Aug 062015

Sadly, we currently know relatively little about the artist John Thompson, who lived in Jocotepec during the 1960s and 1970s, and considered himself a painter of the Miro school. He was a close friend of two long-time Jocotepec residents: photographer John Frost and his wife, the author Joan Van Every Frost. Thompson also knew Tom […]

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Aug 032015
Archaeologist Clement Woodward Meighan (1925-1997)

Clement Woodward Meighan (1925-1997) was an archaeologist who undertook field research in southern California, Baja California and western Mexico. His main link to the Chapala area is that he was the lead author (with Leonard J. Foote as co-author) of the monograph, Excavations at Tizapán el Alto, Jalisco (University of California Los Angeles, 1968). Tizapán […]

Jul 302015
John Macarthur (“Jack”) Bateman (1918-1999): artist, author and architect

John Macarthur (“Jack”) Bateman was a painter, author and architect who was born on 9 October 1918 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and died on 15 March 1999. Bateman moved to Ajijic with his wife Laura Woodruff Bateman and three young children in 1952; the couple quickly became pillars of the local community, making exemplary contributions to […]

Jul 272015
George Carpenter Barker  (1912-1958), editor and translator

Dr. George Carpenter Barker  (1912-1958) was an anthropologist, author, editor and translator. What makes Barker a worthy inclusion in our series of mini-biographies of artists and authors associated with Lake Chapala is his editing and translation of a copy of a manuscript found in Chapala in 1948 after a performance of a nativity play on […]

Jul 232015
Photographer Jack Weatherington (1933-2008)

Professional photographer Jack Weatherington, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 12 October 1933, moved to Ajijic in 1988 and resided there, continuing to take magnificent photographs, until his death in Guadalajara on 20 Feb 2008. Soon after relocating to Ajijic, he became fascinated with Mexican masks, “especially the hauntingly beautiful, and sometimes simply haunting centuries-old masks […]

Jul 202015

María de Jesús Magallón Pérez (1924–1957) was one of the seven poets included in De Esta Tierra Nuestra; Antología Poética (Colección Sahuayo No. I, 1972). Besides being an award-winning poet, she was a social activist and the founder of a piano school, a writing school and the “Diego José Abad” Literary Circle. Born in Jiquilpan […]

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Jul 162015
Leonie Trager, sculptor

Sculptor Leonie Trager, presumed to be Austrian, lived and worked in the Lake Chapala area in the early 1970s. Her solo exhibition in the Galería del Lago, Ajijic, in 1973, when she was living in Chula Vista (mid-way between Ajijic and Chapala). The catalog for that exhibition includes a brief biography stating that she had […]

Jul 132015
Mexico by Motorcycle: An Adventure Story and Guide, by William B. Kaliher

Sombrero Books is delighted to announce the publication of  Mexico by Motorcycle: An Adventure Story and Guide. Author William B. Kaliher is widely published and a regular contributor to Mexico Today. He has been traveling Mexico’s highways and byways since 1964. A born storyteller, he holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of […]

Jul 092015
Phyllis Porter Rauch, artist, writer and translator

Phyllis (Porter) Rauch, born 28 October 1938, is an American artist, writer and translator who has lived in Jocotepec for more than thirty years. Her husband was the internationally-acclaimed artist Georg Rauch (1924-2006). The couple lived in Guadalajara from 1967 to 1970, before moving to Laguna Beach, California for six years. They returned to Mexico […]

Jul 062015
Peter Everwine, poet and Nahuatl translator

Peter Everwine (born in Detroit, 14 February 1930) is an American poet who spent a sabbatical year in Mexico in 1968-1969. While living in the Lake Chapala area, Everwine (who had traveled previously in Mexico) became friends with (Don) Shaw and Tom Brudenell, both then living in Jocotepec. Of all Everwine’s poems, the one most […]

Jul 022015
Hung in the U.S. Supreme Court: two Lily Cushing paintings of Lake Chapala! Who knew?

Lily Dulany Cushing was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on 13 January 1909 and passed away on 21 September 1969 in Fishers Island, New York. She was married three times, but throughout her artistic career appears to have signed most paintings “L.C”. Her first, brief, marriage in 1929 was to George Crawford Clark Jr. After […]

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Jun 292015
Smith Kirkpatrick (1922-2008): novelist and acclaimed educator

Novelist and acclaimed creative writing instructor Smith Kirkpatrick spent several summers in Ajijic, with his wife Barbara, in the early 1960s and at one point was apparently working on a novel set in the village. The novel was never published. Kirkpatrick was born near Paris, Arkansas, on 28 November 1922, and passed away in Gainesville, […]

Jun 252015
British surrealist painter Bruce Sherratt lived in Jocotepec in the late 1960s

Artist and international art educator Bruce Robert Sherratt and his then wife Lesley Maddox, a British sculptor, lived in Jocotepec. at the western end of Lake Chapala, from 1968 to 1970. Prior to their arrival in Mexico, they had lived and traveled for some time in the USA. Bruce Robert Sherratt was born in Biddulph, […]

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Jun 222015
Honorato Barrera Buenrostro (1870-1952)

Poet, writer and politician Honorato Barrera Buenrostro was born in the Lakeside town of Jamay (mid-way between Ocotlán and La Barca) in 1870 and died in Ocotlán in 1952. He left his home town for Mexico City at a young age. In Mexico City, he studied and wrote alongside Amado Nervo (1870-1919) and Luis Gonzaga […]

Jun 182015
Ann Sonia Medalie (1896-1991), painter and muralist

Ann (sometimes Anna) Sonia Medalie (1896-1991) was a muralist early in her career before becoming an outstanding painter of flowers and landscapes. During her six years in Mexico (1942-1948), Medalie made occasional trips back to San Francisco, but was actively painting in Ajijic on Lake Chapala for six months in about 1943/44. American surrealist painter […]

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Jun 152015
Sam Eskin (1898-1974), ethnomusicologist

Sam Eskin (1898-1974) was an ethnomusicologist who traveled widely in the U.S. and beyond recording folk music. He was actively recording musical and cultural events for more than thirty years, from 1938 to 1969. His extraordinary audio collection includes material from the U.S., Latin America, the British Isles, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and East […]

Jun 122015

Painter and muralist Louis Ernest Lenshaw (1892-1988) was born in Esbjerg, Denmark, on 24 September, 1892. Lenshaw visited Chapala in the late 1940s or early 1950s while spending several months living and working in Guadalajara, though no details have yet emerged of his visit to Lakeside, or whether he painted whilst there. He does, however, […]

Jun 082015
George Ballou and a lost 500-page book about the artist-tourist colony at Lake Chapala

George Ballou was born in Madrid, Spain, probably on 21 November 1927, and is believed to have died in May 1986. His parents, Harold Ballou and Jenny Ballou, were journalists with the American News Service. George Ballou completed his high school education at Putney Academy in Virginia. According to an article about him in the […]

Jun 042015
Ernest Alexander (ca 1916-ca 1970), artist and photographer

One of the more interesting characters that made Ajijic a lively place to be in the early 1950s was the black American artist Ernest Alexander, known to most people simply as “Alex”. Alex was a painter and photographer who, from about 1950 to 1952, ran the Club Alacrán (Scorpion Club), a restaurant-bar in Ajijic, the […]

Jun 012015
ruth weiss, American poet

Born in 1928, ruth weiss is a renowned American poet, playwright and artist, best known for reciting her poetry to the accompaniment of live jazz. She visited Ajijic and Chapala briefly during an extended road trip to Mexico in 1958-1959, with her husband and her dog. weiss was born into a Jewish family in Berlin. […]

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