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Jail art program

The “Gráfica Siqueiros” engraving workshop was born in 2017, inside the Santa María de Ixcotel prison in Oaxaca de Juarez.

Created by César Chávez and Jason Pfolhl, the project was named after to the famous Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros, a communist political activist, imprisoned in 1962 to serve an eight-year sentence. They accused him of having organized student demonstrations, which turned into riots, sowing chaos in the capital for several days.

Grafica Siqueiros is now operating with workshops in 4 different jails around Oaxaca city, giving the incarcerated women, men and teenagers an opportunity to meet artists and learn differents technics of printmaking, painting, stencil, cinema, art therapy, etc. meeting different artists from all over the world teaching them inside the prison.

Margaux Guiheneuc, owner of Vamos o que? tours is supporting Grafica Siqueiros project by exhibiting their art in her gallery « A Ver Arte Galerie » located in the center of the town. Since 2021 she has been connecting tourists of her own “City Art Tour” with the artists of two different jails of Oaxaca by exhibiting their woodblock prints and handicrafts as well as organizing exhibitions both in Oaxaca, Mexico and in France.

During ART AND CACAO CITY TOUR the tourists are invited to print a woodblock made inside jail and bring the print home. The donation to the program for each print is included in the tour price!

“The artists of the Siqueiros studio have a beautiful heart and a lot to share and teach us about life, art and how to appreciate every moment of our freedom. They motivate me in many aspects of my life.” Margaux Guiheneuc

Last october for their 6th anniversary, the incarcerated artists of the Workshop « Taller siqueiros » of the detention center of Villa de Etla, Oaxaca worked on a serie of woodblock prints with the thematic «  FACHADAS DE OAXACA » (english « Facades of Oaxaca »). The exhibition is made up of twenty-three images (woodblock prints) representing walls, doors, and histories either of the beautiful colonial City of Oaxaca de Juarez, songs, memories of their free life or the walls of the prison.

Along with the prints, the artists have been writing about their inspiration and motivation to participate in this project.

"I was motivated by the wish of going out through this big door without anything detaining me. Here is the ability to go back to a different image, different walls, different doors, different paths, a different life. Through my art I am free in my thoughts, my soul, my wishes...imprisoned but not completely because I am here outside present trough my art.

Walls, doors and facades represent dreams, visions, hopes, freedom."



"I represented the eyes that watch us every day, the walls that shelter us from the cold during this stay and our passage through this place. Where are we going? With such high walls and big eyes in every corner, we wait for the moment when the walls fall (and the doors of freedom open)."



"I am motivated as an artist by the power of unity between people, that regardless of circumstances, we are all human beings. To those who view this art: open a window to the opportunity to get to know each other and see that in each engraving dwells our humanity."


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