 

Sep 13, 2017


One month ago, just as I returned from San Cristobal de Las Casas, a neighbor emailed me to say she was leaving and her rented house was soon to be available. Then she asked if I wanted to have first shot at taking it. Seeing it, I found that it was exactly what I had envisioned; now I'll be opening it as an artspace. If this all sounds strange, let me tell you the back story:

When I was in San Cristobal, repacking 6 big boxes at Taller Leñateros, I was wondering "what now?" What was I going to do with all this work from my exhibition at La Enseñanza? And before that at Bellas Artes? My studio gallery at home is just not big enough and definitely there is not room under my bed for storage. I decided to find a place that would be more public than my house, and also large enough to accommodate more work. Can I just tell you that the location is better than I could have imagined!

It began like this, in the main room... i.e. living 
room turned sala principal. 

With paint and track lights, it became this:

and for the installed exhibition, stay tuned!

but for now, here's the passage gallery:

which became:
before the track lights were installed.

for some reason I have no shots of the secondary
gallery before, when it was the master bedroom.
We'll just leave that room for the next blogpost. 

OPENING is Friday, Sept. 22, 5 - 8 pm
Location is Julian Carrillo #1, Col. Guadalupe
and I'll just tell you now, there is no better location, 
a one-minute walk from my house and studio.
A main walking street from Centro into Guadalupe. 
The official ARTS DISTRICT of San Miguel.

How does it get any better than this?

Aug 12, 2017


Another full moon has passed, a spectacular solar eclipse looms, and I am noticing a pattern of circles popping up in my photos. Because I live too far south to witness this coming cosmic event, I decided to share my personal circular activity here on this blog. May we all celebrate the energy of circle, the essence of round. Dark and light, intense and subtle, large and small, this energy is about all of us. It IS all of us. 

The full moon, the sun, planet Earth and all the planets in the cosmos, all are circles. Even our eyes with which we view them are circles. In exploring the concept of circle, I find it represents unity, wholeness and life cycles. Without beginning or end, it represents inclusivity and its affiliate number is one. We can imagine that when we sit within a circle, we are all equal, one and the same. Being inside the circle, we also feel the safety and protection from anything outside that zone. When someone says they're in or out of their 'comfort zone' I picture that as a circle. 

"Dark Moon Angel"
recycled from a gift of Sees Chocolates

  Here are some huipiles from the 365 4 2015 series, in which I made one small huipil every day in the year 2015.  Looking back at them now from a different viewpoint, I wonder what led me to create so many circular forms. 

"Teach Tolerance"
The circular motion of joining hands says inclusivity. It's going to take
all of us working together to bring balance to our Mother planet.

"Letter to the U.S."
It's Not a Crime to be Black. Living while black, driving
while black, walking while black, it's all is part of the system
that spawned yesterdays tragic events in Charlottesville.  
"Spot On"
Occasionally a day goes just right, you come up with a
solution that works, and the term for that sums it up in these circles.
"Shiva the Destroyer"
Crushing the demon of ignorance, Shiva's dance recalls
the cycles of birth, death and rebirth. All is circular. 
"Connect the Dots"
This one is like "follow the money" when we're trying to
understand how the world works. It's not in "mysterious ways." 
"Que Milagro!"
We all wish for miracles, and maybe they do happen, but
I'm not convinced. What do you think?

To continue further, the following examples show up in my huipils, as
faces, bottle cap textiles and neck openings. 

"Thirst /Sed" (detail)  bottle caps and wire, 2014
We're all longing for something to quench our thirst or hunger.
What is it you thirst for and how do you go about finding it?
Chicomecoatl, Corn Mother, corn husks, iron,
Ceremonia de Té, tea packets and bags, 2016

Circles and round things show up in my photographs of places and things:
Hats on a wall at Sergio Castro's Museo create a wall of circles.
Page from a book about Bolom Chon, by
Taller Leñateros, describes the spots on a jaguar.
Circles and stars or butterflies adorn the front door of
the church in Chamula, Chiapas.
Cans of spray paint on the sidewalk during Festival de
Arte Urbano,with Muros en Blanco.

Life Cycle of Corn shrine, por Maria Godoy,
Milpa: Pueblos de Maíz, Museo de los Artes Populares 

“Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.”  ― Anaïs Nin

Apr 6, 2017


The fields of the milpa lay fallow, scattered with dried cobs, colorless husks and rotting stalks that weren’t gathered after the last season. Soon, the farmer will bundle them all together and light a fire, burning them and the fields themselves and all else that has found its way there. She watches then, Corn Mother does, because she knows the time of her rebirth is near. A long wooden stick will poke holes in her earthen skin, her children from the last season will be dropped in, and she will wait. 

She will wait in the black soil, for the sun, for the water, for the fresh warm air, before she emerges again. She will emerge from her own earthen skin, giving birth again and again, in tiny green shoots that recall the ancestors, and their ancestors before them.

Blessing Ceremony by Maruch Mendez, inaugurating "Cuentos Cosidos"

 Her people glorify her in ceremony, singing their praise and asking her blessing, burning copal as they go. In return, Corn Mother blesses her people with bountiful crops, if there is sufficient rain, but not more than is needed. If there is sunshine, but not more than is needed. If her people are there to care for her, once again, as they have since the beginning.

With a huge amount of gratitude to Taller Leñateros for Corn Mother's 
face, from the cover of their book "Conjuros y Ebriedades; 
Cantos de Mujeres Mayas." Que un gran honor!!

Mar 5, 2017


The climate of hate growing in the U.S. seems to have its exact opposite here in San Cristobal de las Casas. Walking the streets, whether in centro or in the neighborhoods, most people greet and are greeted with a smile, if not a buenos dias, tardes or noches. This is not because they feel the need to be friendly, it's just the tradition they're used to, much the same as in San Miguel or any other city in Mexico. 

I arrived here a couple of weeks ago to install my latest huipil exhibition, CUENTOS COSIDOS. For non-Spanish speakers, it roughly translates to Stitched Tales. Most every piece in the exhibition has a tale to tell, a story to share. I share them gladly and hopefully with the people here, extending a hand of peace, tolerance and justice. I feel it's one small thing I can do as an "white-faced gringa from el norte." In reality, it's the same work I've been doing since the huipil series began in 2003. The works in CUENTOS COSIDOS span the years 2008 - 2017. 
El Tendedero, the clothesline works from 2009, still here to
represent women whose voices and/or lives were negated. 

There isn't a single piece that addresses "grab 'em by the pussy" or "they're not sending their best".... just two of the infamous phrases that represent the new Hater in Chief. And I say the rather than our, because he does not represent me. Actually, we all know that it isn't only this new regime at fault. The U.S. has consistently created, fed and supported dictators privately, while condemning them publicly. But until now, never within our own country. 

So, this self-proclaimed art ambassador, (me) spreader of truth and beauty, with magic sprinkles in my pocket and a smile on my face, is here to gather tales, stitch them again and again, weave them together with the threads of color, joy and tolerance and love. 

Installation detail of Detrás de la Etiqueta
Detrás de la Etiqueta / Behind the Label, 2013