Hi friends! Earlier this year I got to check out Grandes Maestros, a current exhibit (hurry, it closes September 13th!) at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. The visit was part of a field trip offered to WeAllGrow attendees. Now to date, I’ve never met a museum I didn’t at least sort of like but NHM LA is one of my absolutely favorite museums. You probably already know by now but I’m a *sucker* for animals. Not only does the Natural History Museum have beautiful dioramas, a seasonal butterfly exhibit (and a seasonal spider one), but it also has a newly renovated dinosaur hall. If you’re in LA, tourist or long-time resident, the Natural History Museum is definitely worth a visit! Sooner than later too if you want to catch the stunning Grandes Maestros exhibit!
The exhibit opens with this breathtaking piece, titled “Jaguars” by Juana Gomez Ramirez. She is an artist from Mexico in her early 30s that loves cats. Clearly, we are soulmates. Also – my photo does not do this piece justice. If you look at the photo above, you can see some of the detail that went into these beautiful cats but experiencing their presence in person is an absolute must. They are majestic.
The exhibit features living folk artists from over 22 countries, including Mexico, other Latin and South American countries, Spain, and Portugal. There are amazing pieces of art made from clay, paper, textiles, metal, wood, and more. I know my post makes it seem like there are only artworks of bugs and cats but that’s only because I’m showing you some of my favorites. There is SO much more to see. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every piece was breathtaking. I could have spent the entire day in the one exhibit.
Each piece is amazing. This mask is gorgeous, intimidating, regal, and so much more. There is so much detail put into it all the way down to the jaguar’s spots.
Every summer, my parents would take my brother and I to Mexico. On Saturdays, we would go to the swap meet where local artists were selling art they had made. My dad would let me brother and I each pick out something to buy. I always would find some sort of animal piece or hand-painted miniature dishes or furniture for my dolls at home. Many of my dolls were from Mexico too. In the winter, every bed in my house had a woven blanket from Mexico – I still have two. My Hello Kitty cobeja that I got from Mexico as a teen is the finishing touch on my freshly made bed today. I have painted animals and clay whistles from Mexico City and Oaxaca scattered around my bedroom. I grew up with an appreciation and connection to Latino folk art that has stayed with me to this day so being able to see the Grandes Maestros exhibit spoke to my heart in profound ways