Margaritas Mexican Restaurant at 1037 Elm Street, Manchester will play host to visiting artist Porfirio Gutierrez, a Zapotec weaver from Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico on April 18 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Porfirio Gutiérrez was born and raised in the rich and historic Zapotec textile community of Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. As a child, Gutiérrez showed a strong interest in colors and design. At age 12, he began to formally learn the ancient art of weaving alongside his father. His early training in traditional Zapotec designs forms the foundation for his fine art textiles that are now in demand by museums and private collectors. His profound interest in expanding his knowledge of his Zapotec heritage and a real concern regarding the danger of losing the wisdom of natural dyeing in his home community, motivated him to further research and document the stories told by his elders about cultural rituals, ceremonies and the ancient ways of creating natural colors. This research into both art and the natural environment informs his understanding of his culture and identity, and has profoundly influenced his development into a well-respected textile artist.
Gutiérrez is a tireless advocate, researcher and ethnic ambassador for the Zapotec community. He travels extensively, exhibiting his artwork, giving lectures and demonstrating his technique. The story of his art has been told in publications such as the New York Times and videos broadcast on PBS, as well as a documentary funded by the Smithsonian Institution.
In 2016 Gutiérrez was chosen by the Smithsonian Institution to be one of only four artists in the Western hemisphere to participate in their prestigious Artist In Leadership Program. A selection of the Gutiérrez family’s dye materials was documented and added to the Harvard Art Museums’ Forbes Pigment Collection, the world-renowned archive of artist materials. His vision is to educate and share the rich textile arts of his culture while sustaining traditional practices for future generations.
The presentation in Manchester is one of several scheduled during the next seven weeks throughout New England. As part of Margaritas Education Outreach Program, the artist visits not only the restaurants to demonstrate his craft to the public, but also is scheduled to visit several local schools to share Mexican culture, traditions and trade secrets with students and faculty. Margaritas created the program in 1999 to bring artists, carvers, weavers and sculptors, to the northeast every year to share their talents with students and Margaritas diners.
Wednesday, June 12
Friday, May 24