Jesús Canseco Zárate (Environs of Oaxaca City)

At the young age of nineteen, Jesús won first prize in the category “Varios” in FOFA’s 2008 young artists’ competition with his papier mâché figure “Catrina,” that is both elegantly dressed and delightfully captures a sense of movement. Jesús has always loved art. Every space in his home was filled with his drawings as he experimented with different materials, until he discovered papier mâché some years ago.

He has dedicated himself to the Day of the Dead figure called the calaca, a typical Mexican folk art image that playfully pokes fun at the after-life. Jesús pays homage to the dead by rendering them with different gestures, shapes and colors, as well as preserving their culture and tradition — not only for Oaxacans, but for all those who see his “daughters,” or his calaveras (figures of the dead).

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The PBS Peabody award winning documentary series "Craft in America" filmed portions of two excellent 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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