Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Zapotec Weaving Celebrated in New Exhibit

August 24, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm MST

The Arizona State Museum (ASM) will reopen to the general public on August 24, 2021 with a brand-new exhibit.

“Wrapped in Color: Legacies of the Mexican Sarape” will tell the story of the iconic textile through historic and contemporary Indigenous, Mexican, and New Mexican examples augmented with related objects, photographs, illustrations, and videos.

The show’s guest curator and featured weaver is Porfirio Gutiérrez, renowned Zapotec textile artist.

For thousands of years, Indigenous people of the Americas have woven textiles on backstrap looms using local materials, including cotton, other plant fibers, and animal hair. The sarape, a woolen blanket woven longer than it is wide, is particularly associated with the town of Saltillo (the largest and capital city of the Mexican state of Coahuila) where they were popular trade items from the 1600s to the 1800s. Traditional examples are distinguished by a central diamond design or a circular medallion on a contrasting background enclosed by a border design.

In Mexico, as in other parts of the Americas, weaving practices were further shaped by Spanish colonization, which introduced sheep and the treadle loom. The distinctive Saltillo sarape design developed out of this early colonial period. Today, Indigenous and Hispanic weavers in Mexico and the southwestern United States continue to interpret the Saltillo sarape’s designs.

Gutiérrez’s contemporary designs draw deeply on his personal experiences of living in two countries, his being part of three cultures, and his interpretations of the traditional, the modern, and the spiritual.

Gutiérrez is a California-based Zapotec textile artist and natural dyer, born and raised in the richly historic Zapotec textile community of Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. He grew up immersed in color and surrounded by the wildness of Oaxaca’s mountains, and by the knowledge of plants for healing and for color. His life’s work has been revitalizing and preserving traditional Zapotec natural dye techniques with a focus on reinterpreting traditional textiles and materials to reflect his distinct creative vision.

Working in both Ventura, California, and Oaxaca, Mexico, Gutíerrez’s art maintains his ancestor’s spiritual belief in nature as a living being, sacred and divine. His grounding in Zapotec traditional knowledge manifests in his textiles, reinterpreting the traditional weaving language, subverting and re-imagining the symbols and forms, morphing his textile designs toward the fractal forms and spaces of architecture and the movement he sees in cities and urban environments.


August 24, 2021
10:00 am - 4:00 pm MST
Event Categories:
, , ,


Arizona State Museum (ASM)
View Organizer Website


Arizona State Museum (ASM)
1013 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85721 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website

The Entertainment Magazine

© 1985-2022 Entertainment Magazine (EMOL.org). All rights reserved.