|Arte de la Vida||
February brought our 18th year together, we continue on a rewarding pickers field and established an estate buyout this past month. The Old Pueblo always seems to reward us and as the days begin to get longer/warmer, we bask in the golden Sonoran Light each evening, counting and reflecting on our blessings. Desert Dweler's is what the new generation likes to call us? "we who live in a Desert. " The Desert Life" is what I liken it to be, I don't dwell in this space, I embrace it and live it. We both can't imagine living anywhere else on this planet, other than the Sonoran Desert.
Second to my thrill of ‘the find’ is my daily dose of Instagram. I love taking photos of my recent ‘finds’ and ‘acquisitions’. Carrying the torch of both ‘hunter and gatherer’ leaves me with very little time in day to spend in the shop. This is the main reason you see very little of Señor Kevin at Arte. Señor James seems to excell at the ‘shopkeeper’ role... thank you Folk Art Gods!
Its the role of Photographer after ‘the hunt’ that gets my shop mojo going and plays a role in what drives me to find more. I’m also learning that my art aesthetic/art school past not only assist me in photography but more importantly in ‘the gathering’ of items in the shop.
I’m accumulating a plethora of wares and what many in the biz are calling ‘curating’ or ‘curated’. Maybe I’m likening those tags to a newer generation of shop owner and not fully embracing that classification, but I also want folks to realize that the goods I find are much bigger than I? I don’t mind be called curator, I’m just not ready to wear the name tag.
I like to take pictures of Flat Lay’s #flatlay of my wares and share them on my personal IG account @oldpuebloamigos. This allows me to assess and divide what stays in our collection, what hits the floors and or into storage for another day. I don’t allow followers to purchase on my personal account, but will usually give them a heads up thru private messaging what it will costs and when it hits the shop. I also frown on sharing what I pay for wares. This of course is a little “behind the scenes” as more ‘profession’ or ‘staged’ shots hit our @artedelavida IG page.
One of my most recent gripes I’m having with Vendors and I’m learning of myself... is to (publicly) dwell on what you pay for an object and then expose your profit? This is never at the forefront of what drives ‘the hunt’. If it was, I would sell a little bit of everything and have an eBay store in thousands? Not meaning to dismiss or criticize those who do, it just not what I am ? I’m a collector’ of what I sell and love it to no end. I respect it and learn its history. It’s never just an object to me, it’s a story and it’s greater than its ‘curator’ ?
Bear with me if you will. I know I’ve made promises to have a greater online shop presence numerous times. Our goal now is to sell a little bit on Etsy. More on that in the New Year.
May you all have a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season.
Thanks for reading the rants,
A Beautiful Tribute has come thru our doors...
Arnulfo Vasquez honoring his Father's Hand by recreating Salvador Vasquez's Barro Buñido Plato which graced the cover of Lenore Hoag Mulryan's seminal book "Nagual in the Garden".
In shop soon.
Like blankets of Wildflowers across the Desert, so have Estates (with collections for sale) been popping up across Southern Arizona... and like the Wildflowers in bloom, It won't last long, so the picking is in high gear and our shop will be filled to the rafters with freshly picked Vintage Items for you to take home.
Below is a collection of Flat Lay and Still Life Photos giving you a peek of what will be hitting the floor in the Coming Week. Everything from Old Talavera Pottery to Miniature Day of the Dead figures from Puebla.
(*Please call the shop if you are interested in Item(s) before heading in as it may have sold or not been unpacked yet. We can not Hold items, but will gladly quote prices and let you know of availability.)
It's that time of year again, when Winter Rains come and go and Giant White Tents begin to pop up all across town. Yes, It's Gem Show Time!...which means just over two weeks filled with dozens of Gem, Bead and Mineral Shows. We love going to just absorb all the color, bling and pageantry on display. Not much comes up from Mexico or Latin America. Just rocks and copper, mainly. Of course this also means Kevin is hitting the road more frequently as the Winter Season means 'the Hunt' is in High gear. Here are a few of the treasures in the shop (or making there way) in the coming weeks.
We carry the largest selection of Vintage Mexican Wares in all of the Southwest. We also carry one of the largest Vintage Mexican/Latin American Textiles collections as well.
If you haven't been down for Gem Show, you are missing the biggest and best. Please plan on coming for a day or two and make Arte one of your destinations. You will not find anything remotely similar at the Gem Shows.
