Toledo is Mexico’s most famous contemporary graphic artist, as well as a major contributor to Oaxaca’s social and cultural life and its environmental preservation. Born in Juchitán, Oaxaca in 1941, Francisco studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Oaxaca and graphic arts at the Centro Superior de Artes Aplicadas del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, México with Guillermo Silva Santamaria. In 1960 he moved to Paris from which he traveled throughout Europe. Toledo’s outstanding creativity has been expressed in pottery, sculpture, weaving, graphic arts, and paintings. He has had exhibitions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Belgium, France, Japan, Sweden, the United States, as well as other countries.
Returning to Mexico in 1965, Francisco started to promote and protect the arts and crafts of his native state of Oaxaca; he designed tapestries with the craftsmen of Teotitlán del Valle and encouraged a revival of natural dyes. His social and cultural concerns about his native state led to his creation and/or participation in many invaluable projects, to name a few: the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca (IAGO) in 1988 with its important art library; his involvement in founding of the Museum de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca (MACO); the Patronato Pro-Defensa y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural de Oaxaca; a library for the blind; a photographic center; the Eduardo Mata Music Library; and an outstanding art multi-media art school, the Centro de Arte San Agustín (CASA).