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Visiting Artists’ Presentation: Wence and Sandra Martinez

Monday, October 15, 7:30 p.m., lower gallery of art museum

Several examples of the artists' work will be on display in the permanent collection gallery from August 21-October 16.


Wence and Sandra Martinez, Semillas, 2011, hand-spun, hand-dyed wool flatweave tapestry, 57 x 41", Lent Courtesy of Collection of Jansson/Rose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, © Wence and Sandra Martinez, Martinez Studio. 

As a couple, Sandra and Wence Martinez have forged a unique marriage of Wence's pattern-driven weaving and Sandra's signature glyphic drawing. The Martinez Studio is located in Jacksonport, Door County, Wisconsin. Wence was raised in a centuries-old commercial weaving center, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. He furthered his studies in Mexico City at the Taller Nacional de Tapiz (National School of Tapestry). His dream of focusing on his own designs and opening a gallery materialized in 1988, when he responded to a request to have one of Sandra's works on paper translated as a tapestry, a commission that brought them together.

Sandra (Hackbarth) Martinez for 30 years has practiced a primitive drawing style as a way to engage nature and spirit. The graphic nature of her work lends itself to use in a variety of projects from the tapestries woven by her husband to small collections of accessories. One of her more recent concerns, expressed in plant imagery, arose when she wintered in Oaxaca and became aware of the issue of GMO (genetically modified organism) crops affecting local corn strains, and the indigenous plant movement.