|Selection of original paintings by Damien Lemee.|
“I’m coming back to Isla on (insert any date) will there be an Artist Fair that day?”
|Val Jukosky bracelet|
I was fortunate to have three very sociable and entertaining artisans beside me, to fill the quiet times with laughter. Val Jukosky, Liwlig Larsen, Damien Lemée and I were set-up along a concrete wall in the shadow of the life-threatening coco-bombing palms trees. Each of us had a colourful display of our wares, hoping to entice passersby to purchase an original piece of art, a beautiful bit of jewelry, or in my case one of my new paperback novels or bilingual book for children.
|Val Jukosky necklace|
Val Jukosky is from London Ontario, Canada. She makes beautiful ocean-tumbled sea glass and semi-precious gemstone jewelry. Here’s the link to her FB page: Val’s Sea Glass
This is Val’s fifth winter on Isla, her first three years were six months at a time, but now she is here for longer periods. Previously she wintered in Puerto Vallarta and Melaque on the west coast of Mexico. She got hooked on sea glass collecting during her first winter on Isla started participating in the Artist Fairs the next year. Val says she loves being surrounded by water. Me too! During the quiet times at last week’s fair, Val got busy and created fun, colourful bookmarks for my novels. She made a few and sold them all. They seem to be a hit.
|A selection of art by Liw Larsen.|
DamienLemée was born in France but while traveling in Canada at the age of seventeen he decided to live there. He now lives six months in Montreal and six months on the island. Here’s the link to his FB page: Damien Lemée
|Artist, Damien Lemee being James-Bond cool.|
Damien’s art includes an intriguing variety of painted bird sculptures made from recycled tires, plus paintings, prints and photographs.
We recently purchased a fun print of a black cat sitting outside the store on Juarez that has three cats painted on the building. Damen said it took his three tries to get the photo. Every time he picked up his camera the cat would leave, finally on the third day the cat waited for him to take his photograph.
|Damien’s birds made from re-cycled tires|
Started by Brad and Tiffany Wareing in the winter of 2011 at the original Barlito’s location on Hidalgo Avenue, the Artist Showcase moved from the crowded corner to spread across the Sócalo in front of City Hall in Centro. Renamed the Art and Food Fair it grew to a healthy seventy-some-odd artists and food-vendors by 2013. Then the municipality decided that inside the Casa de Cultura on the malécon was a better venue. After a short time inside the building, the fair was moved outside to the parking area across from M&J’s and beside what is now the new office of tourism.
Both Brad and Tiffany have worked very hard for several years, to organize the events, promote them, and deal with the myriad of national, state, and municipal regulations.
For the past couple of years the Isla Brewing Company livened up the drab Casa de Cultura location with their mobile beer truck, selling their hand-crafted ales. They contributed an enormous about fun and energy to the event including stringing overhead lights and providing music. Of course when other vendors plugged in their lights, the musicians their amps, and the cooks their microwaves, the circuit breaker would trip plunging the entire fair into darkness. Amid laughter and loud groans adjustments would be made and the beer dispensing, lighting, music, and food prep would resume. Fingers-crossed Isla Brewing will come back this year. We miss their lively energy. Here’s the link to their FB page: Isla Brewing Company
|Isla Mujeres Mystery Book #1 Treasure Isla & Book #2 Trouble Isla|
The evening of December 14th wasn’t a total loss for me. Besides selling enough books to make it worthwhile and making new friends, I also had a very long and interesting chat with Dante Lopez, the owner of Mr. Opal on Madera Avenue in Centro. He told me a fascinating story about the Mayan culture that might just work its way into Isla Mujeres Mystery Book #4, Terror Isla.
Cheers from paradise
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Book #1 Treasure Isla