Awards Event and
Two Exhibits Celebrate Winners of
“Showing the Strength of my People,” FOFA's fifth young artists competition
Many more artists 18 and younger entered this competition,
and were awarded top prizes, than in past years
FOFA’s fifth competition (or “concurso”) for young Oaxacan folk artists, Showing the Strength of my People, was coordinated throughout 2018 by a team of FOFA volunteers in the U.S. in conjunction with the staff of the Oaxaca State Folk Art Museum (Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca, MEAPO). “This competition proved to be a remarkable demonstration of the breadth of talent among today’s young Oaxacan folk artists – and also reflects the positive impact of FOFA’s 11-year commitment to supporting the region’s rich cultural traditions,” said Arden Aibel Rothstein, founder and president of FOFA. As an example, Showing the Strength of My People garnered more entries than any of FOFA’s previous four competitions, including many first-time teenage (and some younger) participants.
“We launched the concursos 11 years ago to encourage young artesanos to follow their long-standing family folk art traditions, at a time when the future of these traditions was precarious,” continued Dr. Rothstein. “It was very heartening to see so many new faces among the 2018 entrants, including some very young people who won top prizes in their categories.”
August 17, 2018 Awards Ceremony
Over 130 artists aged 30 and younger entered their works in FOFA’s 2018 competition, and a total of 66 winners were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes and honorable mentions in the following seven categories: ceramics, shuttle loom woven rugs, textiles (including hand-loomed clothing and accessories), woodcarving, decorative painting of woodcarving, “other modalities” (including sculptures crafted from cornhusks, jewelry, bone carving and more), and the “creative youth” category, which honors artists 16 years and younger. Top 2018 winners included a 13-year-old who won 2nd prize for “other modalities”; two 17-year-olds who won the 2nd and 3rd prizes in decorative wood carving; a 17-year-old who won the 2nd prize in woven rugs; a 16-year-old who won the 3rd prize in ceramics; and a 15-year-old who won the 1st prize in the “creative youth” category. For more information about all the winners, please refer to the Showing the Strength of My People exhibition catalog here.
On August 17, 2018, at a ceremony held at the Oaxaca State Museum of Folk Art (MEAPO), FOFA’s board of directors along with MEAPO director Carlomagno Pedro Martínez announced each of the 66 winners and presented them with awards and cash prizes as their proud families looked on. All 132 young people who submitted their works were invited to attend this event, along with their families. Dr. Rothstein and Maestro Pedro Martinez expressed appreciation to all the artists for their persistence and creativity, and thanked their families and mentor artists for supporting them. Overall, the youngest award recipient was 10 and the oldest were 30 years of age.
December 8, 2018 - March 8, 2019
Four months later, on December 8, an exhibit opened at the Oaxaca State Folk Art Museum (MEAPO) showcasing the 66 winning pieces from the Showing the Strength of My People competition. Over two hundred people attended the festive opening event, including the winning artists and their families, two members of FOFA’s Board of Directors – President Arden Aibel Rothstein and Treasurer Deborah Huntington, prominent Oaxacan master artists ("maestros"), a delegation from Los Amigos del Arte Popular (LADAP) which helped fund the FOFA catalog, government officials, and the media. At this event, winners were presented with the four-color exhibition catalog (available for purchase here) as a commemoration of their achievement and to assist in their marketing efforts. The MEAPO exhibit ran from December 8, 2018 to March 8, 2019, and was viewed by hundreds of foreign and domestic visitors.
Centro Cultural San Pablo Exhibit Featuring 1st, 2nd & 3rd Prize Winning Pieces
March 15 – May 17, 2019
Following the three-month exhibit of the 66 winning artworks at the Oaxaca State Folk Art Museum in San Bartolo Coyotepec, an exhibit featuring the nineteen 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize-winning pieces opened in Oaxaca City on March 15, 2019 at the Centro Cultural San Pablo, Oaxaca’s premier venue dedicated to arts, education and culture. The two-month exhibit ran until May 17, providing valuable added exposure for the young artists whose pieces were on display, as well as for the commitment of FOFA and its partner organizations to preserving Oaxacan folk art traditions. Originally a convent dating back to the 17th century, the Centro Cultural San Pablo was renovated and created to be a gathering space for exhibitions, events and classes focusing on Oaxaca’s rich culture and history. It is a project of the Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation.
FOFA Exhibition “Honoring our Roots, Exploring our Dreams”
July 15, 2017-January 15, 2018
Salas Capitulares gallery, Centro Cultural San Pablo, Oaxaca Centro
Sixty outstanding examples of folk art — by winners and recipients of honorable mention in FOFA’s 2016 juried competition for young artists — are on view in the center of Oaxaca, in the Salas Capitulares gallery of the Centro Cultural San Pablo.
Exhibition entitled "Nine Footprints" A Look at Mictlán"
Sixteen young artists – winners and recipients of honorable mention in FOFA-MEAPO’s 2016 contest for young artists —who participated in a 13-week cultural history course (January-March, 2017) sponsored by FOFA – and thanks to a grant by Los Amigos del Arte Popular — collaborated to generate their own exhibition. They created works interpreting an ancient Mexican legend. Souls of deceased people made a long, arduous journey requiring that they overcome nine obstacles to get to Mictlantecutli and Mictlancihua (guardians of the Underworld); these guardians send souls to eternal rest in one of the four underworld houses — depending on each individual’s type of death. This exhibit originally appeared in Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca (MEAPO) [Oaxaca State Museum of Folk Art] in San Bartolo Coyotepec from November, 2016-June, 2017.
FOFA’s 10th Anniversary Celebration
November 10-11, 2018, Brooklyn, New York
FOFA celebrated its 10th anniversary with 100 supporters who enjoyed the live marimba performance, mezcal tasting, visiting Oaxacan jewelry, collage and diorama artist—Francisco Hernandez Perez—and outstanding examples of Oaxacan folk art for sale. Proceeds will go to a fifth contest for young artists to take place in summer, 2018.
Exhibition Inauguration Ceremony
An inauguration ceremony took place on July 15, 2017, attended by many of the exhibiting artists and their families, as well folk art enthusiasts.
This exhibit originally appeared in Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca (MEAPO) [Oaxaca State Museum of Folk Art] in San Bartolo Coyotepec from November, 2016-June, 2017.
Folk Art Market in Oaxaca
Centro Cultural San Pablo, Oaxaca Centro
July 21st, 22nd and 23rD • October 27th, 28th and 29th • 10 am-6 pm
Young folk artists whose winning works are displayed in the FOFA exhibition at Centro Cultural San Pablo have been offered the opportunity to sell other pieces in a folk art market on the plaza of San Pablo. They have completed a preparatory course on marketing.