Mexican and Latin American Folk Art

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The International Museum of Art & Science introduces visitors to a variety of the colorful and powerful pieces from its collection of Mexican and Latin
American folk art.

Folk art is a vibrant industry in Mexico and Latin America. With the growth of the travel industry, crafts have become an important source of income for the country, especially as the rural population becomes economically marginalized. The relatively simple technology and low capitalization needed for craft production encourages its development as an alternative source of employment.

Folk art is about one-of-a-kind hand-made objects, produced on a relatively small scale. The objects produced are infinitely varied and reflect the creative imagination of the individual maker. While pieces may closely resemble each other, few are ever alike, as artists add their own unique touches to each piece.

Mexican and Latin American art helps us see the diverse country from the inside- in homes, in the market, in customs, traditions, and rituals. Latin America possesses a great wealth of craftsmanship that plays an important role in many communities, for their own use and for sale to tourists and collectors.

The Mexican and Latin American Folk Art gallery features pottery (including Talavera and Mata Ortiz pottery), masks, paper arts and papier-mâché, Oaxacan ceramics, Wixárika yarn paintings, textiles, and Guatemalan weavings. Although each piece is different, count on one thing: together the collection is colorful!

Image credits:
Yarn Painting: Francisco Bautista, Nearika, ca. 1984,
Alebrije (Spirit Animal): Manuel Jimenez and son, Alebrije, 1983

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