Art is the Heart of San Miguel
Lokkal's Art Section
by Jessica Antonelli, Lokkal Art Editor
Mine is one of those many San Miguel de Allende whirlwind romances. The colors, light, textures and culture sparkled for me like the fireworks that seemingly went on every evening. Within six months of my first visit, I decided to move here. Within a year, I was offering drawing classes. Five years later I still am.
Six years ago it was hard to figure out what was happening art-wise in this city. Given the great wealth of offerings, it still isn't easy.
So, recently I found myself wondering, how can I publicize my classes and also my new online course, DrawSanMiguel.com?
I'm not sure how it was in days gone by, but in our online world, generating publicity sucks. If you are an extrovert like me, it's a bummer to sit in front of a computer screen all alone all day. Online marketing gurus bellow at you to post a dozen Facebook ads and worry about algorithms, but I'm allergic to math.
I mean, I love teaching online and sharing video travel adventures, drawing demos, artist interviews, etc. But working an algorithm instead of having a real conversation didn't feel good.
On the way to La Huerta
So, I started reaching out, first to other art teachers and then to others in this creative town, exploring how we could help each other get the word out. Everyone was enthusiastic.
Among others, Jane Dill hooked me up with marketing advice and Greg Reitman of the Yo San Miguel Gallery was excited to team up to create a collaborative art event. The possibilities grew when artist Evelyn Pouget jumped in the ring with her arsenal of event-planning skills. Soon we were picking out dates for a fall art party.
Then Dr. Dave, here at Lokkal, suggested we push the inclusivity envelop, uniting all who can be united. He has offered his Lokkal (event calendar and San Miguel Sunday Magazine) as a publicity platform. He recruited me to launch an ongoing art section; "San Miguel is the heart of Mexico and art is the heart of San Miguel." I enlisted.
How wonderful it is to see the magic unfurl. My quest for publicity first morphed into a web of creatives and now has spun itself into a dedicated art section.
El Sabino in La Huerta; photo courtesy of El Charco
In Lokkal's art section we bring you videos and articles spotlighting artists, art teachers, classes, openings, projects, galleries, events, how-to's, things to draw and more.
We make it fun and easy to tap into SMA's art scene. In a spirit of collaborative creativity we provide a space for all things art in SMA. We welcome your contributions and suggestions at this email.
Here is our first offering, a drawing lesson I gave at the base of La Huerta, the gigantic tree just outside San Miguel.
Just twenty minutes outside of town, if you pass through a long tunnel cutting through the surrounding mountains, lies La Huerta, a small community that is home to the largest, oldest tree in the state, El Sabino.
A short hike up a village path takes you to a stream, and at the font of water itself sits El Sabino, an ancient grandfather of a tree that would take twenty people with arms outstretched to embrace around the trunk. Locals speculate the tree is at least 400 years old, and was said to have been planted as a sign of peace between indigenos and conquistadors in the 16th century.
The beautiful bald cypress is certainly now an embodiment of peace. The tree, situated exactly where the stream that feeds the city springs from the earth, has swollen so tall and wide that sitting under its braches, you feel that you're in the vast space of a natural cathedral.
Jessica Antonelli is an award-winning art teacher from Galveston, Texas. Jessica graduated with a major in Art and a Masters in Education from Austin College, and taught art for five years in Texas public schools. She was awarded Teacher of the Year award at Galveston ISD in 2013 before excusing herself from the standardized-testing obsessed environment. That same year Jessica moved to San Miguel de Allende and began Studio Antonelli, where she's been offering seasonal classes in drawing and painting for adult students ever since.
Jessica now spends much of her time on Galveston Island, where she's the Garden Specialist at the non-profit, the Young Gardener's Program. Luckily, through the magic of the internet, she's able to be in two places at once by teaching Draw San Miguel as an online course year-round. Join her on the San Miguel drawing-adventure at: