Benedicto Ixtamer is a self-taught Mayan artist from the highlands of Guatemala. His Mayan art has been displayed in both Guatemala and the U.S., and his mural style often compared to Diego Rivera.
Benedicto's home is in San Juan La Laguna which is on the shores of Lake Atitlan in the volcanic Guatemalan highlands. This stunning lake is surrounded by lush and green slopes. His family is in the coffee business, and San Juan Laguna is renowned for its high-quality coffee. In addition to his talents as an artist and coffee farmer, Benedicto is also the director of a Spanish school in his home town. He has displayed his work at a variety of U.S. venues from 2004 to 2015.
From an early age, Benedicto discovered his talent drawing on cardboard and school notebooks. Years later, he was given three oil colors and one brush as a gift from his father, and with those he developed his abilities. He and his 3 brothers grew up in the coffee fields and raising vegetables, but after that work in the fields they would pick flowers, leaves and bark to produce naturals dyes for the textiles of his mother. Today, his mother is still weaving and Benedicto often produces his paintings on the textiles she creates.
Benedicto believes all of these experiences helped him to get in touch with traditional Mayan art. Also, he believes that his Mayan birth day of Kawoq represents art and creating community. Today he paints in different styles using primitive images, birds, overhead and fish-eye view of images that represent his everyday life in San Juan La Laguna, Lake Atitlán.
Because Benedicto and his wife Maria are deeply involved in their community and share their gifts with those in need, the sale of one of these pieces of art automatically supports a child, woman, elder or someone in need in the beautiful town of San Juan La Laguna. As a buyer, you become part of the story and life of a whole community.
Thank you for joining us!!!
ART SHOW 2016 Augost 27th and 28th. Summer Shade Festival, GRANT PARK, Atlanta. GA. September 16th, 17th and 20th. Arts in the Heart Festival, Augusta. GA.
The process of producing his art is very symbolic to Benedicto because it involves carpenters, elders, mothers and youth who use their energy, wisdom and strengths to be a part of every painting and piece of art.
The income from Benedicto’s Artworks each year supports education and school materials for those who would otherwise go without. In 2015, Benedicto's art supported Margarita Pichiya, who graduated from college as a Business Administrator, while her parents survived day to day as rural farmers. Like many others in this rural, tribal community, Margarita's parents make from $1 to $5 dollars a day, and have not enough income to cover her tuition each month. We were honored to be able to help her graduate and continue her education.
In 2016, the income from this 93 X 34 "painting, titled "El Cayuco del Lago de Atitlán," has supported a Clean Water project to collect water for over 400 poor families that struggle day to day with obtaining healthy water. The rivers are located below these high-mountain communities and often the pipes are empty.