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Hangin in Mante

By Rich Lopez
Visit his blog on The Daily Camera

Florian kiteYuki Mikle

February 12, 2010: Team members gather in the lobby of the Hotel Monterey for coffee, jugo and conversation. The first day of unpacking the supply trailer and warehouse we well. Today the hospital and clinic teams will clean and arrange table, tools, and supplies in preparation for the first day seeing patients, Saturday.

It’s a beautiful day, sunshine warm, unlike yesterday that found us flying through rainstorms from Houston to Tampico. Volunteers are the key to efforts like the medical mission. People become inspired by the work and come forward. A man, Gary, is a Mante native who spent 5 years in the US. He speaks English and wants his daughter to practice her English. So both have volunteered. Gary has a pickup and I asked him to drive us to the Gallery with the traveling “art show.

Lamya Deeb

We arrive at the Ramon Cano Gallery and find Florian in an empty room. That’s about to change. First we assemble the kites. Florian and his assistants are amazed with the “comet” kite. Eyes widen as the “comet’s tail” is unfurled. Next comes the bird kite. It too brings grins. Soon they are suspended from the ceilings.

We need to frame a few more paintings. Florian asked the municipal carpenter to build the frames, they’re beautiful. As we are arranging the paintings, we catch up on important matters. Florian’s two sons are now married. They are both engineers living in one of the larger cities. Their daughter is 14 and like many young teenagers, spends a lot of time in front of the mirror. His wife, a multi-talented artist herself, is now writing. Florian has painted some fascinating murals since The Dairy Center mural.

The Ramon Cano Gallery was the first municipal gallery in the state. It opened July 1972. The first show included art from, Frieda Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Ramon Cano, and Lucio Tenorio. The show ran for a year. Our Boulder artists are hanging on the walls of greats.

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