Visiting Artists

Every year Margaritas hosts award-winning and internationally recognized artists from Mexico to tour selected local schools and Margaritas restaurants. Each artist works in a specific medium such as ceramics, wood carving, papier-mâché or weaving.

A visiting artist will set up a basic “workshop” and complete an original work of art. The event coordinator translates for the artist during a FAQ. Events typically run from 4:00 to 9:00pm. Pat Picciano, program coordinator and interpreter, accompanies the artists as they visit the schools and arts organizations, providing students with a unique and wonderful insight into Mexican culture and folk art.

Meet Our Artists



Zenen Fuentes Mendez was taught how to carve by his father. Working primarily as a farmer he continued to produce carvings of religious figures and simple wooden toys for his children. He passed on the skills and tradition to his sons. Epifanio Fuentes, the oldest of the sons, is one of the most famous carvers in San Martin Tilcajete. Known for his angels and religious figures, his work is sold throughout Mexico and the United States.  He has presented as a visiting artist in the United States since 1989. Epifanio’s wife Laurencia Santiago Hernandez, is the primary painter of his carvings.  His three eldest sons, Zeny, Efrain and Ivan, are fine carvers and have established their own reputations through their unique carving techniques.  Women in the family do most of the painting. For many years Epifanio and Laurencia have participated in Margaritas Visiting Artist program.  All of their children are skilled artisans and continuing the family craft while incorporating their own designs and influences.

This marks our second tour with Efrain Fuentes and his wife Silvia Gomez. The talented son of Epifanio and Laurencia began his career early and at the age of 7. He still has his first carving, a small angel.  Cats are his favorites, although armadillos bearing their young and mermaids run a close second. He is also known for his angels, witches and skeletons, and more recently, historical figures. He and his wife Silvia Gomez have 4 children who also help out in the family workshop, when not attending to their studies. Silvia has been painting since she was a young girl. She learned while helping her parents paint their carved wooden figures. Efraín and Silvia are among the third generation of the Fuentes family; one of the most imaginative and productive carving families in the village. We are happy to be featuring this husband and wife team of folk artists.

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