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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 18, 2005

Mexican Artists Will Visit UI Museum Of Art And Local Schools

Two visiting artists from San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico, will visit the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA), the UI School of Art and Art History and several public schools across eastern Iowa Nov. 28 through Dec. 4.

The Iowa visit of Epifanio Fuentes and Laurencia Santiago is part of an ongoing celebration of the arts and traditions of Mexico, organized in conjunction with "Crafting Tradition: Oaxacan Wood Carvings," on display at the UIMA through March 12, 2006.

In their only public appearance during their Iowa visit, Fuentes and Santiago will present demonstrations of wood carving as part of "Mexican Holiday Fiesta," from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec 3 in the museum. They also will be present at the museum's "Members' Night," Friday, Dec. 2.

At the UI School of Art and Art History, Fuentes and Santiago will visit sculpture and art education classes.

Their visits to local schools will be: sculpture and Spanish classes at Mount Vernon High School and art classes at Iowa City Lincoln Elementary School, on Tuesday, Nov. 29; Spanish classes at Iowa City High School, Wednesday, Nov. 30; third and forth-grade classes at Hills Elementary on Thursday, Dec. 1; and art fundamentals classes at Linn-Mar High School on Friday, Dec. 2. In these visits they will demonstrate wood carving techniques and discuss aspects of Mexican culture.

Fuentes and Santiago are a husband-and-wife team who often work together, Fuentes creating the carvings and Santiago painting them. Their carvings, which are known for creative figures and the use of color, have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution and at the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, N.M.

A member of a family of woodcarvers, Fuentes is the most famous carver in San Martin Tilcajete. Known for his angels and religious figures, he has sold his works throughout Mexico and the United States. He has worked as a visiting artist in the United States every year since 1989, and his works were featured in "Oaxacan Woodcarving: The Magic in the Trees" by Shepard Barbash.

"Crafting Tradition" presents over 50 examples of the whimsical wood carvings for which the state of Oaxaca has become famous. It was organized by UI Professor of Anthropology Michael Chibnik.

"Crafting Tradition" and related programs are supported by Iowa State Bank & Trust.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free. For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit on the World Wide Web.

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Art and Art History web site at

Information on other UI arts events is available at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,

PHOTOS are available at

OTHER INFORMATION: "Oaxaca" is pronounced wah-HAH-kah.