Located five miles north of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico, Galería Atotonilco is a treasure trove of Mexican folk art. Owned by ceramic artist, dealer and collector, Mayer Shacter and his wife, writer Susan Page, the gallery is situated next to their home, within an area of eight acres with mesquite trees and frontage on the river Laja.
The neglected property was discovered by the couple in 2001 and transformed by celebrated architects into an unconventional style called “contemporary organic” or “modern baroque”. The setting is a beautiful harmony of ancient and modern Mexico.
Mayer Shacter, originally from California, brings over fifty years of experience in the arts and has travelled all over Mexico. Every piece in his delightful collection is hand-picked with a focus on beauty, innovation and quality craftsmanship. Mayer finds the best artists working today, and then purchases their finest work, often commissioning pieces, so many of the items in the gallery are unique.
I connected with him recently to discuss what he loves about Mexico, the major types of local folk art, the stories behind them, and some of the artisans whom he represents…