The Basilica in Peace Plaza. Inter shot of mural Angelique and Mikaela listen to the fine music at a house party we attended. The author in a quiet moment. Ashland Gallery Guide 39 School year. Angelique and Mikaela made speeches in Spanish to the large gathering in the City Chambers. Their talents in dance and voice were well received. At the conclusion we were surprised by a visit from a dozen wandering minstrels, the Estudientinos in full costume regaling us with songs and humor for the Cervantino festival to come. There has been a long history of student exchanges through the Amistad Program between the University of Guanajuato and SOU, and it continues through shared programming. Ashland High School also welcomes students from our Sister City, who reciprocates likewise. We all made new friends through our home stays. I was more than pleased with my host. We shared a love of culture and a sense of humor. I learned much about international indigenous arts and preservation, while Gabriela took the opportunity to practice her English with me. My Spanish remains fairly hopeless. Nevertheless, my experiences were rich, and the stories I brought home to my friends resulted in one taking her vacation there three months later, and two more friends making plans for the following year. Anyone interested in seeing imagery from Guanajuato and read about the origins of the Amigo Club can visit the Ashland Public Library and ask to see the Guanajuato Room. Each delegate was an ambassador for Ashland. My official purpose was to take steps toward reviving the exchange of artists and ideas between the Sister Cities. Senora Chela helped by inviting a group of interested artists to meet. She was interpreter as we made contacts for future steps toward a goal of bringing artwork to exhibit in each other’s city. In the best scenario the artist would accompany their works. I picture a Guanajuato artist arriving with artwork, being welcomed by an Amigo Club home-stay host and a gallery director offering wall space for an exhibit during the 4th of July week, or longer with additional support. I would love to meet with a gallery director who shares this vision. I have already met two Guanajuatense gallerists offering their wall space in the city center, thanks to my host, Gabriela. The artwork I saw there was contemporary, well-crafted, and expressed beautifully the ideas coming from young people in a centuries-old city. It gave me inspiration to help bring it and see it again, here in Ashland.
2016 Ashland Gallery
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