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Costa Rican Cultural Exchange 2001
Memories to Savor

Papermaker Diane Borden Jones, metal sculptor Loyd Jones, FC Director Michele Tuegel and Bob Tuegel returned from an eight-day visit to Costa Rica on February 6th with many new friendships forged and memories that will last a lifetime.

Designed to continue Florida Craftsmen’s long-standing relationship with artists in Costa Rica, the trip was a huge success. The opening reception for the Florida Craftsmen exhibition in San Jose opened on February 1st to a standing crowd only.

Diane and Michele both presented slide lectures (enthusiastically translated by Ana Elena Fernandez, Director of Centro Cultural ‘s Sophia Wanamaker Gallery) which detailed Florida Craftsmen artists throughout the state, studio shots, and exhibition installations, complemented by individual works of Diane and Loyd Jones.

A highlight of the opening reception was meeting artists eager to learn about contemporary craft in Florida and welcoming a visit from the U.S. Ambassador, the Honorable Thomas Dodd , along with many dignitaries from the U.S. Embassy.

There was also much discussion about organizing a similar exchange in 2003, with the possibility of bringing additional Florida artists to San Jose to conduct educational lectures and workshops. The exhibition concluded on February 23rd, with special thanks to all of the FC artists that participated:

Jan Boyer
Diane Borden Jones
Loyd Jones
Betty Kjelson
Mary Klein
Tom McCarthy
Benjia Morgenstern
Lois Rector
Sang Roberson
Vincent Sansone
McKenzie Smith
Michele Tuegel
Mary Ellen Tully
Eva S. Walsh

Other than the few works that sold to patrons in Costa Rica, the exhibition was then shipped back to the Florida Craftsmen Gallery and is on exhibition through April 20th to coincide with the Contemporary Craft from Costa Rica Exchange Exhibition. 

The remainder of the trip was magical as well…….. visiting artist studios in San Jose, taking in the beautiful countryside, volcanoes, rainforests, animals and Pacific Ocean. The Cosa Rican countryside is breathtaking and the people are generous and friendly, hungry to learn more about our art , artists and customs. The good will that was felt through this exchange will last for many years to come. 

As the second half of the cultural exchange unfolded, Florida Craftsmen welcomed Grace Herrera (papermaker) and Luis Paulino Delgado (printmaker), both retired Professors of Art from the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, to Florida for the opening reception of their exhibition on March 9th. They brought along with them the woodcuts of Alberto Murillo and the exquisite silver jewelry works of Julia Villalobos to include in the exhibition alongside their own works. In addition, both artists provided hands-on workshops that weekend at the Dunedin Fine Art Center to a captive audience. Many thanks for to the Dunedin Fine Art Center for hosting these workshops for interested artists and the public. We thoroughly enjoyed their visit, managed to overcome the language barriers, and look forward to continuing our relationship with our neighbors in Central America.


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