One of the largest art schools in Latin America and the largest in Mexico will open its doors to Mexican students and multidisciplinary artists from abroad next month in Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato.
The opening of the Centro de Artes y Prácticas Artísticas, or CAPA (Center of Art and Artistic Practises) follows the recovery and restoration of a historic building — once a school — abandoned to the elements and looters early in the last century.
It was six years ago that a group of investors agreed with ejidatarios, or community landowners, to privatize the land where the historic building stood and then donate it to the state government.
With an investment of 80 million pesos (US $4.2 million), a total of 6,000 square meters of built infrastructure was rescued, said Daniel Esquenazi Beraha, one of the investors.
Located just 60 kilometers northeast of San Miguel de Allende, Mineral de Pozos was a successful silver and mercury mining town during colonial times, and during the Porfiriato, the decades-long administration of Porfirio Díaz, attained a population of 50,000.
At the turn of the 20th century, after the Revolution War and the Cristero Rebellion, the town saw the beginning of its decline. By the 1950s, its population was about 200.
Esquenazi said that after three years of restoration, all CAPA facilities are ready.
These include the restored historic building, which will house a historic museum, exhibit halls, movie theaters, a shop with artistic and designer products and a conference room.
A newer building will house print, lithography, silkscreen printing, photography and video workshops, along with dedicated spaces for digital animation, pottery, textiles, performance, dance and music.
The project was carried out by the non-profit organization Patrimonio Guanajuato, which collaborated with urbanists, anthropologists and specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the state Tourism Secretariat (Sectur).
Cultural activities in CAPA will focus on the collaboration of resident international artists with young Mexican artists and students, who will together create works of art.
Source: El Universal (sp)