SchoolArts Room

Join SchoolArts and CRIZMAC for a Journey of a Lifetime

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Dec 4, 2014

Come join SchoolArts Magazine and CRIZMAC on a wonderful journey to Oaxaca, Mexico, to meet and visit renown folk artists in their homes and studios, June 26-July 2, 2015. 

Josefina Aguilar
Oaxaca City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, is rich with historic colonial architecture, exquisite museums, and vibrant folk art traditions. In addition to exploring the amenities of the city, you will visit thriving folk art villages where talented artists create fabulous woodcarvings, textiles, and pottery. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the homes of the master Zapotec andMixe artists to watch them demonstrate and discuss the techniques and traditions that make their work so special. 
Opportunities to immerse yourself in the rich history and traditions through visits to museums and the stunning archaeological site of Monte Alban will deepen your understanding of the native people. Your tour leaders, Stevie Mack, president of CRIZMAC and Nancy Walkup, editor of SchoolArts Magazine provide an intimate and rewarding travel experience, sharing with you the people and places that have made Oaxaca so special. The magic of Oaxaca is guaranteed to inform your art and capture your soul as well! 
Daily Itinerary
Friday, June 26: Arrive Oaxaca City, Mexico
Upon arrival in Oaxaca City, you will be met by a tour leader and taken to the Marques del Valle Hotel located on the central plaza or zocalo. If your arrival time permits, you will be able to explore the sights and sounds of the historic plaza. 
Augustin Cruz Prudencio and his sister
Saturday, June 27: Oaxaca City, Santo Domingo Cathedral, Regional Museum
After enjoying a delicious breakfast at the hotel, trip activities begin with an introduction and orientation to the week. You will receive a handout with historical and cultural information about the places and artists we will visit. Educators will receive additional art lesson plans and ideas for developing interdisci- plinary curriculum units.

The orientation is followed by a walking tour of the highlights of the historic district, including a visit to the State Government Palace to view a wonderful mural that depicts the history of the region, a stroll through the public market, a chocolate-making store and more.

After a break for lunch we will continue our journey through the city streets, past galleries, shops, and restaurants, to the beautiful Santo Domingo Cathedral and the Regional Museum, housed in the restored convent of the church. The museum showcases exquisite Zapotec and Mixtec treasures excavated from Tomb Seven at Monte Albán as well as colonial artifacts and a contemporary art gallery. After our tour, you will have some free time before we enjoy a welcome dinner together at a local restaurant. (B, D)


Irene Aguilar, Josefina's sister


Sunday, June 28: Monte Albán, Atzompa
Today we will leave the city and visit the archaeological site of Monte Albán to view the remains of a great Zapotec and Mixtec center. Built on top of a mountain, the site was constructed around a huge plaza. A small ball court lies in one corner of the plaza where the well-known pre-Columbian ballgame was played. Our guide will share the history of this magical site. The museum at Monte Albán offers a view of the artifacts collected from the pre-Columbian era. We will enjoy lunch at the restaurant overlooking the valley. After lunch we will head for the village of Atzompa to visit the renowned Enedina Vasquez family for a pottery demonstration. Enedina and her family members have earned many prestigious awards and are featured in the Grand Masters of Popular Art, Oaxaca Vol. II. (B, L) 
Monday, June 29: Ocotlan, Santo Tomas,


San Martin Ticajete



After enjoying breakfast, we begin a busy day of visiting folk art villages outside the city of Oaxaca. Our first stop is the town of Ocotlan to visit the home studio of Josefina Aguilar, a very respected sculptor of clay figures. After a demonstration by Josefina, you are free to visit the studios of her sisters, each of whom produces a distinct style of work. The Aguilar family has also earned many prestigious awards and is featured in the Grand Masters of Popular Art, Oaxaca Vol. II. 




Next we will visit the home of artist Rudolfo Morales, the Morales Museum and the ex-convent he restored. The collection features Morales’ work, sculptures by the Aguilar family and colonial artifacts. Our next stop is the small village of Santo Tomas known for its backstrap loom weavers. The women demonstrate their weaving techniques in the center of town at their local cooperative.

Our next stop is the woodcarving village of San Martin Tilcajete and the home of Zeny Fuentes. For lunch we will enjoy a tradi- tional meal with the Fuentes family, after which Zeny and his wife Reyna will demonstrate their carving and painting techniques. You will have the opportunity to watch as the family works together to produce their art. The Fuentes family is included in many prominent folk art publications. Zeny is also the featured artist in the CRIZMAC Oaxacan Woodcarving DVD. (B, L) 





Enedina Vasquez
Tuesday, June 30: Teotitlán del Valle
Today our bus trip takes us to the famous rug-producing village of Teotitlán del Valle to visit the home of Nelson Perez Mendoza. He and his family will give a demonstration of the techniques they use to make the ever-popular wool rugs, including carding, spinning, dyeing, and weaving. As you walk the streets of this quiet industrious village, you are able to visit one home after another to view their rugs. A delightful local restaurant is available for lunch on your own. We will return to town with some time for you to do some exploring on your own before we reconvene for a group dinner. (B, D)


Nelson Perez Mendoza
Wednesday, July 1: San Agustin de las Juntas,
San Bartolo Coyotepec
After another hearty breakfast, our destination is the village of San Agustin de las Juntas and the home and studio of the Agustin Prudencio family. We will observe a carving and painting demonstration and learn about their unique approach to wood- carving. Members of the Prudencio family are also featured in the finest folk art publications including the Grand Masters of Popular Art, Oaxaca Vol. II. They have participated in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market for several years.

After lunch we will proceed to the village of San Bartolo Coyotepec, famous for the black pottery of Mexico. We will visit the family of Dona Rosa, the woman renowned for her discovery of the processes used to produce the shiny black pottery. Following a demonstration of the building techniques used to create vessel forms, you will have time to explore their studio. Our next stop will be the home of Magdalena Pedro Martinez. Magdalena has been a participant in the International Folk Art Market for several years, where she exhibits incredible black clay figures wearing the regional costumes of Oaxaca. Her sculpture is also featured in the Grand Masters of Popular Art, Oaxaca Vol. II. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy and pack for your trip home before we have our farewell dinner together. (B, L, D) 
Reyna and Zeny Fuentes
Thursday, July 2: Oaxaca City, Tour Concludes
Depart from the hotel with many special memories and your bags packed with treasures from your trip in Mexico. Transportation to the airport is provided. Breakfast at the hotel is provided, flight time permitting. (B) 

$1795.00 per person
Your Journey Includes
• Six nights at the Marques del Valle Hotel
• Twelve meals
• Transfers from the airport to hotel (for those traveling on scheduled arrival & departure dates)
• Land transportation to seminar events • Museum and site admissions
• Artists visits and demonstrations• Server tips for group meals

• Seminar handbook
• Cost based on double occupancy rooms, single rooms available for an additional fee

Payment Deadlines
Enrollment will be made on a “first-come, first-served” basis. A $500 deposit is required to guarantee your space. Register by January 15, 2015 and receive a $50 gift certificate for CRIZMAC merchandise as an early booking bonus. Gift certificates will be included with your final tour documents. Registration and deposit payments may be made through Final payment is due on or before March 26, 2015. 

Professional Development
Educators receive a certificate for 45 hours of professional development credit but anyone can join us. You do not need to be an art teacher or a teacher; just have an interest in Mexican folk art and culture. We will also do our best to match you with a roommate if you need one. More questions? Email Nancy Walkup at or Stevie Mack at