Category Archives: art
On Saturday we took a much needed trip to the National Mall to see various new exhibits at some of the museums. The exhibit I wanted to go see most was “Huichol – art on wheels.”
Before I explain what that is, first let me explain what or rather who the Huichol are. The Huichol are indigenous people from western central Mexico, “living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range in the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Durango.” [Wikipedia] Though they’re commonly known as “Huichol”, they call themselves “Wixáritari” which means “the people” in their language.
My interest in the Huichol people first started a few years ago when Carlos dedicated an adorable song to me by a music group called Huichol Musical. (He does this often – serenades me with songs from YouTube. Carlos will find a video then say, “This song is for you” before playing it at full blast. Not exactly the same as finding a mariachi ensemble outside one’s window, but such is modern romance.)
As I researched more I discovered Huichol art which quickly became one of my favorites. I love colorful folk art and Huichol art is beautiful beyond words.
So, when I heard that there was an entire vehicle covered in Huichol art, (a Volkswagen Beetle to be exact), at the National Museum of the American Indian, I knew I had to check it out. I’m not even going to apologize for the dozen photos I’m about to bombard you with because it was that chévere. (In between the photos I’ll share some facts I learned about the exhibit from a pamphlet provided by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.)
This piece of art is called “Vochol.” The word “Vochol” is a combination of “vocho” (slang for Volkswagen Beetle in Mexico) and “Huichol.”
The Huichol are known for their colorful beadwork and fiber arts.
Guess how many glass seed beads cover this vehicle, (including interior details!) … If you said 2,277,000 then you are correct. (That’s more than 2 million for those of you who aren’t good with numbers like me.)
The beads alone weigh almost 200 lbs. and are held on with 35 lbs. of resin.
It took eight Wixáritari artists from two families more than 9,000 hours to create this work of art.
The names of the families who created The Vochol: The Bautistas from Jalisco and the Ortiz from Nayarit, Mexico.
The Vochol features a lot of symbolism. Can you spot a two-headed eagle? A snake? Maize? A canoe?
The Vochol is a collaboration between the Association of Friends of the Museo de Arte Popular, the Museo de Arte Popular, and the state governments of Nayarit and Jalisco.
The Vochol will only be on display in DC until May 6th – so if you want to see it in person, go now.
The phrases on the front fenders say “Two hundred years of independence” and “One hundred years since the Mexican Revolution in Wixáritari.
After an international tour, The Vochol will be auctioned off with proceeds going towards promoting the work of native Mexican artists.
Want to learn more? Links:
Did your novio forget your flowers? (Or in my case, did you wake up too late to sneak a note into your macho’s lunch box?) … No te preocupes! Here is a Valentine’s Day gift from Latinaish.com that all of you procrastinators are free to re-gift. Put them on your valentine’s Facebook wall, E-mail them to friends, Pin them to Pinterest, or print them to hang up on the door for when the kids get home from school. The posibilidades are endless. Feliz Día de San Valentín!
Update: Here’s an extra one added by request.
Thanks to Kate Pullen for making the blank conversation heart clipart available for use.
Recientemente mis padres fueron en un viaje a las Islas Gran Caimán. Estoy empezando a pensar que mi madre es mucho como yo, (o mejor dicho que yo soy mucho como ella, porque llegó ella primero.)
Primero, descubrimos que las dos nos encanta tomar fotos de los perros callejeros.
Ahora mi madre me mostró fotos que sacó ella de un árbol cubierto de chanclas.
Bueno, no tengo una foto semejante en mi colección, pero sin duda yo hubiera tomado fotos si encontraba un árbol así en mis viajes.
(Gracias a mi madre por permitirme compartir sus fotos aquí! Si quieres saber la historia del árbol, visita UnCommonCaribbean.com.)
Recently my parents went on a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands. I’m beginning to think my mother is a lot like me, (or actually, that I’m much like her, since she came first.)
First, we discovered that we both love taking photos of street dogs.
Now my mother has showed me photos she took of a tree covered with flip-flops.
Well, I don’t have a similar photo in my collection, but certainly I would have taken photos if I had encountered a tree like that in my travels.
(Thanks to my mother for letting me share her photos here! If you want know the history of the tree, visit UnCommonCaribbean.com.)
Feliz Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Happy Virgin de Guadalupe Day.
In celebration, I created two desktop wallpapers of la Virgencita to choose from. They are completely free to download.
Select the wallpaper you like and click to enlarge.
Right click and select “Set as Desktop Background.
When you’re done, you can check out my post about the Virgin of Guadalupe from last year or go to the website of the Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe in Mexico to send a prayer to the Virgen de Guadalupe. All petitions sent through the website will be placed at the feet de Nuestra Señora in the temple that she asked to be built on Tepeyac. At mass each morning, the petitions are prayed for by clergy.
Que la Virgen morena les cuide, hermanos.
Book description: KUSIKIY A CHILD FROM TAQUILE, PERU, by author and illustrator Mercedes Cecilia is a unique story that draws us into the kaleidoscopic and mysterious world of a Peruvian child. KUSIKIY lives in The Andes Mountains of Peru in a small island in Lake Titikaka. In this wise and peaceful community Kusikiy’s father cultivates potatoes and Quinoa; his mother, like her mother and grandmother, weaves intricate traditional designs into her textiles keeping a record of important events. Children will identify with Kusikiy’s love for family and his concerns for the effects of climate changes on Mother Earth, as well as with his desire to be of help to his town. This is a book that gives parents and educators a visual and appealing way to engage children in a dialogue about traditional cultures, the meaning of community, sustainability and caring for our environment.
