Todos Santos Open Studio Tour

8th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour

by Jill Mollenhauer

Anne Hebebrand, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Anne Hebebrand

Every year it’s the talk of the town. The Todos Santos Open Studio Tour draws hundreds of people curious to see working art studios, meet the artists, and perhaps have a personal dialogue with them. Stories are exchanged; laughter flows and smiles glow on the faces of those who find something that seems to have been made especially for them.

At its inception in 2009, the then one-day tour boasted a mere handful of amazing talent. For 2017 the number of participating artists has grown to over 40, necessitating its extension to a two day event.

Benito Ortega, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Benito Ortega

The 8th annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour will be held on the weekend of February 11 and 12, 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm both days. All proceeds benefit the children’s art programs of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. Advance ticket sales begin January 28, 2017. Tickets will be $200 pesos each and can be purchased in Todos Santos at El Tecolote Bookstore on Calle Juárez, or ordered online at ts.studiotour@gmail.com. Tickets can also be purchased at Cafélix in Todos Santos from 9 am to 3 pm both event days. Maps are included with purchase and plenty of signs are posted to streamline the self-guided tour.

Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz

The choices of what to see are practically endless: paint, mixed media, encaustic, wood carving, metal sculpture, stone work, jewelry, fibers, photography and more. The hardest part might be deciding which studios to choose from and if it is possible to get to them all in two days. From the south end of town all the way through the north end of el Otro Lado, there are artist studios tucked away that hold treasures undreamed of.

To help plan your tour, browse the Facebook page Todos Santos Open Studio Tour to see some samples of the different work. Seasoned veterans of the tour often make a list of names to help plan a route, making sure to visit their favorite artists along with some new ones. Others prefer to just wing it, leaving it open to the serendipity of the moment.

Besides spending the day immersed in creativity, the tour is a chance to explore what it is like to be an artist in the beautiful pueblo mágico of Todos Santos. It is the personal interaction with the artists that makes this tour so special. What inspires them? What brought them here and why do they stay? How did they begin and what story do they have to tell?

Sculptor Benito Ortega was drawn to Todos Santos eight years ago by ‘a vibration in the air.’ Nine year resident, encaustic artist Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz stays because life is simple and she can spend the mornings lost in the passion of creativity. The positive energy of the light and the people is just part of what keeps painter/teacher Tori Sepulveda enthralled with Todos Santos, even after 10 years.

As a kid flipping burgers at the foot of the Newport Beach pier Peter Holden probably never imagined himself living and painting in Baja California Sur for over a decade. Did Anne Hebebrand envision herself  experimenting with diverse tools such as spatulas, rubber shapers, paint rollers, and palette knives on canvas when as a young girl she was a waitress at a Mexican restaurant?

Susan Doyle says, “My favorite part of painting is the point when you think it is awful and you’re about to give up and then some magical accident happens and it clicks.” For Nanette Hayles she loves all parts of the creative process but “getting ‘lost’ in a piece when time ceases” is her favorite. Steve Thurston says that the best painting is always the one he’s currently working on.

Landscape artist Marsha Dahlquist is entranced with street scenes and the challenge of painting architecture, while Jill Mollenhauer expresses emotions with vibrant colors and mixed media.

Whichever studios you visit, you are sure to find both talent and heart. Between the well-known galleries in town and the numerous hidden gems in the barrios there are delights and surprises waiting just for you.

Here are a few helpful tips to make it even more enjoyable: Some studios are clustered near enough that parking and walking is viable. Perusing the neighborhoods is a wonderful way to get a feel of the community. Or consider carpooling–everything is more fun with friends. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat and don’t forget the sunscreen! Cold drinks and delicious meals can be purchased in town and for even more fun, consider staying the night at one of the area boutique hotels.

For more information: ts.studiotour@gmail.com

Happy New Year

"Baja's first Rock Band" Journal del Pacifico Holiday 2015/2016 cover by Dennis McGhee, Baja, Mexico

“Baja’s first Rock Band” Journal del Pacifico Holiday 2015/2016 cover by Dennis McGhee

Happy New Year from Journal del Pacifico! We’ve received a lot of compliments on our Holiday 2015/2016 issue cover featuring the hand painted skull by artist, “Indian” Dennis McGhee.

