When I grew up in Louisiana, Mexico was but a dream. My parents sensed the intricacies, the complexities and the passion of Mexico gleaned from dozens of trips beginning in the late 1940s. They shared their stories and photos. But it was the elegant handcrafted art, both refined and rustic, that captured my interest. I knew then what these pieces of art housed – the spirit and history of a diverse nation. I was intrigued, but I did not understand the true nature of Mexican art until I made Mexico my home 15 years ago. When I arrived in Puerto Vallarta, I came with antique and vintage Mexican silver collected by my mother over four decades. Silver was the genesis of a tiny gallery I opened with my sister which grew bit by bit, both in size and art forms. I learned more and more about the heart and hand that imbues metals, textiles, ceramics and printmaking, all artistic expressions that are the soul of our gallery.
To curate art, I traveled in search of artists, both well and little known, that are rooted to a specific place. It is place that grounds the artists who express the centuries-old knowledge and creativity of their community. The importance of meeting artists in the place they and their ancestors have lived for hundreds of years is key to fully appreciating their art. For Mexican artists, their biggest fear is having to forsake the place where their families have passed down specific art forms for generations. Their work has for too long been underappreciated, under-valued and now too often lost to mechanization. These experiences taught me lessons so profound that I summoned the courage to support these artists. To offer them a fighting chance, Galeria Caballito de Mar was born and continues to breathe.
Now my daughter has become a partner that offers younger eyes and new tastes on our many trips of discovery. She, along with the Mexican artists, who have shared not only their art but also their culture, serve as the gallery’s talismen. From the beginning, we have been guided by one of Mexico’s most famous artists, Diego Rivera: “The more native art is, the more it belongs to the entire world.” What choice do we have – none other than what we passionately do day in and day out – finding and exhibiting Mexican art that will tell you more about Mexico and her people than you could have ever dreamed.