The Dancing Chickens of Ventura Fabian

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36 Beecher St. Boston, MA 02130 (617) 522-4008


The Visiting Mexican Artists Program: ​Boston, MA – Sept. 25, 2013
The Dancing Chickens of Ventura Fabian

The Visiting Mexican Artists Program: The Dancing Chickens of Ventura Fabian
presents master Oaxacan woodcarver Ventura Fabian and his son Norberto in a free
demonstration and talk about the art and craft of Oaxacan woodcarving on Sunday,
Oct. 27 from 10:30am-noon at the Eliot School of Crafts & Fine Arts in Jamaica Plain, MA.

Thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico through the Consulate General in Boston, Project Director and long-time Jamaica Plain resident Nina Hasin will
bring these Mexican artisans to the JP community in a program that will enchant the whole family. Ventura and Norberto carve and paint as Hasin gives a brief talk and presents a short video about their craft and their life in the small rural village of San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico. There is an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the session and get a closer look at and handle some of the carvings and tools.

Hasin has been bringing the well-received Fabians to Boston since 2003 in order to
participate in educational presentations and exhibits at local schools, libraries and
museums. “The machete got some ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs,’ and the students loved being able
to hold the objects in their hands. It was a great celebration of culture, art and diversity.”
(Somerville art teacher Diana Taremi)

Ventura and Norberto Fabian will also bring their craft back to the annual Day of the Dead celebration at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology on Saturday, November 2, 2013.

The project touches upon numerous themes aside from woodcarving, such as the daily
life of a rural artisan family; how children participate in helping the family survive economically; and how family members create a balance between subsistence
agriculture and craft work. “By promoting the artistic and creative works of Mexico in
the United States, The Visiting Mexican Artists Program helps to develop well-informed
audiences and communities by sensitizing them to the expressions and realities of other
cultures.” (Maria Regan, former Outreach Manager for the David Rockefeller Center for
Latin American Studies)

– more –

Event Details

TITLE: The Visiting Mexican Artists Program: The Dancing Chickens of Ventura Fabian
WHO: Oaxacan woodcarvers Ventura Fabian and Norberto Fabian
WHAT: One-hour demo/talk, short film
WHERE: Eliot School of Crafts & Fine Arts, 24 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain, MA
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 10:30am-noon
ADMISSION: FREE and open to the general public


The folk art of Mexico, renown throughout the world, has always provided a window into
the life and culture of the Mexican people. Artisans in the small villages nestled in the
rugged hillsides of Oaxaca produce some of the most alluring contemporary Mexican
folk art. Oaxacan woodcarvers, in particular, have forged new and imaginative ways
to embody the exuberance of Mexican artistic expression.

Ventura Fabian is one of the most original and well-known woodcarvers in Oaxaca.
Many of his brilliantly colored and strikingly designed figures are very much rooted in
aspects of daily life in his rural village; others spring wholly from the realm of fantasy.
Along with being wildly imaginative, Ventura’s work is known for its “rustic” or more
“primitive” qualities and its humor. His dancing chickens, strumming mermaids, and
drumming cats are delightful to children and adults alike.

The Visiting Mexican Artists Program: The Dancing Chickens of Ventura Fabian is a
multicultural arts education program designed to share and celebrate aspects of
Mexican folk art and culture with residents in the greater Boston metropolitan area.
Since the program’s inception in 2003, it has been presented at over 75 sites and has
received commendations from both the Boston and Cambridge City Councils. Among
the public and private schools, museums and cultural institutions the program has been
invited to are: Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the University
of Vermont, the (Cambridge) Multicultural Arts Center, and the Boston Children’s Museum.
The woodcarvers were also featured on WBZ-TV. Presentations are adapted to the
audience, which in the past have ranged from pre-school age to adults.

The carvers must return to Oaxaca, but their work will be at Brickbottom Open Studios
on Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd and 24th, 2013 from noon-6pm.


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