THE GARCIA FAMILY (San Antonino Castillo Velasco)


José García Antonio

José creates majestic terra cotta figures inspired by the beauty of Oaxaca, and especially his wife. Some examples are mermaids exquisitely decorated (both with carving and superimposed clay) with sun, moon, stars and foliage, women bearing fish and flower pots, many dressed in regional costumes. Despite having lost his sight, Jose continues to work with his wife, Teresita Mendoza Reyna Sánchez. Their home studio is filled to the brim with unpainted terra cotta treasures, ranging from small to nearly lifesize. His works are primarily decorative, often gracing gardens in Oaxaca.



José Miguel García Mendoza (son of José and Teresita)

José, Jr. has continued his parents’ tradition in terra cotta ceramics, earning honorable mention in ceramics in FOFA’s 2008 young artists competition. His piece “Farmer Couple” was inspired by memories of his maternal grandparents who dedicated themselves to working in the fields. José represents them returning home, accompanied by their burro and dog, and emphasizes the importance and value of family.


Sara Ernestina García Mendoza (daughter of José and Teresita)

Sara takes great pride in working in clay, which she regards as an inheritance from her father, beloved master ceramicist of their pueblo. She, too, won honorable mention in ceramics in FOFA’s 2008 young artists competition with her terra cotta piece, “The Seven Regions of Oaxaca as Mermaids.” Never having seen the ocean in reality, but only in her imagination, Sara Ernestina had the intention of transporting people to this setting to see mythic mermaids in regional costume surrounded by waves.


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The PBS Peabody award winning documentary series "Craft in America" filmed portions of two excellent upcoming programs in Oaxaca, one -- "Neighbors" -- partially in collaboration with FOFA. These programs explore connections through craft between Mexico and the United States.

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Oaxacan Popular Arts in the New Millennium, Nurturing Young Artists

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