MEL Artist Studio Tour has gotten so big, it needs 2 days for all the artists

Window of opportunity widens for art lovers who want to visit artists' private space

Ernesto Novelo
  • Kreso Cavlovic

Merida, Yucatan — It’s too much for one day. So the 7th annual Merida English Library Artist Studio tour has so many artists, the event will now be two days.

This year there are 40 artists in 32 studios. Sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers and more are represented on the tour.

The two-day format will give attendees time to visit the artists not only in Centro, but also in Itzimna and just southeast of Centro.

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The 2019 Artist Studio Tour is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on both Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17.

The artists are a mix of local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of the  artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public.

The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and, if the mood strikes, pick up a piece for your home.

The tour is self-guided, so ticket holders will receive a map and are responsible for getting to as many studios as they wish. Most of the studios are in the Centro and are easily accessible on foot. But with so many artists, participants are advised to plan the day.

Buy tickets early and visit the official web page to preview the artists. It may turn out that driving, or hiring a driver, will make sense. Some participants will find Uber very helpful.

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Due to the small space of some of the studios, only a limited number of tickets will be sold. Attendees will receive a map with their ticket showing where all the studios are. Advance purchase tickets are 250 pesos and on the weekend of the event, tickets will be 300 pesos.

Tickets are on sale at (links point to Google maps):

Merida English Library, Calle 53 #524 x 66 y 68 from 9:00 to 1:00 Monday through Saturday.

In Centro: Soho Gallery, Calle 60 #400A x 43 y 41; Galeria La Eskalera, Calle 70 #474-b x 57 y 59; Centro Cultural La Cúpula, Calle 54 #407 x 41 y 43; Lagalá, Calle 56 #426 x 47 y 49.

In Itzimna: Lux Perpetua Art Centre, Calle 20 #87E y 15 and Centro Cultural Dante, Calle 17 #138B at Paseo Montejo.

For more information on the tour and the artists, please visit the website or contact Marie Routledge at 999-918-0598MEL Artist Studio Tour 2018

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Some of artists on the tour are:

Huub Keevan – painter: Huub sees his studio as his own archeological dig where everything is a treasure. Born, raised and educated as a graphic designer in the Netherlands, Huub has travelled extensively, using those experiences as the inspiration for his work. After an exemplary career in Vancouver, Merida and Mexico have become his new creative “wunderkammer.”

Katrin Schikora – sculptor:Katrin Schikora was born in Germany and studied ceramics and photography in England, but it was Mexico who stole her heart. Katrin loves to design and create beautiful objects using natural and reclaimed materials. With studios and workshops in Cholul and Merida, Katrin continuously pushes the boundaries of design as art, furniture as sculpture, with nature as her inspiration.

Lilian Rivera – mixed media artist: Lilián Rivera was born in Mexico City and graduated from ‘La Esmeralda’, Mexico’s National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking. Lilián currently works and teaches in Mérida where her passion for nature leads her to explore images of the Nest House, and the fertility of Mother Earth. Her poetic constructs of text, paper, textile and fabric have exhibited internationally, including the Beijing Internationale Art Biennial in 2008.

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Melva Medina – sculptor/painter: Melva Medina was born in 1964 in the state of Michoacán, often referred to as “the soul of Mexico.” After graduating from La Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado, Melva obtained her Master’s Degree from the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, specializing in engraving. Melva’s deep connection with nature and her pre-Hispanic roots, plays out in multiple dimensions – often erotic and metaphysical, where women take the leading role. Melva lives and breathes art, showing nationally in over 40 exhibitions and in collections around the world.

Abel Vasquez – painter: Abel Vázquez was born in Oaxaca in 1959 and his work portrays the magic and mysticism of his birthplace. He studied at “La Esmeralda,” an affiliate of El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. As a multifaceted artist, Abel has made significant inroads in sculpture and painting, creating pieces both intimate and monumental. Currently residing in Merida, his expansive studio and private gallery showcase the depth and breadth of his career as an artist.

Juan Pablo Bavio – painter:Native Argentinian Juan Pablo Bavio studied painting in Buenos Aires and Salta before settling in Mexico in 2000. Inspired by the great Mexican muralists, his work represents the real people of Latin America and the stories reflected in their powerful features. Juan Pablo’s work is displayed in private collections throughout Mexico, Argentina, Canada, the United States and Europe.

Randa Cherry – glass artist:Randa Kaye Cherry earned her art degree from Columbia College in Missouri, with a focus on design. She has continually explored art in many forms, most recently, utilizing glass. Inspired by the color and light of Mexico, Randa has now brought her glass fusion experience to Merida, where she works, exhibits and teaches others the art of creating with glass.

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Rodolfo Baeza – painter:
Rodolfo Baeza grew up in Merida and began drawing at a young age. He later trained as a graphic designer and in 2001 left for Mexico City to study animation and cinematography. In 2006, Rodolfo returned to Merida to work and paint. Exhibiting throughout Mexico and in Italy, his muscular portraits continue to astound, as he challenges his own thinking and execution.



Stephen Aiken – painter:In the words of New York artist Stephen Aiken, “abstraction is my arena.” “I like to sidestep myself and let a painting take on its own hidden agenda. With this approach, I can engage with the painting’s transient nature; a partner in the process.” Photographer, curator and painter, Stephen has exhibited his work in both the US and Mexico and now divides his time between Maine and Merida.

Charlie Swanson – painter/photographer:In his early thirties, Charlie found new life with an MFA in Furniture Design — creating and exhibiting in wood, steel, plaster and concrete. An artist, craftsman, designer, and teacher for nearly 30 years, Charlie is now making vivid photographs and paintings of life rediscovered in Merida.

Benne Rocket – encaustic artist: New Orleans native Benné Rocket holds a dual Master’s degree in Fine Art and Art Therapy. Advanced studies in the applied arts of Mexico and exposure to Mayan art and culture both figure prominently in the narrative of her work. Her most recent body of encaustic paintings are a metaphorical merging of her relationship between Merida and New Orleans, the two cities she calls home.

Emilio Said – painter, printmaker: It is through the analysis and the reflection about space, architecture and the city itself, that I build visual imagery re-signifying concepts such as: maps, living spaces, transit, the city geographic features and its context.

Stefanie Schikora – painter:A trip to Mexico from Germany led contemporary artist Stefanie Schikora to Merida where she has been living, working and teaching since 1994. Fuelled by an unquenchable desire for exploration of style and medium, Stefanie’s work is fresh and unmistakable. Since moving to Merida she has had more than 70 solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Mexico and Belize.

Emilio Suarez Trejo – painter: His work is based on the exploration of materials, the research of the urban space and the search for identity through geographical features. Emilio aims to explore the city space through non – conventional images of the landscape, using photography to capture scenes of used or abandoned objects in order to create a pictorial language from the materials found insitum. Through his work and the reconstruction of landscape Emilio creates a visual narrative of those cities or places that happen to be his surroundings.

Ernesto Novelo – painter: After graduating from law school in 2004, Ernesto Novelo decided to follow his true career path and become a painter. He traveled extensively across Europe, Africa and the US with exhibitions of his work, finally settling in the city he was born in—Merida. The Yucatan and its people are his muse, and it’s here he’s found true freedom as an artist.

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