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Art in Zihuatanejo - Galeria Ixchel Maya
"For the past decade, Mr. Macias has been working on his ongoing sculpture series, "Goddesses and Women of Mexico."
The name "Zihuatanejo" is derived from the Nahuatl "Cihuatlan" which means, Land of the Women. For many centuries Zihuatanejo was an important matriarchal center in Mexico. In keeping with this tradition, Galeria Ixchel Maya on Nicolas Bravo is host to a permanent collection of life sized, hard carved wood sculptures of some of Mexico's most prominent women. They are artists, poets, revolutionary heroines, philanthropists and important Aztec and Mayan goddesses. All are the work of renowned artist, Arq. Arturo Macias.
Mr. Arturo Macias is a celebrated artist with a vast list of life long artistic achievement. He is a resident of Uruapan, Michoacan and has devoted his life to the Fine Arts and traditions of Mexico. His original training was in architecture but for the past fifty years he has been a well respected and successful artist of many genres, from sculpture to music and dance, Mexican Folklore and film. Macias is the founder of the Association of Musical Youth of Mexico (through the National Fine Arts Institute of Mexico), The Association of Purepecha Culture for the investigation and conservation of the Indigenous Cultures of Michoacan, and the Music and Dance Competition of Michoacan. He has been presented with the National Prize from the National Institute of Fine Arts for his work on Michoacan Folklore. He inaugurated the World Festival of Folklore in Mexico City, and also organized the "Masters of Folklore" group for the Technological Institute of Monterrey, in which 100 artists participated as part of the official program for the 1968 Olympics. His Masters of Folklore group continued to tour and present internationally for many years, in Mexico at the National Palace of Fine Arts and across Europe. He has also released a musical album "Masters of Folklore", with Peerless of Mexico. And if that wasn't enough, Mr. Macias was awarded the Ariel from the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Mexico, for his film "Auandar Anapu".
Throughout his collaborative efforts he has also continued showing his sculpture and other artist works internationally. The common thread of his artistic endeavors has always been the preservation and celebration of Mexican culture, history and traditions. For the past decade, Mr. Macias has been working on his ongoing sculpture series, "Goddesses and Women of Mexico." These impressive and provocative works are on permanent display at Galeria Ixchel Maya in Centro Zihuatanejo.
This permanent exhibition, "Goddesses and Women or Mexico" glorifies the abundance of strong female figures in Mexican history and culture. On display are sculptures of: Coyolxauitqui, the Aztec goddess of the moon. Cihuateteo, the Aztec Great Mother or Divine Woman. Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the Moon. Chimalma, mother of Quetzalcoatl. Coatlicue the Aztec Earth Goddess. Mictlancihuatl, the "Lady of Mictlan", goddess of the underworld, life and death. Ixtabay, the Mayan goddess of the jungle. Frieda Kahlo, celebrated Mexican painter, legend. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, 1st female theologian of the Americas, 17th century writer, philosopher. Maria Sabina, Mazatec healer and shamaness. Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, activist, instrumental in Mexico's liberation from Spain. La Adelita, the woman of the revolution. And TLC, the woman of the Tratado de Libre Comercio - The NAFTA woman.
Individual pieces are occasionally rotated as more sculptures arrive. Zihuatanejo is greatly honored to house this permanent collection of such prestige. Galeria Ixchel Maya is located in an unassuming store front on Nicolas Bravo, near the corner of Hemenegildo Galeana and Nicolas Bravo, just a few shops down from its sister store Galeria Maya. Look for the imposing figures of women gazing majestically out onto the street.
Galeria Ixchel Maya is also home to Kalpully Kuahucihuatl Aztec dance troupe and you can regularly see them practicing there in the evenings or performing in the street out front.
The troupe consists of 18 boys and girls and is dedicated to preserving and educating the young people of their heritage. Combining early Mexica and Christian rituals, the teaching and performing of Aztec dance passes on thousands of years of history to future generations and honors a past and mighty culture. They perform on all Aztec holidays and by invitation. Their next performance will be in February.
Galeria Ixchel Maya celebrates the arts and traditions of Mexico, it is well worth a visit and promises to inspire.