The 2016 La Poza Lagoon calendars are available at El Tecolote bookstore in Todos Santos and Allende Books in La Paz. These beautiful calendars help support the efforts to save La Poza lagoon and feature photography by Claude Vogel, Kaia Thomson, Alvaro Colindres and others.

The 5th annual Todos Santos Music Festival with Peter Buck and friends takes place January 14 to 16, and January 20 to 23. General admission is available for all shows. There is also a special acoustic dinner show at Rancho Pescadero on January 19. Contact Rancho Pescadero for tickets and more information. You can read the entire feature including artist’s bios online at journaldelpacifico.com

The new La Morena Restaurant Bar, located on calle Juárez in Todos Santos, just down the street from Galería Logan and Snell Real Estate, is open for breakfast, lunch and tapas. They serve espressos, ristrettos, lungos, lattes, frappes, chais, smoothies, paninis, healthy salads as well as tacos and other entrees. In the evenings, enjoy an appetizer with wine, served by the bottle or by the glass. Cold beer, margaritas, cocktails or a cool martini are also on the menu.

La Bohemia Hotel Pequeño on calle Rangel in Todos Santos, is having an open house every Thursday and Saturday from 4 to 8 pm with delicious treats from Mama’s Kitchen and special cocktails and wine 2 for 1 from 4 to 6 pm.

Landi’s Restaurant, next to Teatro Márquez de León on the plaza, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 9 pm, serving delicious traditional Mexican dishes. They are also open 9 am to 2 pm for their special Sunday brunch.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat for the holidays, or anytime, Chocolates La Laguna in Todos Santos, has champagne truffles, pumpkin spice truffles, and white chocolate bark with cranberries.

México Gourmet in Todos Santos has a variety of Mexican made edibles including spices, jams, jellies, moles and salsas, and is well known for its large stock of mescales. Stop in for a tasting!

Étnica, across the street from La Copa and The Todos Santos Inn in downtown Todos Santos, has beautiful Mexican clothing, accessories and fabulous tooled leather purses, wallets, boots and more.

Casita Anita has moved. The new, spacious location is on calle Militar in Todos Santos, next door to Gallery 365. Her new location has a whole new look that includes more room for Pepita Nelson Fashions.

Santa María Boutique has a large selection of 100% cotton fashion clothing for men, women and children at their two locations in Todos Santos—in Plaza Adriana across from the Centro Cultural and Plaza Los Faroles, just ½ block from the Hotel California.

You can take control of your water and your health. Water Ways Baja is your home town drinking water resource. Residential or commercial, all systems are custom designed based upon contaminants in your water and your needs. Water test results are in writing from independent certified water laboratories.

Unwind and rejuvenate your spirit at Casablanca b&b on the La Poza hill in Todos Santos. Guests enjoy their elegant accommodations, delicious meals or the chance to simply relax by the pool.

Restaurant Miguel’s across the street from Shut Up Frank’s, has long been famous for their chilies rellenos, fresh seafood and traditional Mexican fare. Now they are open for breakfast again, 8 am to 10 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

The new rooftop Riptide Bar at Desert Moon Hotel at Cerritos beach is open. Stop in for an adult beverage and a great view any time from 9 am to 10 pm.

There’s something for everyone to fall in love with at Cerritos Beach Inn. Located just steps from the swimmable beach and surf break at Cerritos beach in Pescadero guests can also enjoy ocean, mountain and desert views and whale watching. There are brand new ocean front and desert view suites, as well as a restaurant and pool. Cerritos Beach Inn is also available for wedding and special events.

MiniSuper Munchies in Pescadero is much more than a gourmet store. There is a book exchange, lending library, community bulletin board, and pop up dinners with local chefs. Check with Emily on their weekly events.

There’s always something going on at Dana’s Diner on the highway in Pescadero. Daily happy hour, NFL football, guest chef nights, live music and karaoke nights. Call or stop in and check with Dana for more information.

Want coffee? Baja Beans Roasting Company in Pescadero is now open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.

