For three weeks in early 2014, I travelled to Mexico to study printmaking with Maestro Enrique Flores, experiment with different kinds of art making, and to make new photographs that capture the color and energy (not to mention the sun!) of this beautifully diverse country. This is the third post of a series from that trip.
After Mexico City (pop. 8.8 million), San Pablo Huitzo, Oaxaca, certainly offered a markedly different experience. The town lies northwest of Oaxaca City, in the central valleys of the state. There are fields of corn, strawberries and flowers, and quarries spread along both sides of the two-lane highway. Most of the 118,000 residents live in the three districts on the west side. That’s where Maestro Enrique Flores and Manuel Bernal, his extremely talented nephew, were born and continue to live. It’s where they help artists realize their own creative visions at Enrique’s beautiful printmaking studio. It’s where their big-hearted family embraced me into the fold.
I arrived at the tail-end of the town’s fiesta, honoring its patron saint, San Pablo. At night, the plaza came alive with all the neighbors visiting with each other amidst the food stalls, young couples sneaking romance in the shadows, music thumping from carnival rides and the local band. In the brightness of day, the streets lay still, only the sound of an occasional mototaxi vrooming by.
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