The Development of a New Craft: Colorful Wood Carvings from Oaxaca, Mexico

Presentation and Demonstration by Saúl Aragón and Alma Arreola. Translation by Michael Chibnik.

Starting in the 1970s, artisans from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico have been selling colorful, whimsical wood carvings (alebrijes) in the global folk art market. This new, ever-changing art form is now one of the best-known Mexican crafts. Saúl Aragón and Alma Arreola from the rural community of Arrazola talk about the history of their craft, the effects of sales on their community, and the techniques they use to make alebrijes. They also demonstrate their carving and painting methods.

The event is sponsored by the UI Department of Anthropology, the UI Museum of Art and the Iowa City Public Library. Recorded April 25, 2016.

Arts, Music, and Hobbies