An Artists’ Week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
In March, 2014, I traveled to the charming, sun-drenched city of San Miguel de Allende in the hills of central Mexico with a group of eight other artists to learn and practice our respective crafts. For me, it was a rare indulgence of a week of taking thousands of photographs and experimenting with new techniques and lenses. San Miguel is a haven for artists, especially from other countries, who come to study at one of two art institutes or take classes with artists/teachers in residence. One day, we all piled into the van and headed to Guanajuato, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City set in a narrow valley formed by the surrounding mountains. Palling around with my photographer friend Karen Benson (equally as enthralled with the eye candy all around us), we saw many American, Canadian, and German travelers in our meanderings. San Miguel is known as an American ex-pat center.
Color, color, color! Reds, ochres, pinks, lime greens, azure blues, brilliant yellows — on buildings, in clothes, in markets, and in local crafts and murals and paintings. My eyes pop and my mouth slacks when I am first immersed in a rainbow of delicious colors. So I had trouble keeping my finger off the shutter-release button at every turn. Once I adjusted to the visual feast and got control of my impulses, I realized that the real treasure in this Spanish colonial city were in the faces of its people — from the children playing in parks to men and women at work and to the ancients dressed in more traditional clothing shopping in markets and walking along the narrow sidewalks. I’ve put together a series of photographs called Faces of San Miguel. Several are featured in The Street portfolio and I’ve included a few more here, plus a few of the brightly colored buildings and sites.