This is a story about friendship and falling in love with Heron Martinez Mendoza's work.
A few months back while scrolling the Internet for Mexican Folk Art. I came across an Auction being held in the state of Maine. I thought to myself "Of all the places Heron Martinez's work travels, this sure did seem like an odd placement?" Foremost odd was because of the size of the largest Heron piece and that there was more than just one. I contacted the Auctioneer in hopes they could give me more information and if they had a shipper/freighter they could recommend. I asked for more photos and began to realize there was a very small chance I was going to be able to invest in these pieces for resale. After a day or two I began to think: "Who do I know in New England that can help me out" (FYI: I went to Art College in New Bedford, MA). Well after a few minutes I remembered I had a childhood friend who is an Art Restorer in Boston. "She's going to know lots of folks..." I said to myself. I called her promptly, She was great, sympathetic and even offered to store piece at her Studio until I could work out getting pieces to Arizona.
Giant Heron Martinez Mendoza Arbol.
Stars slid off (not lost or broken) in moving truck. Friends had to pull over on the road home, fearing the worst. Yikes!!!
Of course, I still had to win the pieces first and was a tad bit confident that the work was going to be obtained by myself. The problem was getting the pieces to Arizona. After much consideration, I pulled out auction a couple of days before the end and thanked my friend for her help. I then planted the seed with my New England friend, encouraging her to buy it herself and that it was a smart Art Investment. She was not familiar with Heron Martinez by name, but was rapidly learning online at my friends website: www.heronmartinez .com. Lee Price Arellano is the foremost expert on Heron and her passion and love for his work is evident at her website, devoted to all things Heron Martinez Mendoza.
Well, sure enough my friend decided on bidding; Winning two of the five pieces up for Auction. I was ecstatic that my friend was going to be the proud owners of Heron Martinez Folk Art... and may I add: "What glorious first piece(s) to own? Holy Cow!"
Just tickled to death I turned a friend onto our favorite Mexican Folk Artist and the fact it's going to them means it all the better.
Days later a call from my friend with a little bit of 'buyers remorse' and "how the heck are we going to transport this piece back to her studio in Boston." With encouragement, advice and a determined young couple (who btw are both involved in the Fine Arts business,.
They rented a moving trunk and set out for Maine on pick up day. All day long I thought of them and what if's began to creep in. Finaly I received a phone call from Boston that night. The Piece was now in its new home and the original owners background and tale of move was a fascinating plus to learn! First my friends had to move the big piece down a spiral staircase and into the truck. That alone would have made me pass out watching! Sweating bullets would have been an understatement, if I had to partake.
It turns out that the story of these Herons began when two US travelers went to Mexico in the early 80's. While in Southern Mexico, they kept seeing these pieces of Folk Art, that they felt where incredible. Along the way Asking Shop Owners..."who made this?" after going from store to store they finally obtained the Location of Heron's studio and had to travel to Puebla to meet the man behind the work. They purchased these two pieces from his taller direct. The work was then shipped from Mexico to Maine in a crate box full of sawdust and wood chips. It did arrive broken and pieces where later glued and or repaired. They are in great hands, I know my friend will be able to fix both and bring back to glory.
Have a look at the photos below...what a way to start a collection and love affair with the great Heron Martinez Mendoza?
Smaller of the two pieces obtained from Auction:
The arbol in moving truck:
Including Papago Baskets, San Jose Tiles and Alfonso Castillo Folk Art! We Hope your Fourth was Blessed with Family and Loved Ones. Here in Arizona and in particular, Tucson, we had many Fireworks Displays in the City and surrounding communities Canceled due to the extremely dry Desert and recent Big Horn Fire that has devastated well over 118,000 acres of Saguaros, Pines and Nature along our Mountain ranges to the North of the Old Pueblo. It's been burning for a Month now. Extremely sad. So please stay safe out there folks, do not leave fires unattended, do not throw lit cigarettes out your car window or shoot off Fireworks or Gun target shooting in Nature please! Here at the Arte, we are still open 11-4, Thursday thru Saturdays and by appointment all other times. Mask wearing is required! We will try to handle the rest. Hand Sanitizer provided as well.
Galería Senita, our Art Gallery inside of Arte de la Vida has ended its run. Over 5 years of Operation, the Gallery hosted many Tucson, Arizona, National and International Talents on our Gallery Walls and Pedestals. We would like to thank all the Artists, Patrons, and Charities we worked with over the Years. Galería Senita along with generous donations from Local Businesses and Patrons raised over $10,800.00 for Local Charities during its run. It was always an act of love for Local Art, Artists and Tucson. Honestly, we don't like to say never again, so In the meantime, it will act as another Showroom for Arte de La Vida. Thank You Tucson!
This morning was the release of the final string attached to our Annual Guatemalan Trip. We received our ticket refund for from Airline. A wave of regret hit us both and sadness for the Artisans and People of Guatemala who solely rely on tourism and trade from abroad to survive. Every year we buy from one family in Chichicastenango. We usualy place order before our arrival. Our goal is to buy from them again next month even though we won't be there to hug them in person. So today I share with you some of the colors we have captured on past trips.
We will keep you all informed about pending Buy in coming months and share with customers first, via our Email list. You can sign up on our contact page or link at bottom of each page here at the website.
Stay Strong everyone...
A fight song is within us all to keep a good thing going-- and because of the support we have received from online purchases over the past two weeks, we must play on! More items being added this week and next. Here's are few that rang a tune... Stay strong everyone!
Jose Benitez Sanchez Yarn Painting
A great piece by the late maestro of Huichol Art, José Benitez Sánchez. Painting measures 23-1/2” squared. In good condition. Painting was poorly framed under glass and caused yarn/wax on edges to shift. Find it on our Huichol page.
DeGrazia Glaze Bowl
Ted DeGrazia is quite the legend and iconic figure here in Tucson. His original works are highly desired and collected. Most rare can be the pottery he produced with his wife in the 1950's. This small bowl is signed and painted with a beautiful turquoise colored glaze on brown clay wash in the firing. Bowl measures 3-1/4" diameter and 2-1/2" tall. In excellent vintage condition.
Look for this little gem in Pottery.
Santiago Bird Huipil
Beautiful rare pink and burgundy striped Huipil with embroidered bird collar. From the Atitlán lakeside town of Santiago. Home to the infamous Maximón. Top was cropped at one time, most likely to accommodate a woman's Mayan attire. Would make a perfect beach or poolside top over swimsuit, or trim the backside and turn it into a cutoff top? Regardless, it's still a beaut. Front side is 19" long and back side is 29"-33" long. Open sides. Neck is 3" long and 8" wide. In Very good used condition.
Look for this unique find on our Clothing page.
Very expressive La Unión carvings from Oaxaca, Vintage couple measures approximate 8" tall. Cane and shoulder bag removable. Excellent vintage condition, with some dye fading. Available in Wood.