Two Walks in Oaxaca

Oaxaca draws me back, time after time. Since 2005 I have visited this city of half a million inhabitants many times. Like most visitors to this city in southern Mexico, I stay in the historic district, which like the historic districts of many former Spanish colonial cities, is home to beautiful churches, Spanish colonial architecture, and cobble-stone streets. Yet, these features alone do not convey … Continue reading Two Walks in Oaxaca

Panoramic view of the archaeological reconstruction at Monte Albán

Reflections on Oaxaca

Over the past ten years I have visited Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico about forty times. During that period, I visited the city at least three times per year, and some years more. Understandably, my impressions of the city and the state of Oaxaca have evolved over the years. When I first arrived in  Oaxaca, I delighted in the Spanish colonial architecture, the cobblestone streets, the city square, … Continue reading Reflections on Oaxaca

Dapper lady skeleton dressed in a bonnet, feather boa, and beautiful pink gown.

Everyone Loves La Catrina

Every year during the annual celebration of the Day of the Dead in Mexico, La Calavera Catrina resumes her celebrity status. This is especially so in the state of Oaxaca, where the cultural significance of the Day of the Dead is especially strong. Usually referred to simply as La Catrina, “La Calavera Catrina” translates into English as the “elegant or dapper skeleton.” She began life … Continue reading Everyone Loves La Catrina

A view of the administrative building of the Autonomous University Benito Juárez of Oaxaca

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Artists Conduct Workshops in Oaxaca

Since 2009 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater artists have visited the city of Oaxaca in Mexico to participate in art related activities. Last week UW-Whitewater faculty again conducted art workshops for students and professional artists in Oaxaca.  Professors Michael Flanagan and Max White completed a week of workshops on January 13, 2014 hosted by the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO). Professor Flanagan’s workshop in museum … Continue reading University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Artists Conduct Workshops in Oaxaca

Night scene with candles illuminating a wall of tombs at the main cemetery in the city of Oaxaca.

Day of the Dead – Three Cemeteries

The Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca include elaborate attention by family and friends to the grave sites of the departed. And while the traditions in each cemetery are similar and have the same purpose, the customs in each cemetery may differ from community to community. In this album three cemeteries from the state of Oaxaca are represented: the main cemetery in the city … Continue reading Day of the Dead – Three Cemeteries

Nativity scene with three kings and other guests

Nativity Scenes: A Snapshot of Oaxacan Culture

In Mexico people take pride and delight in constructing their annual nativity scenes. In the city of Oaxaca and I imagine many other cities throughout Mexico, the main city square is taken over by a huge nativity scene that stays up until after the 6th of January, Three Kings Day, on which Mexican children get a second round of gifts. Most nativity scenes, however, stay … Continue reading Nativity Scenes: A Snapshot of Oaxacan Culture

Guelaguetza 2012

Every year during the last two weeks of July throughout the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and especially in the central valleys of Oaxaca, Oaxacans celebrate Guelaguetza. A Zapotec word meaning sharing and cooperation, “Guelaguetza” is a celebration of regional culture and ethnic diversity.The main performances of the Guelaguetza are held on the last two Mondays of July, but festivities associated with the celebration are spread … Continue reading Guelaguetza 2012

View of archaeological ruins at Monte Albán near the city of Oaxaca

On Tourism Photography – Oaxaca, Mexico

In an earlier post I noted that for me the photos I take while traveling tend to fall into one of three categories. These are: Subjects seen in the tourist destination, but not seen at home; Subjects seen at home, but not expected to be seen in the tourist destination; and, Subjects that are expected to be seen both at home and in the tourist … Continue reading On Tourism Photography – Oaxaca, Mexico

View of St. Louis from the Arch

A View of St. Louis from the Arch

American culture loves the spectacular. One of the best examples is the Gateway Arch at St. Louis, Missouri. Spectacular in both concept and execution, the arch is a marvelous piece of public art as well as a spectacular object on the landscape. Last weekend I was there with my friend Georgia. The photo above is a snapshot from the top. Continue reading A View of St. Louis from the Arch

On Tourism Photography

The photographs we take often say more about us than about our subjects. Recently, I decided to take a look at the photos I have taken as a tourist and see if I could discern any patterns in the photographic choices I made. I found that many of my photos fall into one of three general categories. These are: Pictures of subjects I see there, … Continue reading On Tourism Photography

The Commuter

I take photographs and people often tell me they like the photographs I take. This is gratifying and I’m always grateful for any positive comments. I almost always like the photos that receive positive comments, but I notice that some of my favorites don’t usually evoke a response from others. Reactions to photographs, whether positive or negative, are highly individualized. All the so-called rules of … Continue reading The Commuter