Open House at Galería Atotonilco

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Event Category: Artistic EventsEvent Tags: Art Galleries, folk, Galería Atotonilco, local, and Museums

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  •  Galeria Atotonilco OPEN HOUSE

    Saturday and Sunday|
    October 12 and 13
    Noon to 5 PM

    Ceramic Sculptures by José Juan Aguilar

    Ceramic Sculptures Highlight Gallery Open House

    By Susan Page


    The Aguilar Sisters have been well-known ceramic folk artists for many decades, working in Ocotlan, a village near Oaxaca. We first visited their studio in 2002, before we moved to Mexico. They had work on display, but on his buying trips, gallery owner Mayer Shacter always wants to snoop around the storage shelves in the back rooms. “May I see that piece?” “Oh that’s by my son, José Juan,” we were told. We were astonished at both the subject matter (“Life and Death in the Sea”) and the brilliant craftsmanship, and we bought the piece.


    At that time, Jose Juan was 28, somewhat shy, and very sweet. We have been buying his work ever since and find it to be the most innovative and beautifully crafted work in the entire family. On our trip this past May, we selected a wide variety of his work, from his larger intricate scenes and figures to smaller figures and his highly complex insects that always sell quickly. He makes mojigangas, the large puppet with a dancer inside, peering out a peek hole in the puppets abdomen. His work ranges from clever and funny ideas to beautiful country scenes to depictions of his distinctive culture to deeply spiritual themes. We were delighted to buy another version of the scene that first captivated us seventeen years ago: “Life and Death in the Sea.” The work is complex, exquisitely crafted, and painted with beautiful, soft colors. Jose Juan is now 42 and has three teenage daughters. He is less shy and still very lovable.


    José Juan Aguilar’s work is a good example that it’s possible to own a masterpiece of art for several hundred dollars or less. If the work were a painting, it would be thousands of dollars. Folk art is highly undervalued, but the up side is that it is easy to own and easy for craftspeople to sell so that they can support their families.


    The Gallery

    Galeria Atotonilco is located in a beautiful country setting and a much- published, architecturally interesting building five miles north of town, with 6,000 square feet of exhibition space. The collection includes a huge variety of folk art and textiles from all over Mexico, historic photographs, and a large selection of country antique tables, wood bowls and trays, plate racks, trunks, and other county antiques. Also featured at this time are colorful Wounaan tribal baskets from Colombia, widely considered to be the world’s most spectacular and beautifully crafted baskets.


    Enjoy refreshments and take your time to view Trip Advisor’s #1 shopping destination in San Miguel. The open house takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13, noon to 5 PM each day. 185-2225. Directions to the gallery are on our web site:



    The Best Mexican Folk Art Available Today Welcome to our gallery of fine Mexican folk art! We are not being immodest to say our Mexican folk art is the best. It’s just a fact. Owner Mayer Shacter finds the most talented and imaginative artists and craftsmen working today, and then he buys their finest work. We travel all over Mexico to find Mexican antiques, crafts, and folk art that perpetuate the centuries-old traditions of Huichol art, Mexican pottery, Mexican papel mache, vintage serapes, Oaxacan wood carvings, and much more.

    Contact us any time to:

    * discuss or purchase any Mexican folk art item you see here

    * Inquire about an artist or item you don’t see here

    * make an appointment to see our gallery

    * arrange a group tour

    Mexican folk art is one of the liveliest and most abundant folk art traditions anywhere in the world. Mexican folk art remains highly regional, with specific areas producing only one type of the Mexican crafts, such as Huichol art, Mexican pottery, Mexican lacquer art, Mexican papel mache, and Mexican serapes. Our gallery features most of these geographical areas and all of these types of folk art, many of which are Mexican antiques. We emphasize the exquisite Tonala pottery and vintage serapes, but we carry a wide variety of fine Mexican crafts. Because we live in Mexico, we have many resources and can suggest and help you find any Mexican crafts you desire to furnish or decorate your home or office. Mexican folk art blends beautifully with many decorative motifs, from modern to traditional. It can give your home or office a distinctive, colorful flair without looking at all like a Mexican folk art gallery.

    We are serious about Mexican folk art!

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