¡Bienvenidos! Ajo Hosts Puerto Peñasco Artists

Reciclaje de LlantasCultural Exchanges is an exhibition of artwork by artists from Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexico.

The work represents different disciplines including sculpture, functional design, jewelry, and clothing, and much of the art is made from recycled materials.

 

Artists include …

  • Delfina Lizzaraga and Carmen Sanchez of the arts group Mujeres Trabajando,
  • Alma Angelina Yanes Leyva and her recycled tire art,
  • Sergio Ricardo Monjaraz Gonzalez’s iron works, 
  • María Estela Avalos Hernández and Susana Navarrete Hernandez’s work representing two sewing co-operatives, and
  • Carlos Daniel Soto Espindola of the environmental group Centro Ecológico Comunitario de Bahía Adair.

Collar de fishitasThe Cultural Exchanges exhibit is part of a larger project to try and build stronger relationships between artists in Mexico and here in Ajo by a partnership with the International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) and the Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) in Puerto Peñasco.

It is funded by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. CEDO’s director Hiram Peña Bonilla offered the organization’s facility and resources as a support for the Mexican community’s artists.

El Laberinto de la VidaIn addition to this art exhibition, a handful of Ajo artists are invited to spend a long weekend in residence in Puerto Peñasco in October 2016. While in residence Ajo and Puerto Peñasco artists will together share skills, facilitate workshops, and create new work.

This collaboration will provide the Puerto Peñasco artists with new venues and audiences for their artwork and significant opportunities for residents of each community to learn, connect, and create.

Artwork will be on display April 23rd through May and possibly longer in the Art Under the Arches Gallery in the Plaza.

EleganteThere will be an opening reception on Saturday April 23rd from 2:00 to 4:00pm. Some of the artists will be in Ajo to talk about their work at the opening reception and will give a presentation at 2:30 that day. 

For more information, please Contact us.

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Look Who’s Talking About Us!

Sonoran Arts Network is an online arts journal connecting artists of all kinds and art lovers in the Sonoran Desert bioregion of southern Arizona and northern Mexico. It featured a full-length article about Art Under the Arches in its most recent issue:

Ajo has taken another step toward becoming an Arizona arts destination when Art Under the Arches Gallery opened in late November, 2015.  Art Under the Arches Gallery is a cooperative gallery which features more than twenty Ajo artists.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Andes, director of the new gallery and an artist-member, explains how the gallery idea developed:

“Early last summer I started thinking about the possibility of an artist’s gallery in Ajo. Tracy Taft, Executive Director of the International Sonoran Desert Alliance approached me asking if I would be interested in renting a store in the Ajo Plaza, knowing that I was thinking about a gallery. After looking at one of the available stores, Ms. Taft then suggested that I consider the space that was the Art Stop/Print Shop. This was a prime location in the Ajo Plaza. It was at that time the idea became a very serious one. “ …

Read the rest of the story in the latest issue of Sonoran Arts Network.

Ajo Street Art Happening — Part 8 (Wrap-up)

Although a few murals are still works in progress, most of them in Plaza Alley are complete. If you haven’t been down to see them yet, you’re in for a treat when you do.

For a week in mid-March Ajo hosted the first Community Arts Gathering which brought artists from near and far to participate in this Street Art Happening.

Scroll through the earlier posts and you’ll see many pieces of the work unfold. These pictures show some of the latest updates. (Some artist names are still missing. If you know who did the work, please contact me so I can include the names.)

Many thanks to Mike (DaWolf) Baker, the driving force who organized the amazing performance by these talented and energetic street artists — professionals and novices alike.

And many thanks to ISDA for allowing them the space to create. It’s a wonderful example of what can happen when communities work together.

This might just be the start of something big!

Bed to spare? Share with a visiting artist

Ajo is hosting its first-ever Community Arts Gathering March 14 to 18, 2015.

Many of the participating artists are coming from out of town and will need places to stay. If you have space in your home — or a place to rent for the Gathering — please contact ISDA (International Sonoran Desert Alliance) via the email address in the poster below.

If you’re interested in attending the event, registration is now open.

Homes Needed

Ajo’s Outdoor Art

Ajo’s art community got a great boost with the release of a brochure describing some of the many pieces of outdoor art located around town.

The brochure was launched at Second Saturday on December 13 and included a bus tour to see some of the featured pieces. Local artist Jacqueline Andes was our tour guide and we were also joined at some of the locations by the artists who had produced the work.

The International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) produced the brochure. You can read more about this venture and see some of the work here.

Copies of the brochure and self-guided tour are available at places around town, including the Visitor Center in the Plaza.

New Gallery Opens in Ajo

Just For Ajo Artists!  That was the wording on the invitation to yesterday’s special opening. It was a first opportunity for artists to see what a show would look like in the new Plaza Gallery.

Until last summer the Cafeteria Gallery was the main home for art shows in Ajo. However, that space became dedicated to another use and it seemed that artists were going to be without a place for shows.

Long story short? Artists now have a new home, and one with much more exposure to potential buyers. While the Cafeteria Gallery was enjoyed by many it was not on a well-travelled road and many people were unaware of it.

The Plaza Gallery is, as its name suggests, in the Plaza — and the Plaza is right in the heart of Ajo. It’s a popular spot for townsfolk and visitors alike and sure to draw far more people than the Cafeteria Gallery.

Click on a photo for a larger view.

Val Uschuk spearheaded this first show in conjunction with ISDA (International Sonoran Desert Alliance). She and her co-workers did a wonderful job hanging the work. Judging by comments at the opening, the show and the space are a success.

In addition to hanging art on the walls, artists began talking about how to use the open space in other ways.

Some said they’d like to set up easels or tables to demonstrate their work. Others suggested offering classes. Some thought it would be fun to have a regular informal gathering of artists where they could work and visit with each other.

With ideas already percolating, it’s an exciting time to be making art in Ajo!