Mariposa honors Sacred Geography

In the last of the four-part series on Sacred Geography, the Mariposa Museum is filled with the rich and colorful art and traditions of the Americas exhibited in textiles, paintings and photography.

One of the featured exhibits, “The Latin American Tapestries” of Mary K. Merrill captures scenes of Latin America and embodies Merrill’s knowledge and love of its landscapes and archeology. The use of luxuriant color and color blending defines the shaped areas that come together as a whole in each tapestry. She drew her inspiration from other weavers she met during her journeys, finding in weaving a place of connection where cultural barriers disappeared.

Sharing the space in the third-floor gallery is the photography of Joe Coca, “Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes.” The exhibit of portraits of weavers in their landscapes honors their life’s work and commitment to keeping Peru’s 2,000 year-old textile traditions alive. The photos are part of the extensive collection contained a book of the same name.

Exemplifying the textile traditions of one of our Native American cultures is the exhibit, “Two Grey Hills: Navajo Weavings from the Teller Collection. “Barbara Teller Ornelas and her sister Lynda Teller Pete, fifth-generation Navajo weavers, have shared examples of their families Two Grey Hills weaving. Made of hand spun yarn from the fleece of naturally colored local sheep in shades of gray, brown, black and white, Two Grey Hills are known around the world as the finest in Navajo weaving. In the spring the Mariposa will also host a presentation by Barbara Teller Ornelas.

Occupying the walls along the stairs are the original drawings of Angel Callanaupa Alvarez that are featured in the book, “Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life,” which was a collaboration with Vermont author Elizabeth Conrad VanBuskirk. At an early age Alvarez began expressing the folklore of his Quechua heritage in colorful painting, alive with the power of myth and dreams.

Other exhibit spaces in the Mariposa include exhibits of Huipiles (woven and embroidered blouses) from Mexico and Guatemala, Hopi Kachinas and artifacts from Peru and the Andes.

In complement to the exhibit throughout the next several months, the Mariposa has a schedule of programs and performances including “Latinas: Music by Women Composers and Arrangers of the Latin Americas,” the film premiere “The Great Turing; Interview with Joanna Macy” and a series of Spring Mariposa Afternoons.

All programs and performances can be found on the Mariposa website

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