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‘Ancestral watercolor’ exhibit launches May Culture Festival

Getting a head’s start on Guadalajara’s 27th Festival Cultural de Mayo on May 2 was the opening of “Acuarelas Ancestrales” (Ancestral Watercolors), an exhibition of  paintings by local muralist Jorge Monroy, to be displayed at the Casa Feria in the city’s historic center throughout this month.

pg5aBefore the opening, as he picked tomatoes from the garden of his rustic studio in the foothills of the Primavera Forest, my artist friend told me he was showing 18 originals, all with the theme of pre-Hispanic Jalisco, including circular pyramids, shaft tombs, obsidian, the ancient ball game Ulama and scenes of everyday life 2,000 years ago.

Monroy puts a special emphasis on maíz (corn) in these scenes of daily life.

“The most important painting shows a woman lovingly caring for a maize plant with a view of the Great Lake of Magdalena (drained by the Spaniards) in the background,” he said. “You can see their colorful houses in the distance and people planting corn. This is a scene that could have taken place 3,000 years ago.”

The process of cultivating maize started much earlier than that, perhaps as long as 9,000 years ago.

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