The campaign to announce FOFA's 5th contest for young folk artists in August, 2018 -- in collaboration with the Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca (MEAPO) - is underway. Its theme is "Mostrando la fuerza de mi pueblo" (Showing the Strength of My Community) in recognition of the special challenges Oaxacans have faced this past year. Given the prodigious talent of participating artists, we rely upon our panel of judges to make very difficult decisions.
We introduce the five esteemed individuals who have graciously agreed to volunteer as judges in our upcoming 2018 contest. Hailing from Mexico City, Oaxaca and London, each one is deeply involved with efforts to support and sustain Mexican folk art, and particularly Oaxacan folk art. As artists, curators, teachers and arts foundation administrators, they bring years of relevant experience to this endeavor. FOFA is very fortunate that such talented individuals have agreed to donate their time and travel expenses to help us nurture a rising generation of young folk artists.
María Esther Echeverría Zuno is the President of Espacio Cultural San
Jerónimo, She previously served as a founding member and Director of the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, and as General Director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Handicrafts, FONART-SEDESOL, in Mexico City. She is also an enthusiastic promoter of a new National Museum of Mexican Clothing, in development.
a has participated in numerous round tables, colloquia, forums, juries and seminars, both nationally and internationally, often presenting papers and giving lectures on popular art and the traditional handicrafts of Mexico. Since 1989, she has been a juror in the Concurso Gran Premio de Arte Popular, an event held annually at FONART in Mexico City. We welcome Mar
a, whose experience clearly has prepared her for her first year as a judge in FOFA/MEAPO's 2018 concurso.
Mariano Pineda Matus
is a well-known Oaxacan contemporary painter and graphic artist. A native of Chicapa de Castro in Juchit
n, on the coast of Oaxaca State, he has dedicated himself to teaching and painting over the course of his career. After settling in the capital city of Oaxaca, Mariano entered its renowned school of art, Bellas Artes in 1983, after which he studied graphic arts at the distinguished Taller de Artes Pl
sticas Rufino Tamayo. After completing his training there he served as an esteemed teacher of drawing and painting, and ultimately as the Director of the Taller from 2006 to 2011.
Mariano has exhibited his work extensively since 1989, in Mexico and abroad (including in the United States, Japan, Ecuador and Argentina). He continues to actively pursue his creative life as a painter and graphic artist. Mariano has participated as a judge in the 2008, 2013 and 2016 concursos.
Cecilio Sánchez is a well-regarded Mexican fine artist and retired teacher. In describing his past, Cecilio refers to the "two strands" of his life. The first strand is the art of painting. As an artist, Cecilio has focused on using natural elements such as plants or the bark of trees to make his own paper. He uses these papers as his surface to paint on. His paintings are often filled with spiritual images that reflect the artistic traditions of Mexico but also express his emotions in a personal and contemporary manner.
Teaching is the second "strand" of Cecilio's life. His activities in the
"campo de la docencia" (field of teaching) have included teaching at such institutions as Casa de la Cultura de Oaxaca, as well as Centro de Educaci
ística de Oaxaca. Cecilio was a founding member of the Rufino Tamayo Plastic Arts Workshop. His work is included in the collections of museums in Mexico, the United States and Europe. He participated as a judge for the 2013 and 2016 FOFA/MEAPO concursos.
Chloe Sayer is an independent scholar, lecturer and curator. As a specialist in the art and culture of Mexico, she has assembled ethnographic collections in Mexico and Belize for the British Museum. She is currently a Research Assistant in the Department of World Cultures at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum where, in 2015, she was the guest-curator of the exhibition
Viva Mexico! Clothing & Culture. Over the course of her career Chloe has curated numerous exhibits of Mexican folk art at such prestigious institutions as the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the British Museum in London.
Chloe is also a prodigious author of books about the art and crafts of Mexico. Her most recent book,
Mexico: Clothing and Culture, accompanied her exhibition of Mexican textiles at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2015. She has also worked on documentary films about Mexico for the BBC as well as for Channel 4. Chloe lectures extensively and leads cultural tours to Mexico. She has participated as a juror in each of the past four FOFA/MEAPO
Marta Turok Wallace is a Mexican anthropologist specializing in Mexican folk art and socio-economic development. She is the head of CENIDEART, the Research Center at the Escuela de Artesan
ías (School of Crafts) of the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) in Mexico City, and is a curator of the Ruth D. Lechuga collection of folk art at the Franz Mayer Museum (also in Mexico City).
Marta has worked in a number of Mexican federal government agencies focusing on public policy, including the Popular Cultures office and FONART. She was the founder of AMACUP, a non-profit NGO that developed products based on traditional techniques expressed in contemporary styles.
Marta has written extensively on the craft traditions of Mexic
o. She brings much experience as a juror to the 2018
concurso, as she has also been a juror in numerous Mexican craft contests over the past 40 years. Along the way she has earned a number of awards for her lifetime efforts as a champion of indigenous crafts in Mexico. Marta has also been a juror in each of the past four FOFA/MEAPO