Lourdes Frida y María de la Luz Morales García, Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán
We always welcome the next generation of artisans to the Feria — this year, 2023, two daughters of Guadalupe García Rios, the renowned high fire ceramicist will be attending. Their family workshop, Cuera Valeriano, located in the village of Tzintzuntzan near Lake Pátzcuaro in Michoacán, continues the living tradition of creating beautiful pieces of alfarería (pottery)
Clay is abundant in the hills and many Purépecha dedicate their lives to creating both utilitarian and artistic pottery. All of the family’s creations are using the high-fire ceramic technique, fired at over 1250 degrees centigrade and lead-free. The extremely complex three-dimensional work is crafted on a non-electric wheel and fired in a gas kiln.
The matriarch, Guadalupe, has received the highest national honors. Her three daughters and one son, are also receiving many honors for their work on the national, state and local levels. Their unparalleled designs are inspired in part by pre-Hispanic Purépecha symbols and designs but also from the countryside, other aspects of their culture and, of course, nature.
The high volcanic peaks, lakes, wildlife and other environmental elements in the state of Michoacán also figure prominently in their expressions of this region. Guadalupe feels as she creates each piece, she is giving back to the earth that makes her art possible. Her deep connection with her art and nature has inspired her children as well, as they explore other dimensions with their interests not only in art, but a deepened understanding of their Purépecha culture, ecology, traditional medicine and more.
María de la Luz Morales (Luz), the eldest daughter, and Guadalupe Victoria Morales García (Victoria), the youngest daughter, will be on hand to provide information about their work. Both began working with clay as young children. At about 8 years old, they were making clay dolls and creatures.
Luz has a bachelor’s degree (licenciatura) in biology. She shares her time between her art and her many activities and has found many avenues to incorporate her art with her love of nature, science and culture. Luz has a deep connection to her Purépecha ancestry and participates in cultural events throughout Michoacan. For instance, she participates in sacred rituals such as the juego de pelota or wooden ball with fire exhibitions (uarhukua). She has also played an important role in an effort to increase awareness of an endangered species of Lake Pátzcuaro.
The achoque is a type of salamander that lives in the Lake and is in serious risk of extinction. Luz and her group created a number of campaigns to raise awareness, including a traveling art show of local artwork featuring this unusual endemic amphibian. There were even achoques featured in the designs of the big annual Semana Santa State art exhibit and competition this year
Victoria has had fewer years to compete, but began receiving awards quite young. She won first place for a drawing depicting Lake Pátzcuaro in a competition for young children. In 2016 and 2018, she won first place state awards. Like her older sister, she has found ways to incorporate her diverse interests. Victoria studied Arte y Patrimonio Cultural (art and culture) at a local indigenous university. She has studied and practiced traditional medicine, massage, and many other art forms and she accompanied her mother to Chiapas to teach artists some of their techniques and designs.
One of the goals of the Feria is to assist in continuing artistic traditions. This family gives us hope as they embrace tradition along with innovation.
Tariácuri 478, Tzintzuntzan
4341190623, 443 376 7469 WA