Brody’s Pizza on the road to Cerritos beach is open 1 to 10 pm and serves Italian style wood oven pizza, pastas, salads and cold beer! Home delivery is available too.

The 7th Annual 2016 Todos Santos Open Studio Tour will be held over two days: Saturday and Sunday February 6 and 7 from 10 am to 4 pm. It’s a great way to explore the world of the artists, who live and work in this artists’ colony. Tickets for the Todos Santos Artist’s Studio Tour are good for both days and can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com or in person at El Tecolote Bookstore beginning February 1. Maps and wristbands can be picked up at Cafélix both mornings of the Studio Tour. All proceeds will benefit the Children’s Art Programs of the Palapa Society of Todos Santos A.C.

We’d like to especially thank our translators that make it possible to publish many of our feature stories in English and Spanish: Paula Angeloni, Elena Ascencio Ibáñez, Kat Bennett, Isabel Jáuregui and Vivianne Jáuregui Mariño. ¡Gracias!

We’ll see you in February 2016 with our Festival issue. The deadline is January 12. Reserve your space today!

Holiday 2013 issue

Journal del Pacifico Holiday 2013 cover by Kate Turning, Baja, MexicoWe’ve been busy delivering the new issue of Journal del Pacfico in Todos Santos and La Paz. People are raving over our rocking cover by Kate Turning with model Yannick Rondero and makeup by Martin Juan Carlos of W. Salon in La Paz.

The third Todos Santos Music Festival will take place at the Hotel California in mid-January with one concert in the town plaza. For more on the festival, check out our feature story by Doug Newcomb with photos from last year by Vivian Johnson.

Creative energy is flowing in Southern Baja! You can find many local authors in print now. This month we have an interview with Elizabeth Day about her book, Living with Gusto. Out now is Pamela Cobb’s Tales of Tiny Town which features her popular essays that have appeared over the years in the Journal del Pacifico. And the beautiful new photo collection Birding in Baja by Journal del Pacifico contributor Kaia Thomson, will be out for Christmas—see her hummingbird photos in this issue. All are available at El Tecolote Bookstore in Todos Santos and Allende Books in La Paz.

The array of visual arts is stunning. Galería El Triunfo is open, again, for the season with the works by Gabo and Karin Schubert. Swing over to San Antonio on your way and visit Liz’s art studio at Rancho La Venta. Multi-media photographer Emanuela Gardner has an opening January 9, at Hotel Casa Tota.

Galeria Logan will host an art opening with new works by Jill Logan and Doug West on January 18. And you can find Jill Casty’s sculptures in glass at Art House in La Paz, Galería de Todos Santos or Pez Gordo in San José del Cabo. Gloria Ruenitz’s new works can be seen at Galería de Todos Santos and Pez Gordo in San José del Cabo.

Nomad Chic has opened in their new location just down from El Tecolote Bookstore and Juice Bar. Nomad Chic is proud to be the exclusive location in Todos Santos and USA online for Acuarela Swimwear. Look at our events listing for their upcoming informal and “pop-up” modeling dates.

We received a lot of positive feedback on our featured restaurant reviews in our previous issue, Fall 2013. You can find another selection this issue, including Rumi Garden. Speaking of food… Wind and “C” will be open December 13, at the same location as last year—Los Cardones B&B at Cerritos Beach in Pescadero.

We can’t wait for the new restaurant at La Copa in the Todos Santos Inn to open in mid-December. Chef Patricio is planning a delicious menu using fresh, local ingredients. And Landi’s Restaurant has opened in its new location next to the Teatro Márquez de León in the historic district of Todos Santos.

If you’re looking for antojitos (literally “little cravings”) Carnitas Uruapan is the place to go. They serve authentic Mexican favorites such as sopes, huaraches, chiles rellenos and more.

Estudio Baja is located downtown between Miguel’s Restaurant and La Cabaña in Todos Santos. Studio rentals are available for your movement classes or workshops, and a treatment room for massage/energy work is also available for rent. It’s a tranquil atmosphere with wall of mirrors, bathroom, fans, and beautiful wood floors in a convenient downtown location. Stop in and check out their Yamuna Body Rolling and Foot Fitness. This practice uses gravity from your body weight to move over specialized balls that roll out tension in your muscles. It’s like giving yourself a deep tissue massage!

