Karen Kunc & Hugo Anaya
Forum on Creativity in Guanajuato, Mexico
with artists Carol Summers, Karen Kunc and Hugo Anaya
August 7-14, 2010
Written by: Carole Bencich and Kristen Struebing Beazley
Arriving in Guanajuato, Mexico for an International Forum on Creativity, The Boston Printmakers settled into restored historic accommodations with very auspicious names: La Casa de Espiritus Allegres (House of Happy Spirits) and Alma del Sol (Soul of the Sun). Both bed and breakfasts offered rich and stimulating settings for art, La Casa with Carol Summers’ collection of Mexican folkloric art, and Alma del Sol with Summers’ international collection of heirloom textiles. Happy spirits did indeed preside over the busy week of sightseeing, workshops, conversation, food and printmaking.
Renee Covalucci coordinated a program that included two days of cultural touring to Diego Rivera’s birthplace, several pottery studios, and local cathedrals along the way to San Miguel de Allende. Since this was also the route of the 200-year-old Mexican war for independence, we got a preview of the Bicentennial Festival which will take place September 2010.
Carol Summers, Karen Kunc, and Hugo Anaya presented workshops at La Casa’s studio in which they shared their inventive techniques for creating woodblock prints. Later the group moved to Jim Hibbard’s and Hugo Anaya’s large Piramidal Grafica studio to begin work on a collaborative book and gallery exhibit. Each of 16 artists made two 11.5” square prints, drawing from the vibrant colors and natural and cultural images of Mexico, including the retablo, an iconographic rendering of a miracle experienced or disaster survived, together with a statement of thanks. The retablo format features a two-part structure, often incorporating text below the image.
The printmakers shared not only a common studio space, but inks and tools and individual inspirations from the three workshops. Mentoring and collaboration easily took place in the Piramidal Grafaica’s generous space. The studio, like La Casa de Espiritus Allegres, was built within the ruins of a 17th century silver mine hacienda, with adaptive architecture featuring stone arches, boveda curved brick ceilings, and lush gardens.
At the end of a hardworking week, printmakers celebrated with a gala dinner hosted by La Casa. Chef Angelica Anaya outdid herself with Chiles en Nogada, a delicious stuffed pepper dish dressed in goat cheese sauce and garnished with bright red pomegranate seeds – the red, white and green imitating the colors of the Mexican flag. The printmakers’ week was not only productive it was a personally rewarding time for all.
Carole Bencich, Pittsburg, PA, Mary Birkmeier, North Lothrop, MI, Loretta Blanchard, Greenback, TN, Christiane Corcelle Lippeveld, Belmont, MA, Renee Covalucci, Concord, MA, Michael Crouse, Paducah, KY, Jim Hibbard, Guanajuato, Mexico, Karen Kunc, Avoca, NE, Joyce Macrorie, Las Cruces, NM, Susan Maguire, Newton, MA, Liz Mapelli, Guanajuato, Mexico, Candy Nartonis, Boston, MA, Ky Ober, Arlington, MA, Debra Olin, Somerville, MA, Anna Marie Katherine Rado, Burton, MI, Carol Summers, Santa Cruz, CA, Kristen Struebing Beazley, Boston, MA, Lauren van Wyke, Lincoln, NE, April Vollmer, New York, NY.
SLIDE SHOW The Boston Printmakers Forum on Creativity
Boston Printmakers collaborative workshop in Mexico
Laconia Gallery, Boston MORE
La Casa de Espiritus Alegres http://www.casaspirit.com/
Piramidal Grafica Studio http://www.piramidalgrafica.com/
B&B Reviews on Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review