Alberto Sánchez Martínez



Alberto Sánchez Martínez in 2016 Contest


“I don’t need to win,” Alberto Sánchez Martínez says, “to value the competition.” In fact, Honorable Mentions in Textiles, which Alberto has received in all four FOFA young artist competitions – 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016 — have greatly enhanced his confidence and career. “The opportunity to share my art with people, observe their reactions and hear their praise” goes a long way.




A student of engineering, Alberto treasures the relationship between art and science; between humans, flora and fauna. His 2016 entry Connections shows Zapotec symbols found in the ruins of Mitla, rising from the sea into the great beyond.



Alberto in his studio in 2013


Ricaaza-Lu/I Love You (in Zapotec)


To make good tapetes (shuttle loom woven rugs) Alberto believes, one must work with love. This rose, his entry from 2008, conveys the artist’s belief that it is better to see a flower on a carpet than to cut and thus destroy a living thing.



Alberto in 2011 at his loom


Human Anger

Alberto’s 2011 tapete features an angry dragon. Anger, when harnessed, motivates a person to improve his skills and refine his art, as when Alberto experiments with different ways of combining threads to create greater volume and achieve more subtle colors.



Alberto in 2013 examining wool dyed with natural substances


Between the Waves of Winds


Alberto creates unusual textures by incorporating clumps of pilled wool usually discarded during the weaving process. His 2013 piece, with layers of earth, sea and sky, is modeled on an oil painting. He hopes that his perspective on nature’s beauty will stimulate viewers to care for the natural world.


Alberto at a FOFA Workshop


FOFA’s workshops, offered to winners and recipients of honorable mention in each contest, have been wonderful opportunities for Alberto. He especially values a workshop on “museografia” where he learned how to mount and display his work in a gallery. Being featured in FOFA’s catalogues stimulates appreciation; a collector who saw his weaving in the 2013 exhibition catalogue now owns two of his pieces.

Experiences like these and FOFA’s promotion of his work, Alberto says, “motivate me to continue creating and to follow my passion.” Alberto registered for classes in weaving techniques in Oaxaca’s Textile Museum. There his talent was recognized as well, and he was invited to teach by the Director.

Just ahead is Alberto’s biggest opportunity to date, one brought to his attention by contacts at the Textile Museum. He’s off to France for six months to study textile arts. His scholarship comes from el Programa de Intercambio Internacional del las Artes Basilea-Mulhouse-Friburgo Atelier Mondial. Thanks to this grant, he will study French tapestry techniques along with artists from several different countries. Alberto is especially eager to learn about textile printing. Perhaps he was chosen, Alberto says, because he is an innovative artist who values the traditional techniques of his indigenous community.


Buen viaje, Alberto!

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Oaxacan Popular Arts in the New Millennium, Nurturing Young Artists

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