by Teresa Dineros
Being part of a country with a very rich and well-defined cultural identity, Baja California is a hodgepodge of art, history and local culture. Everything from religion to everyday activities in Baja have a tinge of unique Mexican culture and beliefs. One great example of local cultural events in Baja California is the annual art festival held in Todos Santos.
The Todos Santos Art Festival is usually celebrated during the month of February and celebrations continue for about a week. This festival of the arts is mainly focused on commemorating and keeping alive traditional Mexican art and artworks. However, the festival also becomes a means of encouraging young, modern artists and fresh, new ideas so that the festival becomes an ideal combination of preserving traditional Mexican art and inspiring new talents.
It must be emphasized that the Todos Santos Art Festivities do not solely focus on painted and sculpted works of art. Aside from Baja California painters and sculptures, the festivities also involve the arts of Mexican singers, dancers, performers, textile weavers, theater actors, film makers, literature writers, craftsmen and Mexican artists in general. Aside from the galleries, workshops and exhibits located in almost every street, public area and museum in Todos Santos, there are also dance performances, singing contests, parades, theater plays, film screenings, poetry readings and workshops all over Todos Santos during the whole duration of the town’s Annual Art Festival.
Many tourists, vacationers, shoppers and art lovers come to Todos Santos, Baja California during the week long celebration on the arts int his little Mexican city. Aside from being a mere spectator of the grandeur and beauty unraveling through exhibits and displays, visitors in Todos Santos are also part of the celebrations. They can participate in workshops, free performances and contests. Shopping for artwork and trying your hands on making traditional Baja crafts are popular activities during the Todos Santos Art Festival. Street parties can also be seen almost everywhere. Music, parades, Mexican food and dancing becomes part of the daily scene for a week and sometimes festivities extend all throughout the day and into the nights.
The atmosphere throughout the entire city is like a community party wherein locals and visitors celebrate the indescribable fulfillment and pleasure brought about by seeing, making and participating in any form of art. Art seems to be a universal language which people of all nationalities can use in order to bridge the any cultural barrier so that a common understanding and appreciation is achieved and shared.