Wednesday, January 14, 2009
San Miguel d'allende, Mexico, is an extraordinary place designated as a "World Heritage" historical place by UNESCO. Historically and architecturally, it is a world treasure. During the colonial period, it was the heart of New Spain, a "model of extraordinary human settlement" and was the center of the Mexican Independence movement" according to UNESCO. It is also the center of the Mexican Independence movement and a "crucible" for the mixing of cultures. Founded in 1555, it possesses one of the most important representatives of 18th-century architecture. According to Lopez Morales, "Its buildings are a testament to the peak of the aesthetic development of novo-Hispanic architecture during the 18th century....retaining its authenticity and the integrity of its buildings, as well as the proportions of composition and color."
As a Spanish Colonial town with centuries-old preserved architecture, narrow, cobbled streets and a bustling art community, it is vibrant and alive with art and shops. Everywhere you turn, the brilliant colors and textures worn by the ages are amazing. The owner of the Casa Calderoni is a wonderful artist. We visited our hostess' art studio yesterday in a converted garment factory. It was fabulous! incorporating all the old Spanish iron work, leaving forging furnaces and factory features intact as part of the "decor"; stunning walls painted by time, preserved without taint. Huge windows flooding high-ceilinged factory rooms with warm orange hues reknowned in Mexico.
There are over 40 artists in the "Arts Fabrica". Merry Calderoni, our hostess at the casacalderoni.com, has taken the textures and colors and incorporated them into the art even mixing and crushing the old stone rocks from the buildings into her paint to give it body and texture. Recently she went to the newly-discovered Aztec pyramid near the city and was allowed to study with the archaeologists the fragile Aztec paintings. She has tried to duplicate the subtle blend of orange, red, and purple pigments and themes into her work, thus preserving and "honoring" their work.