Magenta Cooperative is 10 Years Old
By Patricia Miller
Magenta Gallery cooperative will celebrate 10 years of success and acclaim the founding members Saturday, January 16. New work of current Magenta members will be on display.
10th Anniversary Opening
Sat, Jan 16, 5-8pm
Magenta opened July 14, 2005, in a small location on the corner of Umaran and Zacateros with four members. The original members were potter Rosa Torres, who also displayed Ernesto de la Pena’s paintings; Rebecca Peterson, whose specialties are nichos, paintings, and drawings; painter, jeweler, and clothing designer Bonnie Griffith; and Claudia Arceaga, furniture and pillow designer. Claudia stayed for a few months and was replaced by painter Victoria Pierce.
According to Victoria, “I joined in 2006 as a wall artist. For me sales were always pretty good. Though Bonnie and her clothes always did the best in the Gallery!”
The founders met at the Arts and Crafts Fair at the Institute Allende and considered founding a more permanent venue for all their work. They all put in lots of time creating Magenta with the idea that opening a cooperative would let the artists have control of the display and sale of their art. They felt that, working together, the artists could count on professional and emotional support from all members. In 2005 the only other cooperative was Izamal Gallery.
They did brainstorming sessions to come up with a name and went through categories that they felt could express the founders’ feminine energies and artwork, names including flowers, goddesses, and then—colors! “Magenta” popped up, suggested by several members, a beautiful strong color and a name that is easy to remember in both Spanish and English. “Magenta is the strength of the spirit that drives us all to start, to create, to achieve, and to succeed. Since we were four women that started this, it was a very beautiful symbol.”
The challenges of starting a cooperative were the usual. According to Rebecca, “Dealing with the bank was ‘interesting’ and setting up the credit card machine took ages. We had to get permission from the anthropology department to change the exterior paint color, and city permission and approval of the sign and logo, which were designed by Rosa.” Jo Brenzo and Gary Berkowitz joined in 2007, and Magenta moved to Jo’s studio on Mesones 57 in 2008. A short time later the gallery moved to Hidalgo 29 and then in June 2012, moved to their current location at Zacateros 26.
Founding members still are active in their art. Rosa Torres is now teaching full time and developing her work. Rebecca is working on her doctorate in Jungian psychology and continues to teach classes in embellished tin boxes and Jungian-based journaling workshops. She has a private practice in art therapy and counseling. Victoria has been active in Gallery CSEI in Fabrica Aurora for six years. Rosa, Rebecca, and Victoria still live in San Miguel.
Bonnie Griffith now lives in La Manzanilla and has had her store/gallery Figura there for five years. She often returns to San Miguel.
We hope that all founding and past members of Magenta Gallery will join us for our 10th year celebration Saturday, January 16, Zacateros 26, 5-8pm.