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Brilliant Flowers and Cool Cactus Bloom at Galería Izamal

By Henry Vermillion

Brilliant Cacti and Cool Flowers—either part of this phrase describes the new paintings of

Cissy Smith Marks, the new member of Galería Izamal in downtown San Miguel de Allende. A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Saturday, February 24, from 6–8pm.

Marks, a Cincinnati native who has lived in San Antonio, Alabama, Baltimore, and San Miguel, paints vigorous, joyful, and colorful portraits of plants and cacti. She divides her time between here and Baltimore.

She studied at the Maryland Institute of Art, Parsons and at Traphagen and has done professional fashion and rug design as well as having taught art. She’s not a newcomer to Mexico. “Our first visit to San Miguel was in 1998,” she said. “We´d heard of the art. We came, bought a house, and have been coming ever since.”

There’s nothing fussy about Marks’s paintings. The paint is carefully but boldly brushed on. Her colors are brilliant but modulated. Her flowers show the lights and darks of sun and shadow, how the sun outlines the zigzag edges of flower petals or the spines of a cactus. The shadowed inside of an agave or a nopal may be an ultramarine blue blended into a purple. The flower buds at the tips of the nopal pads are carmine red.

Galería Izamal is one of the flagship art galleries in San Miguel. It recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Its other artists include jewelers Maria Bracho and Crystal Victoria and painters Juan Ezcurdia, Leslie Jakobovits, Roberto López Fuentevilla, Bill Morrow, Henry Vermillion, and Britt Zaist. Galería Izamal is located at Mesones 80, next door to the Ángela Peralta Theater.



Brilliant Cacti and Cool Flowers

Work from Cissy Smith Marks

Sat, Feb 24, 6–8pm

Galería Izamal

Mesones 80




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