…Mexican Artisans Introduce Tonalá Ceramics to New York<!--:-->

THE COLOR OF TRADITION: HERENCIA MILENARIA …Mexican Artisans Introduce Tonalá Ceramics to New York

New York, — The Mexico Tourism Board’s New York office and the State of Jalisco will join the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery in the Iona College Arts Center, in New Rochelle, New York to host “The Color of Tradition: Herencia Milenaria” from October 25th – December 4th, 2008. During the exhibition members of Herencia Milenaria (thousand year heritage) from the town of Tonalá, Jalisco will showcase their world renowned contemporary Mexican ceramic art.

Herencia Milenaria (http://herenciamilenaria.org.mx) is a civil organization that was born in 2006 in an effort to unite some of the most well-known artisans in Tonalá and provide a vehicle with which artists could place their crafts and culture within international forums. Chuck Plosky, Professor of Art at New Jersey City University, and Artisan, Angel Santos selected works for this exhibition to provide “an opportunity for lovers of beautiful things to study superior examples of Mexican ceramic art. These marvelous works are made by artists who use their hands and hearts and minds to create brilliant and beautiful statements in this ancient material, clay.”

The opening reception of “The Color of Tradition: Herencia Milenaria” will take place on Saturday, October 25 from 1:00-3:00 pm in the gallery and a curator’s gallery talk and slide show will follow from 3:00 – 4:00 pm in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. During the course of the exhibition, celebrations involving the local Mexican population of New Rochelle will take place as well as the cultural contributions from the town of Jalisco, including art, music and food. “The Color of Tradition: Herencia Milenaria” is part of CLAY FEST – a celebration of ceramic art in the New Rochelle area and All Fired Up! A Celebration of Clay in Westchester.

Located in the greater metropolitan area of Guadalajara, the small town of Tonalá is a traditional Mexican town where the Colonial era culture is still maintained and its calm environment offers its guests a unique visit. Tonalá comes from the náhuatl word Tonallan that means “place from which the sun rises” and its main attractions are contained in its traditional plaza where locals and guests meet to listen to music, play games, converse and on Thursdays and Sundays, to shop.

Tonalá’s arts and craft market is a magical tradition that transforms the town into a fantastic world of color and beauty. From the early hours of the day local craftsmen start filling the streets with colorful figures of animals, clowns and dolls made out of paper-mâché, hand-blown glassware, and iron. There is also plenty of food to eat. Small restaurants and temporary stands offer typical dishes such as pepián (a stew that contains squash and nuts seeds similar to mole), campechanas (cocktail mix of octopus, shrimp and abalone, and steaming birria (braised goat and lamb meat) and drinks like white atole (a warm almost porridge-like drink made thick with masa), champurrado (a special hot chocolate thickened with masa), tejuino (fermented maize drink), and lemon water.