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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shaman Of Paquimé

Shaman Of Paquimé
by Alfonso Arámbula Robles

Adalberto Pérez Meillón is the artist who, with his elegant and clean tracings, unfolds the vibrant history of the ancestral culture of the Anasazi—an indigenous community that once was settled in the enigmatic village of Paquimé. A culture which disappeared over 800 years ago and now their existence is only shown by archeological adobe ruins. Paquimé is located in Valle de Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico, 850 miles to the east of Ensenada, Baja California, and 75 miles from the United States border.

Through the authenticity of his work and by being a grand artist who interprets the graphic culture of the Anasazi, Adalberto is compared alongside the great ceramic artists of that same region, like Juan Quezada y Macario Ortiz. As proof, Adalbertos’ paintings are found in different latitudes of the world, forming part of important art collections.

Twenty years ago, as an elementary school teacher, in Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, he was influenced by the indigenous artistic manifestations of the northern region of this state, particularly the culture of Valle de Casas Grandes, where Adalberto taught children for many years. He later decided to leave behind this profession to pursue his dream as an artistic creator. Today, apart from being a painter of the Native genre, he also maintains his vocation of teaching within his own way of expressing himself. His style is kind and generous, while his conversation is filled with vivid sharing. He is always interested in expanding the boundaries of cultural knowledge of those conversing with him. You can talk with Adalberto for hours and the time disappears to give way to a space for the magic of his cultural verbal tours.

Explorer in his painting techniques, he maintains an interest for using organic materials, as they could have been used by our ancestors. Upon the amate canvas (paper made from the bark of a tree by this same name) he stamps his message of harmony and love through the symmetric and universal lines; such as agaves, lizards, turtles, snakes and other animals of northern Mexican fauna and flora that constitutes the pictorial universe of Adalberto.

You can find his studio within the prestigious Galería Pérez Meillón, also owned by him. It is there during the last 20 years that Adalberto has promoted his extraordinary works of art, as well as being an enthusiastic promoter of art in his unique gallery by presenting works from other regional and local artists; paintings, sculptures and quality folk art. It is highly noticeable, the respect and dignity with which he promotes the fine quality folk art of the different Baja California ethnic groups, such as the Cucapas, Cochimies, Pai-Pai, Kumiai and the high-quality ceramic works from the village of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua.

Adalberto Pérez Meillón is without a doubt one of the art pillars of Baja California through his creative commitment, his liberty, generosity and particularly for his transcendent mission to be a transporter with his painter’s brush for the Paquimé culture forward through time.

Visit Adalberto's website at www.potterymasters.com; contact him by phone at (646) 175-7848 or by email at adalbertopm@hotmail.com.

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