The owners of the new Casa Mezcal, on the Lower East Side of NYC – Ignacio Carballido and Guillermo Olguín – generously offered FOFA their welcoming and artistic mezcaleria (you must sample the mezcals!) and Oaxacan cultural center for its festive fundraiser on Tuesday, November 9th. A silent auction of outstanding examples of Oaxacan folk art and other treats accompanied delicious cocktails and botanas to make this a delightful evening.
FOFA and the Oaxacan artesanos are grateful to Ignacio and Guillermo for their kindhearted spirit as well as all of the generous support of our sponsors; Inocente Tequila, Scorpion Mezcal, Fidencio Mezcal, Del Maguey Mezcal, Ilegal Mezcal, Dos XX and Zarela Catering. We could not have succeeded in our fundraising efforts with them.
Our mission was two-fold. We brought many museum quality pieces from Oaxaca, sending the proceeds from those pieces back to the artists in Oaxaca who made them.
They are in desperate financial need to continue living and working. The remaining money will fund our upcoming young artists’ competition in Oaxaca in August, 2011. In this internationally juried contest, there will be winners in five categories for artists 17-28 years of age, as well as a best artist 14-16 years of age, who will receive scholarships to art school in Oaxaca.
There is still time to establish a $1,000 scholarship to art school in your own name for a very deserving young person. (Completely tax deductible.) You could change the course of his or her life and FOFA would help you to follow the individual’s progress.
Two vignettes illustrate what such donations can accomplish:
Jesús Canseco Zárate , a 19-year-old boy when we first met him, was shy and self effacing. Since we met him as winner of 1st prize in the category “Varios” in FOFA’s 2008 First Young Artists’ Competition, we have watched him grow into a self-confident, charming, dynamic, humorous, and tremendously talented young man. Despite having been raised in a single parent family without the village support that many young people have, he demonstrated great dedication to creating diminutive paper mache skeletons in perfect anatomical detail. He is now hanging his larger then life “Calaveras” in the halls of a museum. Jesús was selected to have a show of his work in the most prominent gallery in Oaxaca that also represents Francisco Toledo and Rudolfo Morales. He sold every piece in the 2 days. His work will be the subject of a children’s book which is part of a series sold internationally by Scholastic for Spanish/English education.
Jesús Mendoza Martínez, then a 20-year-old tapestry weaver of extraordinary talent, lost his father in a car accident just before we met him through the contest in 2008. With three younger brothers, a mother and elderly grandparents he was thrust into a position of responsibility far beyond his years. His work reflects his struggle with overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. However, through his contacts with FOFA, and the purchase of his work, he has blossomed. He used money from the sale of his contest tapestry to help his family by purchasing a washing machine for his mother. We have made a connection for him at a very important gallery in Oaxaca and he and his work will be featured in a book about Oaxacan weavers called Stories of Hope. Jesús was also the recipient of a $500 prize through the Textile Museum of Oaxaca.
YOU REALLY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!