Mérida, Yucatán — A little bird told us about a new artistic entity in the Centro. Actually, it was lots of little birds, which have been stenciled all over the city for well over a year.
Yes, those mysterious birds have been teasing the formation of the Centro Cultural la Cúpula, which debuts to the public on Thursday, Dec. 17. It starts out at 7 p.m. with “True Lights,” an art exhibit by Japanese/French artist Kimiko Yoshida; forward-thinking furniture pieces by Ernesto Velázquez; and at 8:30, chamber music from the ongoing Mérida International Brass Festival, and a piano recital by Tomoko Mukaiyama. The exhibits remain on view through Jan. 31, and Mukaiyama returns for another recital 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21.
The birds’ creator, artist Guillermo S. Quintana, will be at the debut. Quintana is part of the center’s operating team as leader of the art studio, and his now-iconic bird has been made part of the cultural center’s logo by Alison Wattie.
“If you walk by the cúpula, from time to time you will see the real bird on the top of the monument,” said Diana Castillo Castro, the center’s administrative and educational director.
The cúpula tops what used to be horse stables for the Palacio Cantón on the Paseo de Montejo. Its adjacent buildings will house the cultural center’s studios for both art and yoga, and areas for music and art exhibits.
The Japanese/French exhibit underscores the international flavor promised by the founder, Leïla Godet Voight, who purchased La Cúpula as a private residence, then opening its doors for the Red Ribbon Ball in 2013.
Yoshida, whose contemporary self-portraits will be part of the center’s launch, was born in Tokyo in 1963. After her studies, feeling her options in Japan were limited, she pursued her career in France, where she has lived and worked since 1995.
“Since I fled my homeland to escape the mortifying servitude and humiliating fate of Japanese women, I amplified through my art a feminist stance of protest against contemporary clichés of seduction, voluntary servitude of women, identity and the stereotypes of gender,” Yoshida told Time magazine in 2012.