All Roads Lead to Rome, or so they say
By Christie Seeley
I helped a friend decorate an apartment for Airbnb and had the best time! He created a charming apartment in the Zona Romantica and asked me to help market it. Unlike many places in the area, while right in the middle of the romantic zone, it did not have a real "Mexican" feel. While beautifully done, it tended to have more of the minimalist practicality of Bauhaus or mid-century modern. How to add Mexican touches without disrupting the clean lines of Bauhaus AND do it on a budget?
I started with traditional panels of papel ámate created by the Trejo Gonzales family of Puebla. One can find their beautiful creations and brilliant designs that carry on a centuries-old tradition from the mountains of Puebla of bark paper at their stall on the corner of Basilio Badillo and Pino Suárez in the Zona Romantica.
I then framed a poster from the first annual Bahia World Music Festival that a friend and I organized in December. The artwork from the festival brought in a local musical reference as well as the playful touch of the creative painting by Julio Soto Noyola of Puerto Escondido.
My friend Ramiro at Uruapan Framing on Venustiano Carranza just below Insurgentes created a lovely full-length mirror to match the abundant wood details of the apartment. He gave the frame a nice bamboo texture lightening up the wood and creating a feeling more akin to our tropical climate.
I was still on the lookout for some intense color when I stopped into one of my favorite home decor consignment shops, Espacios, also on Carranza just below Insurgentes. There I spotted an incredible painting high up on the wall. In bright reds and golds, the style was suggestive of that of Gustav Klimt. Octopi and fish emerged from the bottom of a fiery ocean--it leaped right into my arms! On closer inspection, I found a local Mexican artist had signed it. An hour later, in conversation at Babel Bar with Esaú Galván and Alberto Mimi Ramírez of the wonderful flamenco group Tatewari, they commented to me that it looked like the work of a friend of theirs who is also a talented violinist, Eugenia Prieto. Indeed, we established that it was her painting.
I heard Eugenia perform with Cheko Ruiz when he had his Gypsy Rumba show at the Palms some years ago. She is spectacular on the violin and equally so with the paintbrush! Born to a very artistic Puerto Vallarta family originally from Spain, they immersed Eugenia in the art world since childhood. Both parents were renowned artists, and she was producing excellent designs early on. Her subsequent studies of oil technique with the American painter Bill White and aesthetic and artistic theory with renowned painter Raymundo Valencia
produced a dynamic artist. The magnificent painting I acquired had been part of a unique project entitled Sea Monsters, shown by Eugenia in Puerto Vallarta in 2013. The talented young woman is celebrated in both plastic arts and music and performs at special concerts in the Puerto Vallarta area and the Riviera Nayarit.
When I commented to my daughter on this great discovery, she replied, "Mom, you will always be lead to the music!"
My daughter is undoubtedly right about that! My goal here in Puerto Vallarta is to hear as much beautiful music, especially that of Mexican and other Latino musicians, as I can fit into my schedule and to share my enthusiasm with my readers. If they are not already addicted to the excellent variety of local talent, I want to bring them into the circle. You can read more about the groups I follow and get a schedule of when and where they are playing on my website vallartasounds.com. And, please, come on out and enjoy the music.