Logo in header



MEAPO invitation

FOFA is proud to have developed an outstanding partnership with the State Museum of Popular Art of Oaxaca (Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca, MEAPO). Located in the municipality of San Bartolo Coyotepec just south of the city of Oaxaca, it is a small museum showcasing the state's many beautiful handicraft and folk art traditions, including barro negro (black pottery), wood carvings, jewelry, weavings and tin work. The museum is not only dedicated to featuring and preserving traditional folk art, but also to bringing attention to the artists and their families. MEAPO is able to achieve this through its extensive permanent collection, on-line cyber museum, and events such as folk art markets, temporary exhibits, and conferences.

Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca, MEAPO

Black pottery gallery

MEAPO's Evolution
MEAPO officially opened in 2004, the culmination of an idea nearly 100 years old. In 1905, Manuel Guzman, a resident of San Bartolo, donated a plot of land and a collection of books to create a cultural center. Instead the donation was used to build a school. Many years later, in 1994, the Consejo Indigena del Pueblo (Indigenous Advisory of the Village) organized a group of young people to promote and disseminate cultural information about San Bartolo and its famous black pottery by creating a museum or cultural center.

To gain wide participation they invited artesanos from the Central Valleys of Oaxaca to contribute their pieces in all classes of folk art. Academics, intellectuals, and working artists were also welcomed. Support was also offered by the Asemblea General del Pueblo (General Assembly of the village), and the Instituto Oaxaqueño de las Culturas (the Oaxaca State Cultural Institute) that granted the project 25,000 pesos (approximately $2,000 USD) for the construction of the museum. Due to the hard work and initiative of Carlomagno Pedro Martínez, the Secretaria de Finanzas del Gobierno del Estado (Secretary of Finance of the State of Oaxaca) granted the museum an additional 80,000 pesos (approximately $7,000USD).

The museum officially opened in 1996 with an impressive collection -- the result of a folk art contest in conjunction with Artesanias e Industrias Populares del Estado de Oaxaca (ARIPO), to whom the collection actually belonged. Throughout the next years, the museum struggled financially, but nevertheless produced outstanding exhibitions, including "Grandes Maestros del Arte Popular de Oaxaca" (Great Masters of Oaxacan Folk Art) and "Historia y Evolución del Barro Negro" (History and Evolution of Black Ceramics). 

MEAPO Exhibit poster

By 2000, a different space -- originally solicited by professors for the educational institution, CEBETIS -- was granted by the Municipal President for a period of 18 months. The state government (on behalf of the Oaxacan Cultural Institute) signed an agreement with the Comisariado de Bienes Communales (Commission of Communal Well-Being) to loan the property for the museum as a community gathering space. This is the present home of MEAPO. 

Facade of museum

MEAPO home

In 2002 the state government agreed to fund construction of the museum and its maintenance. Officially opened in 2004, it was intended to be a cultural center for regional folk art, with the mission of promoting, disseminating, and fostering the different artistic works and pre-Hispanic techniques inherited from their ancestors.

FOFA's Outstanding Collaboration with MEAPO
FOFA has had the honor of working closely with MEAPO on a variety of projects, of which its series of Young Artists' Competitions (2008, 2011, and upcoming August 2013) is best known. Young artesanos (30 and under) submit their work to a panel of international, independent jurors. The winners are awarded scholarships to art school or mentored tutorials to enhance and broaden their knowledge and technique in their chosen medium. Winners and recipients of honorable mention are featured in a full-color catalogue and an exhibition. All activities are produced and conducted at MEAPO, by its talented and dedicated staff led by museum director, Carlomagno Pedro Martínez.  



FOFA is also delighted to have shared sponsorship with MEAPO of tianguis (folk art markets) that assist artesanos in selling their unique works of folk art. 

MEAPO's history

Carlomagno Pedro Martínez articulately underscores the cherished objectives of FOFA and MEAPO's five-year-long collaboration:

"We witness the preservation of the magic of Oaxaca in the beautiful objects that come from the region's innately creative and indigenous hands. Popular art is a form of human expression that separates us from lower forms of life. A pueblo that honors, supports, and recognizes its artists is a pueblo that has a great future. In Oaxaca, we are fortunate to be able to count on the artistic expression of many pueblos; it is as common as the flow of daily life in markets, in homes-everywhere. To see everyday materials such as clay, wool and cotton thread, tin, paper, bamboo, wood, and the like transformed into a statement of real beauty alters the senses, and leads us to experience the most moving human sentiments. It is essential that we stimulate young people to develop their creative potential, as well as to be conservators who transmit their heritage from generation to generation."

MEAPO's mission

 Thank You to our Generous Sponsors!
  WUFoundationLogo Los Amigos Logo SRE logo MCINY logo 
 Click here to visit our updated website featuring additional event info, some of our previous contest winners and their works, and lots more.

 Like us on Facebook  


Click on the link above to make a donation of any amount to support our valuable efforts. Thank you! 

www.fofa.us 718-859-1515 info@fofa.us  275 Central Park West, #1-C  New York, New York 10024