Fabrica La Aurora
Place Category: Community and Places to Visit
What was once a textile factory, today houses canvases, sculptures and handicrafts by great artists who live in San Miguel.
The Cultural Center of Art and Design, La Aurora, which has been revealed as one of the main attractions of the city of San Miguel de Allende, has a great reason to celebrate: its first twelve years of history.
After having been for nine decades an important engine for the labor sector in the textile industry, the walls of La Fábrica Aurora mutated to house in them, canvases and handmade products in exchange for the looms that in themselves had already given it fame and recognition.
In this way in 2004, under the auspices of Don Francisco Garay and with the initiative and creative courage of Christopher Fallon, Mary Rapp, Merry Calderoni and DeWayne Youts, American artists came to the city to reflect their experiences through the mastery of the brush, sculpture and design, the first workshops of what would eventually become a cultural center for the arts were opened.
Since then they have joined the corridors of the factory, contemporary art galleries, shops of designer furniture and decoration, as well as antiques, jewelry, tablecloths and whites, restaurants and what is perhaps the main attraction of the place: the studios-gallery, which provide today the magnificent color that attracts countless Sanmiguelenses, tourists and any person who shows affection for the artistic.
“The character of the factory today is created by the artists who have been gathering here, from the initials who arrived as Christopher Fallon, who was very involved in the principles of the factory, in the concepts and in the remodeling of its spaces. That is why I believe that the factory has been adopting the personalities and creativity of the people who have been gathering here, “says Mr. Francisco Garay, son of Don Francisco who was the owner and promoter of the Factory.
A walk through La Aurora leads to multiple scenarios. From the simple delight of dedicating an afternoon to walk through its walkers and open studios, among paintings, antiques, books and sculptures, to the possibility of meeting face to face with an artist in full exchange of ideas and opinions at the moment when you taste a dish in the cafes of the place, or while they throw themselves at the stroke of strokes to the conquest of their canvases.
Mary Rapp, a sculptor established in La Aurora since its inauguration as an arts center, says, “the walls of my studio still preserve the marks of the machines of when it was the factory, those marks that I consider art. Some of the artists who are here make the studio open, each with their schedules that they can review on the website, where people who wish can see us in our creation process.”
Here, renowned national and foreign artists connect with more than a decade of stories of the place, where they have been able to find a space to develop their creativity and exhibit their work. The atmosphere conferred by La Aurora has invited new creators to join the passages of this scenario, where distinctive talents of art such as Peter Leventhal, Juan Ezcurdia, Ricardo García and Santiago Corral, now dedicate part of their journey to capture their dedications here. Also the vision and interpretation of writers like Edward Swift, who took the liberty of elucidating the walls of the factory as pages, and in this way make it their own to inspire the creation of their memories. Finally, with the affinity and warmth of hundreds of families who visit the various spaces that make up the cultural center every week.
It is twelve years since La Aurora reopened its doors, now converted into an art and design center. From the effort of the Garay Family added to the initial vision of authors to explore the arteries of the factory intimately linked to the artist, this project arises that now sees the fruits of its delivery. Years of scenes whose protagonists, painters, sculptors, gallerists and guests, project on the face of the other the appropriate inspiration to take from this place the memory of their works. That essence that combines the artistic identity of a city and the immediate reference for its tourists.
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Fabrica La Aurora is a groovy art and design center housed in a former textile factory. There are scores of art galleries, working artist’s studios, stores that sell furniture, textiles, home decor, jewelry and clothing, and two restaurants. Before its renaissance as an art and design center, Fabrica La Aurora was a leading manufacturer of premium cotton “manta” and textiles for almost a century. The construction of the factory was completed in 1902 and is typical of textile plants in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Its façade, with twelve stone-carved arches and wrought iron gates that open onto a gracious patio, offers a sharp contrast to the functional design of the interior spaces. Generations of San Miguelenses have worked in the factory. At the time of its closing in 1991, La Aurora was the largest employer in San Miguel with a work force of over 300, and it had become an integral part of the daily lives of its workers and the San Miguel community. Much of the old equipment used to make fabric is still in place at La Aurora, sitting in stark relief next to the modernist galleries.
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