Oaxaca State Museum of Folk Art (Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca, MEAPO)
The Oaxaca State Museum of Popular Art (Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca, MEAPO) in the pueblo of San Bartolo Coyotepec was inaugurated in 2004 with Carlomagno Pedro Martínez as its director, a post he continues to hold today. Since 2008 Carlomagno and his staff at MEAPO have been major collaborators with FOFA. Together they have carried out contests for young artists and exhibitions and catalogues that result from these contests.
A renowned ceramicist himself, Carlomagno’s pride in his personal and artistic heritage fueled his commitment to enhancing the visibility of work by his fellow Oaxacan artesanos — estimated to be as many as 20,000. Until the 1990s they did not have a unified site where visitors could see their work. Not only had the art not been formally displayed but, when shown, pieces were often presented anonymously. In 1996 Carlomagno changed that, gaining the support of his village government to open the first municipal museum – a smaller version of MEAPO. Each piece of folk art on display is signed by its creator.
Examples of a wide spectrum of crafts can be viewed here in the museum’s three galleries built around a courtyard. One gallery is permanently devoted to black ceramics for which San Bartolo Coyotepec is known. The others have temporary exhibitions devoted to other craft traditions.