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Expert, Marta Turok, To Speak About Mexican Folk Art and the Concurso Process
March 2005

Folk art is joyous, folk art is colorful, and folk art is the very soul of Mexico. No wonder many san miguelenses are fascinated by indigenous-made arts, to the point of venturing many kilometers to famous "mercados" to meet the artisans themselves. During these annual markets, such as Day of the Dead in Pátzcuaro and Semana Santa in Uruapan, artisans bring forth their finest efforts for entry into a juried contest, known as a "concurso". But, what is the actual concurso process? What are the judges seeking? And what constitutes a grand prize winner? These questions and more will be answered during a special lecture, "An Evening with Marta Turok".
Marta Turok is considered an expert's expert in folk art circles. Turok received her formal education in anthropology at Tufts University and the Universidad Nacional Autónima de México (UNAM). Among several scholarships and grants awarded Turok was the Harvard Chiapas Project/National Science Foundation grant. Marta Turok served as the Executive Director of Mexico's Office of Popular Culture/Ministry of Public Education from 1986 to1989, and worked with the Ministry of Public Education from1983. To date, she has curated eight major museum exhibitions including multiple shows at the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City. As a talented writer, Turok has contributed to or is sole author of more than forty books, articles and scientific papers on the subject of Mexican folk art and indigenous practices. Many will be familiar with her fascinating contribution to the book, Ceramic Trees of Life, Popular Art from Mexico, published by the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History (Los Angeles, 2003).
Today, Turok serves as president of the Asociación Mexicana de Arte y Cultura Popular (AMACUP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to "integrated artisan development" focusing on cultural preservation while seeking new economic opportunities for artisan co-ops. Another frequent hat Marta wears is the role of expert juror at various folk art concursos throughout the year. It is from this perspective that Turok will speak.
In this lecture, attendees will learn the history of folk art concursos, gain insight into the entry process, learn about the qualifications that artisans must meet, and will better understand the hardships endured by artisans in order to produce a prize-winning piece. Turok will walk us through the judging process revealing what is actually going through her mind as each entry is critically regarded. Specific folk art examples will be cited providing attendees with an expert's perspective on what constitutes a prize-winner, or not. The evening will conclude with Turok identifying important trends in Mexican folk art today.
As you consider your next folk art acquisition or study the prize winners at a concurso event, why not do so with the added knowledge of an expert? These insights and more will be shared during "An Evening with Marta Turok" hosted by La Calaca Arte Popular and Zócalo Fine Folk Art & Furniture.

What: "An Evening with Marta Turok", Mexican folk art lecture.
When: Tuesday, March 8, 7pm.
Where: El Recreo de San Miguel, Recreo #4, Upstairs Auditorium.
Tickets: Complimentary tickets available at La Calaca Arte Popular (Mesones 93)
and Zócalo Fine Folk Art & Furniture (Hernández Macías 110).
Hosted by: La Calaca Arte Popular and Zócalo Fine Folk Art & Furniture.
For more Info:152-0663.