Artist provides insight to Zapotec culture, arts

Zapotec textile artist Porfirio Gutiérrez will speak Thursday, March 8, at the Superstition Mountain Museum. (Submitted photo)

Zapotec textile artist Porfirio Gutiérrez will conduct a free presentation on Zapotec culture and arts 2-3 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at the Superstition Mountain Museum, 4087 N. Apache Trail, north of Apache Junction.

The talk is a lead-in for the Superstition Mountain Museum’s Mexican Artistry event March 9-11.

Mr. Gutiérrez is a descendant of generations of Zapotec weavers from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, a town that has cradled Zapotec arts and culture for more than 2,000 years. The area is famous for its tapestries and wall hangings and known for its artists who produce traditional Zapotec weavings made of hand-spun yarns dyed with local plants and insects, according to a museum release.

Mr. Gutiérrez was “a child prodigy with exceptional talent in weaving, design and color,” the release stated. At 12 years old, he participated in art classes taught by local experts who helped him develop and refine his skills. His work has been shown in eight countries on four continents.

While primarily an artist, he also lectures on Zapotec weaving and natural dyes at universities, arts foundations and museums. The story of his art has been told in publications and videos televised on PBS, Univision, as well as a documentary funded by the Smithsonian.

He continues to be an advocate, educator and ethnic ambassador for traditional Zapotec culture, according to the release.

The presentation will take place outdoors in the amphitheater on the museum grounds. Audience members can bring lawn chairs or cushions for seating, which is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visitors are invited to come early and watch a free demonstration of the 20-stamp ore mill on the museum grounds at 11 a.m. For more information about the 2018 free lecture series and other upcoming events, visit or call 480-983-4888.


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