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Nature's Way

When Maruca Salazar took over a couple of years ago as director of Museo de las Americas, she envisioned a curatorial pattern that would feature Latino art in an alternating series of contemporary, traditional and folk art exhibitions. She’s filled the folk art slot beautifully with Wixaritari: Huichol Art of Mexico, which features the stunning beaded palette of the Huichol, or Wixaritari people, of arid west-central Mexico. Opening with a reception at 7 p.m. tonight, it’s a show that promises to burst with color and an intricate understanding of sophisticated design.

“‘Huichol’ means ‘people who understand color or choose brilliant colors,’” explains Salazar. Their artworks are created as metaphorical prayers to ancient deities, she notes: “Their prayers represent the connectivity of the community with nature. And though they are surrounded by desert, with little water around, they have an unbelievable understanding of color.”

Huichol patterns and color sense, which have fascinated modern artists from Mondrian to Miro, reveal a sophistication not done justice by the “folk art” mantle they’re given, Salazar adds. “We cannot even realize how these people have been doing this kind of work for years, and the recognition is just not there,” she says.“This is an opportunity to have a good conversation about influences and the understanding of the world of color.”

Wixaritari continues through early January at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive. Admission ranges from $3 to $5 (children under thirteen are admitted free); for more information, go to or call 303-571-4401
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 13. Continues through Jan. 8, 2011


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