Thursday, January 31, 2013


Galeria Atotonilco is a very impressive art gallery located just north of SMA. Ordinarily the gallery is open by appointment only, but last Sunday there was a special exhibit open to the public. The gallery is spread out over 2 large buildings, including the one seen above which is also the home of the gallery owners.
The gallery has an incredible variety of arts and crafts from all over Mexico. It seems that just about every state was represented with works from local artisans. Our friends Antonio and Ericka accompanied us and they, too, were amazed. Ericka commented that she wanted to thank the owner for his demonstration of respect and love for her country. I agree.
One of my favorite art forms, Trees of Life, were featured at this exhibit. Several can be seen above. Traditionally the Tree of Life is a tree sculpture featuring Adam and Eve with the tempting serpent, but the artform has expanded to themes including Day of the Dead and other local folk art themes. The Trees come from several different areas of Mexico. Some of them are very intricate and of course are priced accordingly. The ones in the photo above are colorful but not terribly intricate. The one below is a modern depiction.
The entrance to the house part of the gallery with more museum quality art
and a large sculpture of a praying mantis. One of my favorite pieces of Mexican art is a praying mantis from Oaxaca that I bought a few years ago. It's not quite as big as the praying mantis at the entrance but very similar in design.
Following our visit to the gallery we made our way to the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, which is a World Heritage Site.  The main feature of the church complex is the Mexican Baroque mural work on the walls and ceilings of the church. Because of the vivid mural work the church is often called the Sistine Chapel of Mexico. People still worship at the church, and it attracts as many as 5,000 visitors per week. Once again it's very difficult to impart the scope of what we saw through pictures, but hopefully the photos that follow can give a rough idea.
Looking toward the altar, murals cover just about everything

Close-up of the ceiling
Very elaborate altar of the Virgin of Sorrows
Brian, Antonio and his son Andoni walk past the church entrance
It's always amazing to see the inside of the Mexican churches. Many are plain or fortress-like on the outside and exquisite on the inside. We have commented several times that no two are the same. They all are unique in their own way.
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  1. We thought church was amazing as well. We can't even begin to image the time spent painting it all.

    Kevin and Ruth

  2. Have you been to other World Heritage Sites? Even looking at the photos took my breath...stunning.