In our Zapotec culture we honor the guidance of our elders, who show us the way of their traditions and allow us to discover and develop our own creative spirit. From them we learn and develop as culture bearers. To sustain our way of life we have to respect where we come from, the land itself, and our ancestral heritage. We share with our community, support our collective growth, and together we sustain our culture for future generations to learn and appreciate. Through our teachings we hope to bring awareness of traditional wisdom and values, and confront the detachment that exists between the object and the culture that nurtures its creation.
Each year we invite select groups of creative students who are looking to connect with our culture in deep and meaningful ways. We open ourselves to the intersection of ideas, styles and methods of creative expression that each student brings. Our creative process inspires these immersive learning opportunities and we welcome you to join us on a path of discovery, exploration and inspiration.
This kind of immersive learning goes beyond our practice—we are creating a dialogue between the student and the rich creative community of Oaxaca, using our family studio as platform and a gathering site for this conversation.
The instructors for our programs are people from within our Circle of Masters, a community of artists and leaders who hold our values and sustain our culture.
Juana Gutiérrez: Natural dyer, master teacher
Antonio Lazo: Tapestry weaver, master teacher
Javier Lazo: Multi-disciplinary artist incorporating photography, film, and tapestry weaving with innovative fibers
Moises Martinez: Backstrap weaver, raw silk and natural dyer, huipil designer
Carolina Sandoval: Traditional embroidery instructor
Juana Garcia: Reviving the tradition of palm leaf weaving in contemporary-styled bags and accessories
Ines Navarro: Respected backstrap weaver known for intricate designs in traditional motifs
Benito Martinez: Innovative basket weaver using carrizo fibers in home design pieces
Juan Carlos: Treadle loom weaver for rebozos, dye garden cultivator
Amado Gutiérrez: Community elder, sharing his philosophy of mother earth
Domingo Gutiérrez: Community member, indigenous Sociology teacher and historian