Porfirio's Bio

Porfirio Gutiérrez is a proud descendant of many generations of Zapotec

weavers from Teotitlán del Valle, in Oaxaca, Mexico. For over 2000 years,

this town has cradled Zapotec arts and culture. It is known for its traditional

Zapotec weavings made of hand spun yarns dyed with local plants and

insects. Ancient woven symbols developed over centuries relate to Zapotec

beliefs and history.

As a child Gutiérrez showed exceptional talent for color and design. At

age 12, His father, who was already a master weaver, saw his potential and

took every opportunity to help him develop and refine his artistic skills as a

weaver. As Gutiérrez grew as an artist, his appreciation for his Zapotec

heritage deepened. Stories told by his elders about cultural myths, the

Zapotec way of life in the past and present, and the value of nature, have

all given him a more profound understanding of who he is, and have

influenced his personal expression through art.

When Gutiérrez eventually settled in California, the artistic roots that were

deep set in Oaxaca were expanded upon and integrated into influences

from life in urban America. Gutiérrez's transition from weaving the

traditional designs of his ancestors to his work today is more of a melding

than a departure. Old materials and cultural themes merged with broad

stroked, liberated design. There is no mistaking where he has come from

artistically, and yet there is a progressive reinvention of the original

elements of his culture through the lens of modern America.

His work has now been shown in eight countries on four continents. While

primarily an artist, Gutiérrez also lectures on Zapotec weaving and natural

dyes at universities, arts foundations, and museums. The story of his art

has been told in publications, and videos televised on PBS, Univision, as

well as a documentary funded by the Smithsonian Institute's NMAI. In 2015

Gutierrez was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to be one of only four

artists in the Western hemisphere to participate in their prestigious Artist In

Leadership Program. He also contributed to the Forbes Pigment Collection

at Harvard University. Gutiérrez continues to be an advocate, educator and

ethnic ambassador for traditional Zapotec culture.

Workshop Details

Workshop Member's Fee  $40.00

Workshop Non-Member'sFee   $50.00

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