Guadalajara-born artist, Esperanza Gama, and Carlos Tortolero, President of the Chicago-based National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA), visited the Vallarta Botanical Garden in late June to plan a special exhibit in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the Vallarta Conservatory of Mexican Orchids on December 13th, 2014 and staying on display until January 17th, 2014 (if her pieces are not already sold out by then!). Esperanza has been collaborating with the NMMA since 1999 and her many popular pieces on display there have been a major draw for museum visitors.
Not only have we at the Garden become instant fans of Esperanza’s unique style and stunning work, we were delighted to learn about the importance of Mexican native plants incorporated into her distinctive pieces.
Esperanza uses amate paper, created in the pre-Hispanic native tradition, for the rich texture and earthy dimension they impart on her work. The traditional tree bark from which this paper is still made includes that of the “Giant Strangler Fig” Tree (Ficus cotinifolia), several incredible examples of which can be found within the Garden grounds.
Used since ancient times for artwork and documents including Aztec codices, amate was believed to carry magical properties and banished by the conquistadores - yet the tradition lived on in many of Mexico’s inaccessible mountainous communities. This magic bursts to life once again in the inspirational and magical creations of Esperanza Gama, many of which we will soon feature here at the VBG in complimentary displays alongside exquisitely beautiful native Mexican orchids in the new conservatory.
Please mark December 13th, 2014 on your calendar of events and join the Vallarta Botanic Garden and National Museum of Mexican Art in getting the word out about this unique collaboration.
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