Every time I visit the Ranch, I take Jennifer’s tour. Her passion for Mexican art is contagious and has left me with a window to a world I never knew existed.

Mary Falvella Browne

Art

Tap into your creativity at the Art Studio, where you can take a class on making jewelry, sculpture, landscape sketching and watercolor; sign up for the Art Walk and learn about the creations that have been part of the Ranch; or chat with one of our resident artists for a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process.

Join well-known artists, craftsmen, writers, poets and photographers who often spend a week working and teaching at the Ranch. Check our activity calendar for names and descriptions.

Art Classes

Jewelry Making

Accordion 125x100_art_Encounter your own creative genius at a jewelry-making class, where you’ll be dazzled by giant bowlfuls of colorful, eclectic beads from which the creative possibilities are nearly endless. Twist some wire and you’ve got a pair of earrings. String some beads and you’ve got a necklace. Incorporate both and you’ve got a zipper-pull. No need to wait for anything to dry or cure – you can wear your creations right out the door when you’re done.

Landscape Sketching

Accordion 125x100_art_4What better place to learn to sketch a landscape than at Rancho La Puerta, with its abundance of trees, rocks, wildlife and proximity to Mount Kuchumaa? Erase the idea that you’re not artistically inclined –guests will learn strategies on “seeing clearly” – how to observe light and dark and build a composition from sketches before fleshing out the bigger picture.

Watercolor

Accordion 125x100_art_3Described by resident artist Jennifer Brandt as “the medium of happy accidents,” watercolor is a class in art and patience. Students will learn abstract techniques and will create up to 10 small paintings per class – the smaller the paper, the lower the anxiety level for anyone who has always wanted to create art but were told they could not.

Sculpture

Accordion 125x100_art_2You won’t be slapping together mud pies here. Unlock the mysteries of molding clay at one of our Sculpture classes. You will be instructed on how to form heads and torsos out of a shapeless mound of clay and learn the techniques and tools of the trade. (This class uses a non-hardening clay, so you can’t take your piece home with you. However, you can pay a fee to have it cast in bronze.)

Art Walk

Get a taste of the enormous art collection at Rancho La Puerta during one of our weekly scheduled Art Walks. The walk, from one to three hours, takes place around the Ranch and includes an introduction to Mexican folk art, such as the unique pieces found in each hacienda, along with fine art and sculptures that dot the grounds. Learn about the artists who created many of the pieces in this collection that has been growing for more than 70 years.

Brief bios of several of the artists are included here. To fully appreciate their works, join a tour led by our artist-in-residence during your stay.

James Hubbell

This San Diego artist is known for his innovative design and sensitivity to the environment. He uses craft materials including metal, clay, cement, wood and stained glass. His comprehensive design approach allows him to create memorable buildings, chapels and parks—places for healing the soul and renewing the spirit. James Hubbell is the creator of the stained-glass doors and window in the Administration Building, Kuchumaa Passage, and the mosaic centerpiece in the Dining Hall buffet area.

Jose Saboia

The artist was born in Almadina, a small town in the interior of Bahia, Brazil, in 1949. Jose set out in 1966 for Rio de Janeiro and began painting in 1968 in a studio with fellow artists Leonardo Cunha and Mary Lino. His themes involve rural, interior-like scenes. He plays with shapes, masses, volumes, motions and tempos.

Antonio Poteiro

Antonio Baptista de Souza came to Brazil as a boy from Santa Cristina, Portugal. He learned to be a potter with his father and became known as Poteiro–one who makes pots. He developed from a potter into a celebrated ceramicist and was later encouraged to paint by artist Siron Franco. Poteiro is essentially a storyteller, weaving tales of men, animals and saints, which he collects from the streets, the Bible and his dreams.

Henry Vitor

Born in Guaxupe, Minas Gerais, in 1939, Vitor settled in Sao Paulo, where he worked as a news agent and in advertising. In 1967, he launched himself as a painter of original art. He began exhibiting in 1971 and developed a well-appreciated artistic career. Vitor recreates the magical world of his boyhood in his paintings.

Silvia

Born in 1905 in Morro de Barro Hermelho in Rio de Janeiro, Silvia graduated as a teacher from Escola Normal do Distrito Federal, and as a lawyer from Faculdade de Direito do Rio de Janeiro. A writer, translator and professional journalist, she found literature the first vehicle for her intellectual expression. After 1943, she dedicated herself to painting which gained her lasting popularity.

Magdalena Zawadzka

As a young woman in Warsaw, Poland, Zawadzka began her artistic career creating models for the puppet theatre in Gdansk. She moved to a research center for Polish pop art in the 1960s and was artistic director at Art Intrography Cooperative in Warsaw. Zawadzka moved to Brazil in 1975, settling in Sao Paulo. She incorporates in her pictures the exuberance of Brazilian flora and fauna–a world rich in colors and shapes.

Victor Hugo Casteñeda

Accordion 125x100_mind_6Born in La Palma, Michoacan, Mexico, in 1947, Casteñeda began his career as an artist in 1969 at the National School of Paint and Sculpture La Esmeralda at the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City, where he collaborated with world-renowned artists. His inspirations include tropical women; natives of the indomitable sierras; women from forgotten mesas, paths and springs; and from glimmerings and anxieties. Casteñeda pays homage to the significance of women, and to the beautiful as opposed to the ordinary.

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