Huichol Yarn Paintings and Seedbead Jewelry
Born in San Andrés-Cohamiata, Jalisco in 1979, Kena Bautista learned her art at a very young age. Her first award came at nine years old when she appeared in "Masks of Mexico" published by the National Fund for the Development of Arts and Crafts (FONART).
Kena has developed a style that exudes originality and representation of the most important elements of the Wixarika (Huichol) culture. Her artwork, especially jewelry and decorative sculpture stands out for its delicacy and technical quality of chaquireado (use of seed beads pushed into beeswax).
She designed, in conjunction with his father Francisco Bautista, "Vochol" – a VW bug completely covered in seed beads, which is on exhibit permanently in the Museum of Popular Arts (MAP) in Mexico City.
Kena shares her knowledge and teaches art workshops in the Wixarika tradition to children. She also participates in events promoted by institutions such as the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI), the Cabañas Cultural Institute and the Tecnologico de Monterrey, etc.
In 2010, at the Feria del Maíz de Zapopan, she was awarded the El Chamán del Maíz, a recognition for outstanding work with youth for keeping the seed of tradition alive, by the Ministry of Culture for Jalisco. She has been invited to speak at academic meetings related to indigenous peoples and languages. She has also been a pioneer in furthering recognition for the Huichol people.
Also born in San Andrés-Cohamiata, municipality of Mezquitic, Jalisco in 1962, Francisco is Kena’s father. He, too, began his art at a very young age. He works mainly in sculptures and yarn on beeswax - he decorates the sculptures with beads.
Over time, he has developed his own style and gained prestige for his innovation, quality and expression of his work. He has inspired many young people and adults to follow their traditional art and find their own styles. Francisco’s sensitivity to his work stems from his desire to express his culture with enthusiasm and passion. He has exhibited all over the world.