Guest Curator Mayde Meiers Herberg is the Gallery Director and Professor of Art at Santa Ana College and daughter of the late Fred and Barbara Meiers who were members of the Museum’s original Board of Directors. The exhibition was funded in part by the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program.
Featuring the Museum’s growing collection of Mexican folk art, the exhibition highlighted major donations from Jim and Veralee Bassler, Anita Brandow, Carol Crutchfield, Barbara and Fred Meiers, and Hope and Roy Turney. The exhibition was comprised of objects representing the living arts of the people including ceramics, metal work, textiles, baskets, toys and masks. Several renowned 20th century folk artists were represented including Oaxacan potter Teodora Blanco known for her anthropomorphic clay figures and Jalisco’s Rosendo Rodriguez known for his fanciful clay scenes and animals. Also on view were architectural pieces by clay artist Candelario Medrano and woodcarvings by Manuel Jimenez. All regions of Mexico were represented with selections ranging from objects of daily use — chests, candelabras and birdcages — to those of ceremony — santos , angels, Huichol yarn paintings and retablos. Playthings and fantasy creatures were also part of the exhibition. An addition to the exhibition in 2000 was a selection of contemporary Mata Ortiz pottery (Northern Chihuahua, Mexico) from the collection of James P. Kemp, M.D. and Judith A. Kemp, D.O.
An acoustiguide audio program accompanied the exhibition. From its opening through mid-October 2000, a series of slide photographs — scenes of daily life, festivals and craftsmen at work in Mexico — were shown continuously. From mid-October 2000, a 26-minute Mingei documentary videotape of the exhibition, made possible by an anonymous foundation, was featured.
Related educational events presented during the run of the exhibition were: Icarus Puppet Company’s “Thief of Dreams/Ladrón de Sueños,” a bi-literate production, and, in association with San Diego Museum of Art, Ballet Folklorico presented by Grupo de Danza Kicuk Paico of Tijuana, Mexico.
Dedicated to the memory of Fred and Barbara Meiers, Collectors of Mexican Folk Art.