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The Magic of Mexican Artistry Featured at Superstition Mountain Museum Mar. 13-15

Today, Mexican artisans occupy a place amongst some of the finest in the world. These individuals create unique pottery that is considered to be among the world’s best, weave beautiful tapestries utilizing traditional materials and natural dyes, meticulously carve and paint intricate wooden fantasy animals, and fashion unique Taxco silver jewelry.

Guardians of age-old folk traditions passed down from generation to generation, these devoted indigenous artisans, some of them tucked away in remote villages of Mexico, often dedicate days or weeks to creating one exquisitely-crafted piece.

A hugely popular three-day Mexican Artistry event, punctuated by live demonstrations and free workshops, will again be hosted by the Superstition Mountain Museum this year on March 13-15, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. On site will be the artisans themselves demonstrating their unique pottery-making, painting and firing skills that result in the superb pottery created in Mata Ortiz today, the carving and painting techniques resulting in the exquisite whimsical animals from Oaxaca, and the centuries-old dyeing and weaving techniques used in traditional Zapotec weaving. Admittance and parking are free.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., demonstrations of the hand-formed and hand-painted pottery being fired in pits will be performed on the museum grounds by some of the pre-eminent of this new generation of craftsmen including acclaimed husband and wife potter team, Carlos Carillo and Lila Silveira from Mata Ortiz. Onlookers will be able to observe, and converse with the artists as they work. Finished works will be on display and for sale.

Oaxaca, Mexico, artists are famous for practicing the folk art tradition of carving detailed whimsical animals and painting them in patterns and bright colors. One of the most accomplished of these artists is Julia Fuentes, a graduate of the prestigious Bellas Artes of Oaxaca, who will be demonstrating her work on site during the event. Her son, Janatan Melchor Fuentes, will be accompanying her and will conduct a free “hands-on,” family wood painting workshop at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 15.

Master weaver Porfirio Gutierrez of Oaxaca, Mexico, part of a Zapotec weaving family with generations of artisans before him, will also be at the museum demonstrating his craft and explaining the benefits of weaving textiles in the traditional Zapotec way using natural dyes from insects, plants and minerals native to Mexico. These exquisite weavings are made from wool from sheep the family raises and incorporate designs that go back thousands of years. He will conduct free natural dyeing and weaving workshops on Friday and Saturday afternoons at 12:30 p.m.

Gorgeous and unique Taxco silver jewelry, made with pieces of the Mata Ortiz pottery and native stones, will also be on display and for sale.

For more information, go to www.superstitionmountainmuseum.org or call (480)983-4888. The museum on its 15-acre site located at 4087 N. Apache Trail, is loaded with historical buildings and artifacts. It is run by the non-profit Superstition Mountain Historical Society and is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

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