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Honoring Our Roots, Exploring Our Dreams
Meet Jeweler Yesenia Yadira Salgado Téllez
We at FOFA wish you and your family very happy holidays and send our thanks for your interest and generosity in supporting our work in 2016.
November 5th, 2016 marked the opening of our Fourth Young Artists' Exhibition, resulting from the contest we run in collaboration with MEAPO (Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca, Oaxaca State Museum of Folk Art): Honoring our Roots, Exploring our Dreams. The exhibit features the works of 60 winners and honorable mention recipients.
An enthusiastic crowd looked on as copies of the 88-page full color catalogue in which they are featured were awarded to each artist.

Audience at the catalogue presentation

receiving copies of the catalogue

This was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony, after which artists and their guests viewed the exhibition.

(left to right) Carlomagno Pedro Martínez, Director of MEAPO and master ceramicist of Sn. Bartolo Coyotepec; Angélica Vásquez Cruz (master ceramicist from Sta. María Atzompa). Crispina Navarro Gómez (master back strap loom weaver from Sto. Tomás Jalieza); Arden Rothstein (president of FOFA)
Artists and Guests Viewing the Exhibition
This was the third contest in which Yesenia Yadira Salgado T é llez - an outstanding jeweler -- participated and earned honorable mention. Her parents, Arturo and Marta Salgado T é llez, have been goldsmiths in Oaxaca for more than 40 years. When she was 15, Yesenia began to learn to make jewelry in her parents' workshop. At first, following her father's instructions, she made only traditional pieces. As time passed, she began creating earrings based on her own designs, and these sold well.  

Portrait of Yesenia in 2016

Yesenia and her husband Jes ú s have a 7-year-old son. "He motivates me to move forward," Yesenia says. "He knows that I am an artisan and understands that people greet his mom warmly because of the earrings she makes." Now people are starting to ask Yesenia to make pieces for designers and for important jewelry stores in Oaxaca.
Yesenia with her son

Studying abroad for a degree in jewelry design is one of Yesenia's goals. She wants to learn to use more sophisticated jewelry equipment. Her dream, she says, is to have a jewelry shop in the center of Oaxaca City.

Yesenia first learned about FOFA through the store in Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca (MEAPO, with which FOFA collaborates) where they were selling her pieces. She has participated in three FOFA competitions, winning an Honorable Mention each time.

In 2011 she created a trio in silver and turquoise: earrings, a necklace and a bracelet.

For "Celebrating Mother Earth," the 2013 FOFA-MEAPO contest, she made a pectoral of silver and multiple gemstones, which she called "natural balance."

Her stunning entry in "Honoring Our Roots, Exploring our Dreams," the theme of FOFA-MEAPO's 2016 contest, was a gold-plated duo of earrings and pendant accentuated with fresh water pearls, rubies and semi-precious stones.

The MEAPO museum and FOFA have been "a great blessing for me," Yesenia says. Through FOFA she met Steve Thompson, a folk art dealer, who helped her visit the United States to promote her work. Now she wishes FOFA would offer a photography course to help artisans sell their products. She is also hoping to find more places in the United States - - museums, galleries and shops - - where she and other artisans can sell their pieces.

Yesenia is grateful for FOFA's courses in English, computing, marketing, and the history of Oaxacan art. "They have given me a wider landscape," she says, "opening my mind, encouraging me to move forward, and to aim high."

Yesenia in 2013


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