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San Felipe Initiates An Art Co-Op

San Felipe Initiates An Art Co-Op
Desert Mothers' first Playshop a huge success!
by Penny Nask

There is wonderful news about an organization of artisans willing to take part in the community by bringing Mexicans and Americans together to create works of art in our picturesque little town!

Donna Roberts, and all of her unyielding energy, has challenged San Felipe to work towards a dream that she has had for many years.
A co-op can be many things. But in Donna’s heart, it is a plan to give Mexican women a chance to create art and to be able to sell it for profit. This is not a new idea. Many countries have been given seed money to start small, women-owned businesses. The women involved in these projects are successful because of the organizational skills learned, their productivity and the self-esteem gained.

It can be difficult to make connections between Mexican and Americans with language and transportation problems. However, Donna has been rethinking and revising her plans. These issues will not stop her.

When Donna called a meeting to brainstorm ideas for a co-op, she already had engaged a famous mosaic artist to travel here and offer a ceramic workshop. We tested the waters. Would local Americans be interested in paying for a three-day workshop to learn how to create a mosaic art piece? Would these participants let our Mexican locals come for free? The answer was a resounding YES! . . . and the workshop was renamed “Playshop” in honor of the fun we anticipated having.

Our co-op artworks will be displayed and honored. Americans and Mexicans will work together to create these art forms. They will be categorized as “fine art.” We have commitments to make this happen.

The first Playshop was so successful that we had to limit participants because of space! No one seemed to mind that it was a bit crowded. All of us produced, in three days, mosaic pieces that made our instructor, Aida Valencia, proud!

You didn’t have to have any artistic talent going into this project, but I am sure many of us can now reevaluate our artistic skills because if it.

So what is the future of Donna’s idea? Well, for one thing, she has aptly named our co-op Desert Mothers. As you read this we are “birthing” this organization with love and hope.

What is next? Stay tuned . . . but for now these photos inspire and validate the progress of the dream.

There will be other Playshops featuring other art mediums. For more information or to get on our emial list, contact


  1. i am attempting to contact desert mother, donna roberts. the "contact" page on her site is not operative. thank you!

  2. Donna Roberts -