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Antiques Dealers Join Artisans

by Gustavo Garcia Hernandez

Close the 400 artisans, artist and antiquarians form across the Guadalajara, Jalisco during the last weekend of May to exhibit and sell their pieces at the fifth annual TlaquepArte hand-crafts and antiques fair. Held in the citys enormous Convention Center, the event ha grown into one of the most important for Latin American cottage industry craftsmen. Organizers calculated that this years attendance increased by 15% over the previous festivals record numbers. Sales appeared brisk despite claims by local newspaper that export of Mexican artesanias are down by as much as 60% in some regions due to the U.S. economic slow-down.
From Junin, Peru artisans brought satchels of antique-style canvases with classic religious themes. Also from the southern nation were an array of fine textiles woven form llama wool. Among items offered at wholesale included rugs, clothing and wool hats.
Everything form brilliant emeralds mounted in 18k gold crosses to a colorful display of hand painted decorative gourds comprised Colombias contributions to the event.
Mexico boasted exhibitors from the states of Nuevo Leon, Michoacan, Chiapas, Oaxaca, state of Mexico, Mexico City, Guanajuato and of course from Jalisco.
With the strong backing form their local government, Nuevo Leon set up an impressive exhibit of works by brothers Federico and Rafael Berlin. For the past ten years, this team has been creating some very unique pieces using natural elements found in the states northern desert region. Their art incorporates eagle feathers, cactus and nopales.
Other states, such as Oaxaca, mounted booths with not only hand created items, but gastronomical delights as well. Visitors to TlaquepArte 2001 were treated to hand-dipped ice cream and some deliciously exotic plates, including fried grasshoppers.
Jalisco, the events host, had a large presence. Among some of the items offered included pottery from Tlaquepaque and Tonala, paper maché objects and rustic furniture. Of Course, one cant mention Jalisco with out thinking of tequila, and Sergio Velazcos stand, La Media Luna, rose to the occasion with an array of artfully created ceramic bottles of the fiery liquid. The group KUPI, under the direction of Lizeth Dueñas, put together a display from the regions northern indigenous Huichol population. Included in the selection were some excellent examples of bead work.
A big attraction for collectors attending TlaquepArte 2001 this year was the participation of nearly 50 antiques dealers form all corners of the nation. The Primer Salon de Antigüedades was a perfect compliment the high quality hand created arts being offered to wholesalers and retailers alike. A benefit auction to help raise funds for disabled children drew an enormous crowd of eager registrants. Included among the 140 lots were ivory crosses, cut crystal, religious artifacts, furniture and vintage pottery.
El AntiQuario Magazine applauds the events visionary thinkers and organizers, Carlos Maytorena, and Armando Boyzo, for being the first to coordinate a show that includes the Americas finest hand-created arts and antiques. We look forward to the continued expansion of this ground-breaking event. For more information, visit.