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Art Scene and Seen Alejandro Anaya, a Fresh Set of Eyes

By Meryl Truett & John Dodge Meyer



So many of us in San Miguel are pursuing our artistic interests. For some it was a late life retirement reinvention. A chance to finally explore our creative longings. Or maybe we took a mid-life gamble? Risking it all to follow our artistic instincts, our passion, or as the French would say, our “raison d’être”… our reason for being? Alejandro Anaya falls firmly into the latter category.


He was born into an established family as an unplanned, but much loved fourth child. His three much older siblings were well on their way to careers in finance, banking and accounting. So it came as a surprise when his parents realized that his seemingly childish preoccupation with drawing beginning at age four culminated in a declaration at age seven that, “I want to be an artist when I grow up!” By his own admission, Alejandro was discouraged from that notion in many ways. He was raised in Torreon, a fairly young industrial city near Monterrey. “It was not big on art,” he reflects. “No museums, galleries or art classes in school.” In fact he found that school seemed designed to quash creative impulses in favor of preparation for “real world” pursuits. But Alejandro found himself compelled, even at that stage of his young life, to instinctively continue an interest in drawing and the creative outlet of comic books and movies.


When it came time to make plans for a college education, his parents were still adamant that his desire to go to an art school was a non-starter. A compromise was reached and he enrolled at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Communication. His college work in media somewhat satisfied his creative nature and that, along with some fellow students actually making fun of his constant “doodling” eventually found him putting his drawing compulsion aside for the foreseeable future.


After graduation Alejandro moved to Mexico City and spent the next twenty years working for production companies doing commercial programming. He had a natural talent for drawing storyboards and soon worked his way to assistant directing, script writing and editing. As aesthetically satisfying as this work could be, it was not nearly as exciting as what the Mexico City art scene had to offer: museums, galleries and the opportunity to be inspired by the work of world class established artists as well as young, exuberant emerging artists bravely following their dreams. Not only that, but the life long passion for producing his own work was being rekindled through exposure to the wealth of creative energy in Mexico City. So a plan was formed. Having visited San Miguel at different times in his life and now having made the decision to pursue his art career full time, Alejandro and his wife Janet moved here five years ago, just two days after getting married! In these ensuing years, Alejandro has established himself as a vibrant force in this already world class artistic mecca. He has become a recognizable fixture at Fabrica La Aurora; showing work at Galeria Edgardo Kerlegand and teaching many workshops and doing private tutoring sessions for all age groups. His goal as a teacher is to inspire and encourage; despite of his experiences in his youth. As he says, “I value teaching and the chance to nurture the creative spirit.”


It’s easy to see that Alejandro’s life path to full time artist is a recognizable journey to many of us. Should we do what we love, or do what this world keeps telling us we “need to do”? Alejandro calls it the tension between the logical and the emotional; and that existential struggle is the very foundation of the new body of work that has emerged over these last few years in San Miguel. “Each piece begins with the eyes,” Alejandro explains. “The eyes are seemingly always a reflection of opposing points of view; spiritual, practical, emotional, political. My quest to evolve constantly in my visual discourse has led me to experiment with various mixed media techniques with which I seek to reflect my fascination for human expression and the diversity of views on the world. Above all, I have focused on creating characters freely and through spontaneous strokes to express the imperfection and genius of the human imagination.


Meryl Truett is an artist and workshop instructor in SMA. You can view her work at www.meryltruett.com or check her out on Instagram @madeinsma. John Dodge Meyer is an artist and writer living in San Miguel.

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