Chocolates La Laguna is the place to find handmade Christmas goodies. Lots of stocking stuffers along with a line of liqueur chocolates including damiana truffles and large chocolate bars. They have something affordable for everyone!

La Bodega de Todos Santos has a wide selection of Baja wines for the holiday season as well as t-shirts, olive oil and other gift items.

The Gardening Guru will be holding a demonstration and seminar/workshop on Thursday, January 31, at Baja Beans in Pescadero. You can find out more information by clicking on the link or stop by her stand at the Baja Beans, La Esquina or Los Cabos Pedregal Farmer’s markets.

Tiny Tienda, on the otro lado, in Todos Santos is now open. You can find items ranging from organic shampoo and deodorant to organic fertilizer to local artwork and cards. Photographer Laurie Pearce Bauer’s art prints are available for sale. Look for the sign on the tree in Las Tunas.

Dr. David Martinez at MartVet in Todos Santos, can help you with all your pet needs—consultations, vaccinations, surgeries, grooming, health certificates and pet supplies. See his new ad this issue for more information.

One of the charities sponsored by the Todos Santos Music Festival this year is the Hogar del Niño A.C.—a non-profit, safe home for children who are abandoned, mistreated, or orphaned. It is a registered charity, recognized by the Mexican government as a sanctuary for at-risk children. The loving care these children receive is funded entirely by donations. The average number of children at the Hogar is usually 25, and they range in age from 3 to 16 years. A special wine pairing benefit dinner will be held at Rancho Pescadero on December 18. Look for details in our events section. To make a tax-deductible holiday donation, click on “Donate” on the website http://hogardelnino-baja.org/ or go to http://padrinoproject.com/ and click on “Become A Padrino.”

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to stay fit or get fit? Gimnasio Powerzone offers individuals and families monthly, three-month and annual memberships.

¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!

Maria Felix

Maria Felix painting by Jill Logan for the Festival de Cine Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

Maria Felix painting by Jill Logan for the Festival de Cine Todos Santos

This year’s Festival de Cine Todos Santos poster features the image of “María Félix, La Doña,” painted by local artist, Jill Logan, who has donated this piece for this year’s festival Silent Auction. You can view this beautiful painting at Galería Logan in Todos Santos and place a bid, minimum bid $1,500 USD. All proceeds from this auction support the “Youth In Video” educational program. The Final bid reception is at Galería Logan on Tuesday, March 6th from 4:40 to 6 pm.

 

by Jill Logan

Maria FelixOften I say I am going to paint more females, yet I go to my studio and paint everything else. When Sylvia and Leonardo Perel approached me to do a painting for the auction for the Festival de Cine de Todos Santos in February, we decided that the subject would be an actor and chose “María Félix ” for the legend she created and, ultimately, for her beauty. It was a challenge I hoped I could rise to.

This Art Talk is dedicated to María Félix the woman and actor.

“Maria Felix,” who died at age 88, was widely agreed to be “the most beautiful face in the history of Mexican cinema.” She became an icon during its golden age in the 1940s–a period of resurgent national pride–and the incarnation of the strong, sexual woman, who would, nevertheless, be tamed by machismo before the end of the movie.

She was born in Alamos, one of 16 children, her father, a farmer and sometime government official, was a strict disciplinarian who did not let his children talk at the dinner table.

Young Maria preferred riding horses and climbing trees on her grandparents’ ranch to studying poetry or taking piano lessons and was expelled from several schools for unladylike behavior. When she was 13, by which time she was already turning heads, the village priest kissed her on the mouth, in her autobiography she recalled how she slapped him and walked out of church, but did not tell her parents.

Her family moved to Guadalajara, where she married Enrique Alvarez, a cosmetics salesman. The union did not prosper, partly because she loved to flirt and partly, she said, because he was cheating on her. After moving to Mexico City, she worked for a plastic surgeon who used her as a model to attract clients.

