San Antonio - This wonderfully romantic Texas city is never more beautiful than during the Christmas season, when the famous River Walk is transformed into a winter fantasy, with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights in the trees reflecting like glittering jewels onto the winding waterway.
Over the past 20 years, San Antonio has been a favorite winter holiday destination for many travelers.
And the museum-quality folk art collection displayed at La Mansión Del Rio Hotel has enhanced San Antonio`s holiday magic. Hotel owner Pat Kennedy first began acquiring Mexican folk art treasures in the late-1980s with the assistance of the late Roberto Esparza, designer and former curator for the San Francisco Art Commission and San Antonio Museum Association.
The folk art takes on renewed significance this year with the acquisition of 3,000 new pieces of folk art from the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Jalisco, Mexico, to be featured this holiday season.
“La Mansión is devoted to honoring and maintaining all of the wonderful things that reflect San Antonio`s cultural heritage,” says Kennedy. “This collection of folk art has been delighting young and old, San Antonians and visitors, each holiday season for years. This year, we are excited to share our old favorites and newest treasures.”
The folk art complements the hotel`s Spanish Colonial architecture, lush courtyards and elegant interiors, and is a fitting choice for this hacienda-style four-diamond hotel that prides itself on preserving and embracing the city`s seasonal festivals and traditions, particularly those of Mexico. The collection will be on display from the day after Thanksgiving through the Feast of Epiphany.
Assembled and arranged under the direction of Veronica Prida and Ronald Kolodzie (pronounced ko-lo-gee) of Et-Al Design, the handcrafted toys and art pieceswill turn the entire hotel into a fantasyland evoking the most magical of Christmases. The hotel`s trees and garlands will brim with thousands of artisan-made dolls, musical instruments, angels, toy trucks and planes, animals and Nativity figures made from the humblest of materials - wood, bamboo, tin and straw.
Acquired from artisans in remote villages and Mexico City, many of the crafts were made “just for the love of the work,” says Prida, a Mexican-born fashion designer known for her use of Mexican textiles. Each individual artist`s handcrafted objects are outstanding examples of the indigenous materials from the various regions of Mexico.
Like all folk art, this exquisite collection at La Mansión is a reminder of how the simplest objects can convey such beauty and magic. “These folk art pieces are the voice of Mexico, and their directness and innocence seem to turn even the everyday things of life into an exuberant celebration,” says Kolodzie.