When visiting Oaxaca it is very likely that you will meet an artist or two. The city has a huge a varied art scene and is home to one of Mexico’s most well-known living artists, Francisco Toledo. Street art plays an important role in the protest history of the state and Oaxaca’s very own Lapiztola stencil artists have taken their stencil murals across the world, from LA to London and beyond.
The art scene is vibrant, but as Steve Tierney from Trayectivo mentioned to me in a recent interview, “art can still be exclusive, with ‘non-artists’ feeling unsure how to access it”. It was for this very reason that Trayectivo was formed three years ago. Trayectivo began as an art walk around Oaxaca, taking an interested group of people to different art galleries and workshops to meet and talk with the artists. The idea was to break down the barriers that often stand (even figuratively) between the general public and art. In the three years since its conception, Trayectivo has become far more than just an art walk, it is now also about the mutual interchange between artists and the public as well as a way to learn about Oaxaca and the socio-political uses of art. Not only that, but Trayectivo want to keep finding new ways for the general public to access and interact with art.
With that in mind, and a desire to celebrate their third anniversary in a unique way, the Trayectivo crew (Goyo Desgarennes, Steve Tierney and Maria Itaka) came up with an idea to really put this concept into action.
“We wanted to find a way to change people’s way of thinking about art by getting them involved” explained Goyo “and we came up with something that we felt was simple but could be quite profound”
The plan was to bring people from all over Oaxaca city and beyond to work with local artists over two weeks in ‘art labs’. These people didn’t need to have experience with the arts, they simply needed the desire to try something new. So right now, there are six young people working with different local artists in everything from silk-screen printing, photography, mural art and even music. The collaborations are as varied as they are fascinating.
The team are excited by the variety of art being made but more so by interactions between those who may never have met without this collaboration. Not only is this a place for the ‘novices’ to learn, the artists will inevitably learn too, gaining inspiration from someone with totally new ideas. I was especially fascinated to hear about a muralist who is working with a young musician to create a mural with sound using mobile technology. Not only is the idea amazing, but also I love the mutual inspiration.
Tomorrow (Friday 4th November), will be the chance to see the fruits of the art labs. During the walk, the group will visit a number of the different workshops, hearing all about the collaborations and seeing the unveiling of the work created. The night will culminate in a party at Archivo Maguey to celebrate three years of this incredible project and to offer a toast to more to come.
“In many ways these collaborations were an experiment, as things often are with art. If it works, we hope this will be the first of many collaborations between artists and the wider community in Oaxaca” Steve Tierney
Trayectivo Art Walk
Date: Friday 4th November
Time: 4.30pm (for 5pm start)
Meeting Place: Plaza de la Danza (On the Steps)
Duration: 3 Hours
Language: English and Spanish
Cost: Free (Donations welcome)
Party: 9pm at Archivo Maguey- Everyone welcome even if you are unable to join the art walk.
Susannah Rigg is a freelance writer and Mexico specialist. Her work has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler, CNN Travel, BBC Travel, The Independent UK, Afar and The New Worlder among others. Check out her portfolio here. Contact Susannah by email, info [at] mexicoretold [dot] com and join her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.