SchoolArts Room

Overjoyed by Oaxaca

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Aug 8, 2015

A regular stop on our SchoolArts/CRIZMAC Oaxaca folk art adventures is the home and workshop of the family of Agustin Cruz Prudencio. The entire extended family works together carving and painting fanciful and incredibly detailed wood figures. The matriarch of the family is front and center in this photo.


The whole family greeted us and Manuel Cruz Prudencio explained and demonstrated the entire process. Generally, the men do the carving and the women the weaving.





Skills are learned in typical folk art fashion, from family members. This starts at an early age. The little girl in this photo is learning how to sand a wood carving.



A young carver at work.




Sometimes everyone is painting. The family was preparing for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, where they will be represented.




The detail on these museum quality pieces is unbelievably fine and intricate. The artisans are always working to improve their work. And every work is unique; there is no mass production here.



Acrylic paints are used to paint the wooden figures, beginning with a solid color of underpainting.



This dancing Day of the Dead couple caught my eye (the price is in pesos).

The workshop and home are just as artful as the work that is produced here. For our participants, it is an opportunity to learn how these figures are made, to meet the artists, and to take photographs. We are always happy to return and to see the artists every year at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. And we'll be back again next October and July. We're finalizing details right now for next year. Learn now you can join us at