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The weavings of Elizabeth Starčević: Homage to her teacher

By Pat Hirschl

When Elizabeth Starčević walked in Maestro Félix Pérez Juárez’s weaving class in El Centro Cultural El Nigromante-Bellas Artes in 1992, she had no idea that it would change her life. Having come to San Miguel on a sabbatical from her work as professor of Spanish literature at City College, City University of New York, she planned to take ceramics, but instead registered in weaving. Having studied in a “text driven” system, the experience of learning as an apprentice, “watch me, now do it” was extremely challenging.

La lana te dice (The wool will tell you)
Exhibit of weavings by Elizabeth Starčević
Thu, Jan 30, 5pm
Bellas Artes (El Centro Cultural
El Nigromante)

Weaving became a major part of her life as she returned during every school vacation to work with Maestro Felix. As her tastes and her skills matured and her weaving style diverged from Maestro Felix’s classical Mexican weaving, he nevertheless gave her unwavering mentoring and support. His warm and supportive style was present for the more than 20 years that Elizabeth worked with him until the school closed for repairs.

During that time she observed his patience and humor as he taught students from Mexico and from all over the globe who wanted to study weaving in San Miguel. Even today it is possible to hear people say: Oh yes, I took a class from Maestro Felix!”

Elizabeth has had exhibits in galleries in New York and Vancouver  and recently in an international Biennial event in Xalapa, Mexico. This show is dedicated to her teacher, Felix Perez Juarez, who worked at El Centro Cultural El Nigromante, Bellas Artes for over 40 years and who died October 27, 2013. The title of the show: “La lana te dice” (the wool will tell you,) was a frequent response from the Maestro when asked “But how will I know what to do next?”

The exhibit opens on Thursday, January 30, at 5pm in the Centro Cultural. The works represent a variety of work that Elizabeth has done over the past 20 years. “I am so grateful to have been Félix’s student and I want the world to see the work that his generous teaching has produced.”


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