Travois First Fridays on May 4 will feature artist Porfirio Gutiérrez, a descendant of many generations of Zapotec weavers from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. Porfirio will share works from his “Rituals” exhibition.
The Travois office will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and we’re thrilled that Porfirio will join us and will present an artist talk at 6:30 p.m.
In his artist statement, Porfirio detailed his background: For over 2000 years, his town has been a wellspring of Zapotec textile arts and culture. His father, who was a master weaver, saw Porfirio’s potential and took every opportunity to help him develop and refine his artistic skills as a weaver.
As Porfirio’s talent grew, his appreciation for his Zapotec heritage and traditional arts deepened, and his personal expression has been influenced by stories told by his elders about cultural rituals, ceremonies and the Zapotec way of life in the past.
When Porfirio eventually settled in California, the artistic roots that were deep set in Oaxaca soon expanded to include influences from life in urban America. His work has now been shown in eight countries on four continents. The story of his art has been told in publications such as the New York Times and videos televised on PBS, Univision, as well as a documentary funded by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).
In 2015, Porfirio was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to be one of only four artists in the Western hemisphere to participate in their prestigious Artist In Leadership Program. He continues to be a tireless advocate, educator and ethnic ambassador for traditional Zapotec arts and culture.
Travois First Fridays was created to highlight the strength and modern-day vitality of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists and to stimulate art purchases and commissions within Kansas City.
We hope to see you here!