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

Fall 2015

Journal del Pacifico Fall 2015 cover by Kaia ThomsonIt was a long, hot summer with lots of changes, but Journal del Pacifico, your ultimate guide to Baja California arts, culture and adventure, is back and ready for an exciting new season!

Once again, in our Fall 2015 issue, Bryan Jáugerui of Todos Santos Eco-Adventures has written a fascinating article on the importance of mangroves to our fragile coastal ecosystem and how they are threatened by developments. Bryan and her husband, Sergio, will also be speakers at this season’s Todos Santos Writers Workshop in January 2016, “Earth Needs Writers!” See our article in this issue for more information.

The multi-talented Kaia Thomson provided many of the photos for species living amongst the mangroves, this issue’s dramatic cover shot, plus a little fun with area rock formations. She also took the stunning lunar eclipse photos from September 2015 for “El Cielo.”

Mangrove Collage by Tori Sepulveda and Students

Mangrove Collage by Tori Sepulveda and Students

We’d also like to thank the art class of Tori Sepulveda for their lovely collage of the mangrove lifecycle, which was created just for this article. The artists who created this collage were: Tori Sepulveda, Monica Devine, Carol Bailey, Susan Willison, Joanne Spinoza, Christina Douglas and William Dubroraw.

Michael Cope of Galería de Todos Santos shares his experience over the past 20+ years painting and running a gallery in Southern Baja in this issue’s Art Talk.

Also in this issue, Bruce Bennett of Allende Books in La Paz reviewed the bilingual photographic book Tendiendo Redes / Tending Nets by La Paz photographer Alejandro
Rivas Sánchez.

We’d like to welcome Snell Real Estate to Todos Santos. You can find their offices on the newly repaved calle Juárez in Galería La Poza.

Rancho Pescadero is excited to announce their Guest Chef Weekends, a series featuring top culinary talents offering cooking classes, special dinners and more. The series starts November 12-15, with Renee Erickson, author of A Boat, a Whale and A Walrus and Chef/Owner of The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, and Barnacle in Seattle, plus three new projects opening this fall. In March 2016, Jessica Koslow of the Los Angeles restaurant Sqirl and the soon-to-open Sqirl Away, will be the Guest Chef. Following Knowles, in April will be Executive Chef/Partners Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group in San Francisco (flour + water, Central Kitchen, Aatxe, Café du Nord, salumeria). In May, the resort will host Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of OX Restaurant in Portland; the couple will be releasing their first cookbook Around the Fire in March 2016.

This November, Pescadero Surf Camp presents Desert Moon—a new hotel right on the Cerritos beach surf break—the perfect location for relaxation and sports activities.
Each of their large rooms with kitchenettes has an ocean view.

Just up the road, FreeSouls offers an amazing culinary experience at Cerritos beach, featuring wood-fired pizzas, fish, lamb, steaks and homemade desserts. Not to mention
the rooftop, ocean view Mediterranean bar and heated swimming pool.

Need a ride? Todos Santos Private Transportation provides professional airport transportation, private car service, transportation for wedding parties, and shopping
services to La Paz or Cabo at daily and hourly rates.

Shut Up Frank’s, Todos Santos’ first sports bar, is under new management. John Brown, with over 40 years bar and restaurant experience, has partnered with Frank Henley. In
addition to the locals’ favorite menu items, John has added his family recipe for Southern fried chicken, homemade meatloaf, world-famous chili, chili dogs and chili cheese
fries—as well as many new specials to come during the season.

Start your NFL Sundays with 2×1 Bloody Marys at Chill N Grill. They’ve also added tasty grilled French bread pizzas topped with pepperoni, veggies and cheese to their menu. Check their facebook page for upcoming live music events. Like their Halloween Party, Friday, October 30th.

Hosting a party or celebrating an upcoming event? Baja Pastry Girl makes custom desserts, cakes, ice cream and pastry with locally sourced and organic ingredients. Her
specialties include pumpkin pie, apple pie, three-berry pie, key lime pie, cheesecake, ginger rum Bundt cake, pumpkin cream pie, fudge, holiday cookies, macaroons, red velvet
cake and fruit tortes. Baja Pastry Girl needs three day notice for an order—call or email now!

New this season, The Todos Santos Speaker Series. This series features six different speakers covering Baja California natural science subjects. Author Graham
Mackintosh, starts the series on December 4, at the Centro Cultural “Prof. Nestor.” Upcoming speakers include: Dr. Jon Rebman, author of the 3rd edition of Baja California
Plant Field Guide; Stephanie Rousso of ProFaunaBaja; and “Indigenous Rock Art of The Baja Cape Region” with Anibal Lopez. Advanced tickets are available at El Tecolote
Bookstore.

ATV Adventures in Las Playitas (north of Todos Santos) provides ATV rentals, fishing and horseback riding. Call their cell (612) 156-4213 for more information.

January 2016, Peter Buck and friends will be back for the 5th Annual Todos Santos Music Festival in partnership with The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. featuring
the strongest musical lineup to date. See our exclusive stories next issue, Holiday 2015/2016. For more information and VI P tickets visit: http://todossantosmusicfestival.com/

We were saddened by the sudden passing of local graphic artist, Jan Piere on October 5. Jan was a frequent Journal del Pacifico advertiser, creative, strong willed and a
memorable person in our pueblo.

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.