Sunday, May 3, I went to the Autrry National Center of the American West for the Cinco de Mayo festival and also to see the art exhibit "Bold caballeros and Noble Bandidas" which is closing May 10, 2009. Arriving at the Autry National Center in the center courtyard the Banuelos Charo team (fancy Mexican cowboys) had just finished performing and the courtyard was full of people--no swine flu scare hear. The Mariachi Master Apprentive Program was playing: a band of about 20 young teenage mariachi players on violin, guitar, trumpet, and even a harp. A couple of the teenage young woman had wonderful voices as they sang the songs.
After listening to the fine music, we went inside the museum to see the show: a whole wall was devoted to Pancho Villa with posters from the period of the Mexican revolution 1910-1920, vintage film from the revolution, and contemporary versions of Pancho Villa. Another wall was devote to women bandidas since during the Mexican revolution women participated in the army as soldadas both early 20th century photos and late 20th century paintings. On the left below is Los Angeles Chicano artist Geroge Yepes painting "Adelita" of a woman fighter of the Mexican revolution. A whole wall was devote to Maria Felix, the lengendary beautiful Mexican film star who played women soldiers and generals in her films. Viva Maria Felix!
Artist George Yepes was in the exhibition hall talking to musuem goers about his painting, so we spent some time talking to him, asking about his two great paintings. He was tremendously cordial, explaining how he used to paint murals for the Cesar Chavez and the farm workers as well as explaining the difference between mural painting and small 4 ' x 6 ' paintings.
After seeing the wonderful exhibit, we headed outside to the cafe for vegetable quesadillas and then to hear more mariacachis, this time the Mariachi Arriba Mexico, who were superb players with an utterly knockout of a trumpet player. Mariachi Arriba Mexico was the best mariachis I had ever heard--virtuosos! So it was a Cinco de Mayo with great music and great art.
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