The Nature of our Biz is to find wares ('finds'). Vintage and Antique treasures previously purchased, owned and collected by, lets say a fellow Mexican Folk Art Collector? a Museum deaccession? or even by chance,a small handful of treasures amongst a table full of dated tchotchkes at a Garage Sale. Our Shop is mainly Vintage and Antique. Unfortunately, the items we sell don't just grow on trees or sprout from the ground. They must be found or acquired. They must be discovered and brought to our shop for a new home to enjoy and be loved. Our Wares are 'good karma'; previously loved and treasured. They were made in a period no longer, a time of innocence and a time when they held very little importance or monetary value. Many Vintage pieces increase in value and because, for the most part, were made to not last the test of time. We usually label it as Ephemera which was made for present day, temporary use. We believe that the 'good karma' continues when you buy an item from our shop. So how do we obtain our inventory, mainly from Kevin hitting the Road and finding them. Driving across the Southwest, searching high, low and far between...everywhere from Big City Thrift Stores to Small Town Estate Sales.
The Road can be lonely at times, but mainly it is filled with such Natural beauty that we are able to de-stress and 'zone out' if you will. I am able to reflect, count my blessings and take time to smell the sage brush and desert mesquite.
How does one combat loneliness or solitude overload whle driving long miles? Music! it has always had an impact on my life and one of my favorites is the late, great husband and wife: Nowhere Man and A Whiskey Girl. A duo who last resided and called Bisbee, Arizona the home base before their tragic passing. This one's my personal fave:
There a times I believe I am the luckiest man alive because I get to follow my passion, Catch a 'buzz' from the 'the hunt' and hit the road. So if you ever see me in line at an Estate Sale or digging thru bins at your local Salvation Army, don't be a stranger. Sy 'hi' I won't bite, just understand i mybe a bit preoccupied, I'm on the road and my heart and head is on 'the hunt'.
Collectors of the Bright almost Primary Color spectrum, found in the Tradition Metepec Ceamic Folk Art are a passionate Bunch. We tend to fall for it's almost childlike, Circus fun. Colors that would not only fit nicely in any Mid Mod or Boho decor, but Traditional Mexican as well. The older pieces tend to fade and deteriote with age. Sun fades the aniline dyes, time tarnishes the metalic gold Paint and moisture in the air breaks down the surface. To find Vintage Pieces in Bright Colors is a blessing, as they where most likely collected in a dry, direct sunlight- free enviornment. Here at Arte, we have a rather Large Metepec Collection new to the shop floor.
As Mexican Folklore would have it, The famous story is Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo discovered a certain Modesta Fernádez de Soteno at a Market in Toluca selling Clay figures and animals, naively made and Painted. Smitten with her work. Diego later visited the workshop, gave her pointers on color and paint and as they say...the rest of the tale is history. Overnight, Metepec changed and the whole town turned from not only a utilitarian pottery industry, but a Folk Art one as well. Later Arbols would be made and the Metepec Tradition would grown into the frontrunner of the Arbol de la Vida/Tree of Life tradition in all of Mexico. Many pieces so elaborately sculpted and painted that they transend the label of 'Folk Art' and could easily be considered 'Fine Art'.
Our collection at Arte de la Vida not only focuses on the Brightly Painted pieces, but the glazed and acrylic painted ones as well. Pieces so charming they not only enhance a collection or ensemble , but define it as well.
Brrrr... Days have shortened in the Old Pueblo and long dark nights have set on the Desert. However, inside Arte de la Vida and Galeria Senita, many things have brightned. Our display window is complete. I wanted to keep it simple this year with the message of Peace thru the Arts. On full display ia the Dove of Peace and the simple Spanish spelling for 'the Arts'. I hope that everyone in the Arte family we find much Peace and Solice this Holiday Season.
As well, Galería Senita is poping with the colorful and engaging work of Linda Chapell and Suzanne B. Hodges on our Gallery Walls and Pedestals...
All of this and much, much more to to be found inside of Arte de La Vida...
Interested in items, have request or more? Contact shop directly by phone or thru the contact form/page here at the website. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and more importantly Instagram where we post daily, new items and treasures from within our shop.
This Past week we obtained a latter Alfonso Castillo Tree of Life candleholder, a Flores Arbol and a rather rare Heron Martinez Taller Acrobat Arbol from one of his 'white' periods. Prior to, a stunning large Huichol Jagaur Mask done by Luis Ruiz and a Coyotepec Clay Skeleton from Carlomagno Pedro Martinez. it was a good week in The Old Pueblo...