In 1942 she made her first film, El Peñón De Las Ánimas alongside the famous actor and singer Jorge Negrete, whom she later married. It was with her third film, Doña Bárbara (1943) that Felix’s star began to rise, and according to one critic, “as both a respected actress and an over-determined icon”–however there were some who doubted her acting abilities. Doña Bárbara tells the story of a Venezuelan woman, raped in her youth, who runs her ranch despotically while dressed in men’s clothes (a characterization she was to repeat in La Monja Alferez in 1944) and dabbles in witchcraft. Felix grabbed the role full force becoming the personification of Doña Barbara and, ironically, of Mexico. To the end of her life, she was referred to as Doña Barbara, and her subsequent roles built on the image.

Based on the novel by Romulo Gallegos, the Venezuelan author who co-wrote the film script and welcomed the casting of Maria Felix, Doña Bárbara gave the actress the haughty, self-contained persona that she would continue to develop over the next decade, In 1943, she made La Mujer Sin Alma, the story of a woman who lies her way to the top in urban Mexico, and a string of films that followed, including the celebrated Rio Escondido (1947), where she played with this same image.

Enamorada (1947) was a welcome relief from iconic melodramas. A delightful comedy, with a “Taming of the Shrew” theme, it tells of a rebel leader (Pedro Armendáriz Sr.) falling in love with the daughter of a powerful landowner (María Félix played the daughter). His overtures are ignored, and he suffers humiliating (but very funny) encounters–though, as with Shakespeare, in the end, the heroine is tamed and nationhood re-enforced. In one scene, the cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa focuses ever closer on Felix waking in bed, ending with a shot of just her eyes and nose–an iconic and beautiful image.

“I always chose my men,” Maria Felix said. “I have waged many difficult wars to defend my liberty. Love is also a war.” She admitted that men had in general “treated me fabulously well. But sometimes I had to hurt them to keep them from subjugating me. I have been a woman with the heart of a man. A woman of war.”

Felix made 18 films during the 1940s, and continued to work in Mexico until 1970, by which time she had completed 47 movies. She worked in Spain, Italy and France, with such directors as Jean Renoir (French Cancan, 1954) and Luis Buñuel (Los Ambiciosos, 1959), though most of her European work was disappointing.

She appeared once on the silver screen with Dolores del Rio in La Cucaracha, (1958), and in a play with her by Carlos Fuentes, Orquideas A La Luz De La Luna (1982). She did a television series, La Constitución (1970), won three Ariel awards for best actress, and, in 1985,received a lifetime achievement award and the Mexico City Prize. In 1996, she became the first Latin American woman to be made commandeur de l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French government.

Apart from her professional career, Felix was often in the news. She was married four times, first to Enrique Alvarez (1931-38), with whom she had her son. On their divorce, Alvarez kidnapped the child, who was rescued by Felix and her second husband (1943-47), the singer-songwriter Agustin Lara. Her third husband, Jorge Negrete, died of hepatitis 14 months after their marriage in 1952, and, on her return to Mexico with his remains, she was criticized for wearing trousers. Her fourth husband, a Swiss businessman, Alex Berger, whom she married in 1956, died in 1974.

Felix was much painted by famous artists, including Jean Cocteau and Diego Rivera (one of her numerous ex-lovers), who, to her fury, portrayed her in a transparent dress. She also inspired many writers, including Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes.

She consorted with the rich and famous all her life, was dressed by top designers and, in 1984, was nominated in France and Italy as one of the world’s best-dressed women. King Farouk of Egypt allegedly offered her Nefertiti’s crown for one night of love.

Felix collected porcelain, carpets, jewelry, silver (including a silver bedhead designed by Rivera), cashmere shawls, Chinese costume, books and antique furniture. In 1990, an exhibition of paintings in Tijuana by her much younger lover, Antoine Tzapoff, included a portrait of her astride a rhinoceros. At the same time, there was a retrospective of her more nationalist films and homage to her career.

Felix spent her later years moving between Paris, where she owned a racehorse stable, and Mexico City. She remained the subject of media interest, including a four-hour television program. Paz wrote that she had invented herself; be that as it may, undoubtedly her life was dedicated to maintaining her legend and its myths, both on and off screen.