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La Casa de la Cultura, Alamos presents information about the “Muralismo al Fresco” Project:

Fresco painting is a technique used to paint murals. Mineral pigments ground in distilled water are painted onto fresh lime plaster. The plaster absorbs the pigments. When dry, the pigments are sealed chemically inside the wall. Fresco murals can last hundreds, even thousands, of years.

There are extant examples of frescos painted in Ancient Egypt (c. 1200 BC) and Ancient Greece (c. 500 BC), among many other ancient civilizations. In Mexico, one can see Mayan frescos painted 1300 years ago in Bonampak. Rivera and Orozco, among others, used the technique in the 20th century.

“Muralismo al Fresco” is a 3 year project, with limited support from the State Government of Sonora, the Instituto Sonorense de Cultura, CONACULTA, the Alamos Municipal Government and the Municipal Cultural Development Program of Sonora.

Project Muralismo al Fresco, Accomplishments in 2007:
1) Built an underground lime pit, with a 5000 liter capacity, as a permanent installation at the Casa de Cultura.

2) Slaked one metric ton of quicklime (CaO) with 2000 liters of distilled water.

3) Purchased all tools necessary for plaster work.

4) Purchased a half ton of ground limestone.

5) Initiated research into local sources of lime, and traditional pigments.

6) Purchased fresco pigments and brushes from Zecchi Colori in Florence.

7) Initiated search for local sources of flint and quartz for sand.

8) Initiated a series of meetings consulting the community about themes and imagery for public murals. Produced bilingual report of results from 6 meetings.

9) Cultivated a core group of local Mexican artists as participants.

10) Built a granite grinding slab, and muller.

11) Produced a bilingual guide for artists.

12) Secured minimal funding for 2008.

13) Proposed a sister project aimed at involving geologists in the search for local sources of azurite, malachite and hematite, and seeking their expertise in small-scale calcination.

14) Commissioned the production of clay tablets for workshops.

15) Demonstrations of pigment grinding, plastering and the production of Bianco San Giovanni.

16) First fresco workshop held in December.

Planned for 2008:
1) Introductory fresco technique workshops.

2) Weekly mural design meetings for the artists of Alamos.

3)Networking, partnerships, fundraising, and press coverage.

Want to participate? Sign up at the Casa de Cultura, Loma Guadalupe. More information on Fresco Workshop details can be seen on the website of the Project Co-ordinator Daan Hoekstra

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