Artisans from around globe arrive to Santiago
Published On : Sat, Nov 23rd, 2013
Photo essay: Artists from eleven different countries display and sell their work in the heart of the capital.
Some of the finest artisan work from around the world has come to Santiago.
At this year’s Muestra de Artesanía UC, Chile’s largest annual gathering of artisan workers, craftsmen and women from eleven countries have come to Santiago to display and sell their work. From brightly colored Mexican talavera to meticulously crafted wood boats modeled after those found in Southern Chile to traditional Indian clothing, this crafts fair is a sight to see.
Denise Sánchez Aparicio, a 32-year-old artist from Lima, Peru, who works primarily with clay, told The Santiago Times that the fair’s goal is to help keep alive the art which reflects humanity’s heritage.
“The reason we’re here — and the reason the fair is here — is to rescue traditional art,” she said. “It helps highlight the importance of traditional art.”
The Muestra de Artesanía UC began as a simple idea forty years ago. In 1973, Patricio Gross, the former president of Chile’s Architecture Association, realized that in Chile’s capital there was no space for culture’s innovators and its beneficiaries to show, sell or enjoy handmade crafts, typical dances and traditional foods.
In 1974, Gross’s idea came to fruition — and has since grown into a widely recognized crafts fair known for its wealth of remarkable work and a strong commitment to rescuing and maintaining traditional art.
The steep prices on much of the fair’s art may be alarming, but — true to the fair’s roots — the quality of the craftsmanship is unmistakable.
Aparicio, who is attending the fair for the first time, mentioned how crucial cultural events like this are for the sustainability of artisan work. Ecuadorian Gladys Espinoza, 53, agreed, saying that financial success at Santiago’s crafts fair would be essential to her continued selling of vibrant and beautifully woven decorations and jewelry.
Boris Prado, 44, has been a part of the Chilean artisanal scene since he was a young boy. It was 36 years ago, when Chile was still under the helm of an oppressive dictatorship, when Prado’s father began to sell his delicately designed kites at the fair.
The fair, which started Friday, will take place in Parque Bustamante and be open to the public until Dec. 8. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The entrance fee is 3,000 pesos for adults and 1,500 pesos for senior citizens, children up to age 12 and students.
Photos and article by Mason Bryan ([email protected])
Copyright 2013 – The Santiago Times