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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Linda Santana's MFA Research in Toluca, Mexico

Guitarrón  Pen and Ink, 11x15", 2012.    Tlacoyos  Pen and Ink, 11x15", 2012.

I am a second year graduate student in printmaking and I have the privilege of studying abroad in two cities in Mexico this semester.  I recently returned from a month-long visit to the city of Toluca in the state of Mexico and will visit Mexico City for three weeks in April.  The purpose of my trip is to immerse myself in the culture and to research printmaking and art history to fortify my MFA studio work.

My artwork is inspired by Mexican and Mexican-American culture, so I procured the opportunity to visit via UNT’s study abroad program and visited the sister university, the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM).  Although I did not take courses, I worked with the wonderful lithography instructor, Armando Gomez and his students who taught me lithography on Mexican marble. 
 In addition to working in the print shop, I immersed myself in the contemporary culture and visited historical and culturally significant sites.  Toluca is second only to Mexico City in number of museums; I visited as many as time allowed including the Museo de la Estampa, el Museo de Bellas Artes, el Centro Cultural Mexiquense and el Museo de Numismática.
 The first half of my trip to Toluca was an unforgettable journey.  In conducting research and learning about others, I discovered more about my culture, my artistic purpose and myself.   Special thanks to those who made these trips possible: UNT-UAEM Academic Liaison Office, UAEM Facultad de Artes, UNT Provost’s Office, UNT Study Abroad Office, College of Visual Arts and Design Dean’s Office, UNT Studio Office , and Art History and Studio Art faculty and administration.
 I spent the last ten days of my trip visiting the Yucatan Peninsula during the art department’s annual viaje de practicas, I’ll describe it in more detail in my next post coming soon!