“Taquile is a peaceful island. It is so quiet that you can hear the potatoes growing under the eath and the voices of mothers whispering Quechua songs to the babies on their backs.” – Kusikiy by Mercedes Cecilia
That is just a taste of the beautiful language found in this book, and here is a sample of the equally beautiful art, also created by the author.
If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, the author is offering something special to readers of Latinaish.com. From now until December 20th, 2011, you can E-mail the author directly and let her know you’re a reader of Latiniash.com for free shipping and environmentally friendly gift wrapping.
For more information on the book and author, visit Kusikiy.com.
Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to Latinaish.com for review. All opinions are my own.
The visit to La Casa Blanca was bien chivo although President Obama wasn’t around to welcome me as I had hoped. I didn’t tweet or blog until now because between waking at 4 a.m. for the White House tour and preparing for our trip to Miami, I’m just super cansada.
I wish I had a lot of photos to show you, but on White House tours, no cameras are allowed inside. And honestly, although it’s fun to say, “I’ve been to the White House” – the section they allow you into is really more of a museum than actual living quarters for the family. (I didn’t even so much as see “Bo” – the Obama family’s dog!)
When you first walk in there are photos of the Obama family on the walls of the foyer. The very first photo prominently displayed, was President Obama with mariachi. I instinctively reached for my non-existent camera before remembering – no cameras allowed so I hadn’t brought it. I did find the photo on the internet though so you can see.
(By the way, I found this photo on a website called Obama Looks Bored, which features photos of President Obama looking bored. Love it.)
There were a lot of fancy furnishings, three immense crystal chandeliers that weigh 1200 pounds each. Each chandelier takes 72 hours to clean. (And that is the extent of historical tour guide type data I retained.)
There are various rooms named for colors – The Blue Room, The Red Room (which looked hot pink to me for some reason – but I loved it), The Green Room, etc.
In the Green Room a painting caught my eye and I wanted to remember the artist so I could look it up later. Without a pen and paper I had to rely on my memory, which isn’t so good. To remember things, I usually have to play word games with myself. So, to remember the artist, Jacob Lawrence, I said to myself, “Jacob Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence… how can I remember his name? … Oh! Jacob Have I Loved!”
Carlos immediately turned around, “Whose Jacob?”
“The artist of that painting,” I said.
“No, the other Jacob you loved,” he said narrowing his eyes.
He didn’t believe me for several minutes that ‘Jacob Have I Loved’ is the name of a book.
(The painting turned out to be ‘The Builders’ by Jacob Lawrence, if you want to read more about it.)
Once we were outside, we were allowed to take photos, so I took a few with my cell phone camera.
Making real, authentic papel picado takes patience and dexterity. If you want to make a quick, fun mini-version with the niños, here’s a fun craft to do.
Mini Faux Papel Picado
What you need:
• colored construction paper
• clear tape
• floss, string or yarn
• an imagination
Cut out small rectangles of colored construction paper, equal in size.
Fold the paper in quarters. (You can fold it more or less – whatever you like.)
Cut little snips and shapes out of the paper at different angles. (Remember making paper snowflakes as a child? Same technique.) … Also, it looks best if you scallop the edges in some way.
Repeat this process with rectangles of different colors. When finished, line them up on the table and tape them to a piece of floss, string or yarn before hanging up.
My cumple is at the end of the month, but Carlos wanted to give me his gift un poco temprano.
This is Carlos’s first and only tattoo… y lo amo!
Suegra still doesn’t know about it. When she finds out, she will probably threaten to disown him, (otra vez.) She believes tattoos are a pecado and that only “mala gente” like pandilleros get them. When Carlos told me this I said, “Wait, doesn’t your older brother have tattoos?”
“Yeah,” Carlos said, “but when my mother found out, she slapped him.”
So Carlos’s birthday present to me? A permanent reminder of his love, and the promise of mucho drama to blog about in the coming days.
Because we went to try Tortilla Café recently, we also had a chance to walk around Eastern Market in Southeast D.C. which is right across the street.
Eastern market has a little of everything – mostly food and handicrafts. It’s an excellent place for people watching, photography, spending an afternoon, and shopping, of course. The mix of scents; sliced apples to sample, fresh popped kettle corn, spicy incense, and a dozen other things, reminded me of the market in El Salvador. You could also hear a mix of languages, music, and a man selling newspapers on the corner.
There is a building that houses the indoor market which is mostly butchers/meat counters, fresh produce, baked goods and a few other things mixed in. (This is also where the restrooms are.) At one end of the indoor market there is plenty of seating if you want to eat something you’ve purchased right there, while listening to live music.
The market spills out onto 7th Street which is closed to traffic. Vendors line the sidewalks under canopies selling everything from candles, handmade toys, scarves, jewelry, paintings, and wind chimes, to apples, salsa, handbags, hats, antique furniture and more. Across the street in a fenced lot are even more vendors.
Peruvian vendors were my favorite, of course.
While we were walking around, I kept seeing this little dog. She was so adorable and I wanted to take her photo but I didn’t want the owners to see me do so. Since they never looked away from my general direction, I decided I wanted the photo badly enough to ask them.
“Is that a Chihuahua mixed with Dachshund?” I asked.
“That’s exactly what she is! She’s a Chiweenie!” she said.
I can’t think of a sweeter mix than that. I asked the owner if I could take the dog’s photo and she very willingly agreed.
Tips If You Go:
• Bring cash. There’s an ATM in the indoor market, but if it’s not your bank, you’ll pay a fee.
• Bring toilet paper. The women’s bathroom didn’t have any. I made Carlos steal me a roll from the men’s.
• Bring your appetite. There’s plenty to eat, including free samples.
• Bring the kids. This market is very family friendly.
For directions, hours of operation and more, visit EasternMarket-DC.org.