Spirit Guides Bridge Art and Environment

April 26, 2024 Exhibits Department

The exhibition Spirit Guides: Fantastical Creatures from the Workshop of Jacobo and María Ángeles opens this Sunday, April 28. Brightly colored and richly patterned, the eight fantastical creatures in this exhibition are impossible to miss. Inspired by Zapotec cosmology, these sculptures come to the Gardens from the Jacobo and María Ángeles Workshop in San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico.   

Since 1994 the Workshop has acted as both a studio and an art school, training artisans in crafts like wood carving, jewelry making, ceramics and more. The Workshop's goal is to "grow creatively, consciously and communally," offering local artists a place to practice their craft and earn a living from their art. 

The Workshop doesn't just plant figurative, creative seeds in their community. While the sculptures on display throughout the Gardens are made of fiberglass to withstand Colorado's volatile weather, most of the sculptures made by the Workshop are carved from copal wood. Understanding the impact of using natural materials for their most recognizable works, in 2010 the Workshop began a reforestation initiative called Palo que habla. As of 2022, the initiative had replanted more than 40,000 trees across nearly 80 acres of land. Denver Botanic Gardens is thrilled to display sculptures by artists who not only champion their community, but our environment as well. 

Discover Spirit Guides, on view April 28 through September 8. Don't miss amazing, related programs all summer long!

Artist Talk with Jacobo and María Ángeles
Saturday, May 4, 2 p.m.

Spirit Guides Outdoor Art Tours
Fridays and Sundays, various times

Spirit Guides Drop-in Artmaking
Saturdays, May 4, June 8, July 20 & August 24, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., outside Boettcher Memorial Center



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