The 24th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL NATIVITIES EXHIBITION is on view at The Folk Tree from November 20 – December 31, 2010. Colorful and richly varied nativities and ornaments made by artisans from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Haiti, India, Poland, and other parts of the Americas, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere are on display. Handmade holiday ornaments and nativities by local artists are also on view alongside those from around the world.
A holiday open house is scheduled for Saturday, November 20, from 2 – 6 P.M.
Each nativity on display shows a very personal interpretation of this traditional scene and the characters comprising it – typically Mary and Joseph, the Christ Child in a manger, the three Wise Men, and various animals. Pieces reflect their countries of origin in materials and techniques, and range in size from 2” miniatures to sculptural pieces up to 2’ high.
The Spaniards transported the custom of focusing on nativity scenes to the Americas in the sixteenth century. Today, the annual unpacking and arranging of often large and elaborate nativities is an important Christmas event for many Latin American families.
Examples from Mexico include miniatures in glass, metal, clay, and straw. Some nativities are created inside painted walnut shells. Self-contained collapsible tin nativity sets, small scenes placed in decoratively painted boxes, and other colorful ceramics of varying sizes are also on view from Mexico.
The renowned Aguilar family, including Demetrio and Josefina, are represented with their ceramics. Clay ware from Tlaquepaque and Tonala (realistic European style), San Bartolo, Coyotepec (black pottery), and Tzintzuntzan (beige and black pottery) are included as well.
Of particular interest from countries other than Mexico are nativities and angels from Haiti created from recycled metal drums; church scenes from Poland made with metallic candy wrappers; nativities in match boxes from Peru; and wood nativities from India embellished with glass beads.
Among the local artists who have contributed holiday ornaments and nativities are: Ulla Anobile (appliqued and embroidered felt); Patricia Anders (mixed media); Mary Clark Camargo (mosaics); Esperanza Garcia (mixed media using recycled sardine tins); Johanna Hansen (painted ceramics); Tamara Hensick (cast bronze, sterling silver, pewter); and Mavis Leahy (embellished fiber).
The Folk Tree is located at 217 South Fair Oaks Avenue, minutes walking distance from the Gold Line’s Del Mar Station and right near the heart of Old Town Pasadena. Regular hours are: M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5. For more information AND FOR EXTENDED HOLIDAY HOURS, please contact The Folk Tree at (626) 795-8733 .