Event recording and presentation by Jim Demetro of The Fishermen, June 1, 2018.
Bienvenidos todos, thank you very very much for coming. On behalf of my wonderful wife, Eva, and our daughter, Christina, who is a fellow sculptor, she is also a sculptor, she came from Alaska to be here, she's been in and out, working to sculpt this piece, so she is as much part of it as I am, so Christina Demetro.
As you know everything keeps changing here in Vallarta, it seems like every year we come back there is something new and change is always good and there is always bad. People come to see old Mexico and old Vallarta, everything is changing so fast so in our artwork what we are trying to do is preserve the history and culture, traditions of all Vallarta, which everybody, I think, really enjoys. That's the reason we are doing these type of sculptures.
The Fishermen project, it's called "Los Pescadores", The Fishermen, and I've been asked why are you doing the fisherman. It's interesting that the location of this piece, is very prominent, because it was right out here, about 15 meters from here, that I was walking along the ocean and this fisherman caught a fish and he reeled it in and he took his fish off the hook and he put it in his bucket and this big pelican swooped down and grabbed the fish out of the bucket and jumped in the ocean with the fish and he tossed it up into the air to get in his beak, but it went in sideways like this, so he couldn't swallow it, so he tried and tried and tried and couldn't swallow it. So finally he came ashore and the fisherman grabbed him by the back of the neck and another one opened up his beak and took his fish out and put it back in the bucket and shooed the pelican off. That's a true story, I actually saw it happen. And so I thought, OK, I gotta do something the fishermen, the pelicans and as you'll soon see, there are some other elements in there, there's a dog and a cat and one hidden element that's sort of in a corner if you can spot it or not.
So that's the story behind "The Fishermen" and why we did it. A lot of the projects we do we like to involve the community, we find that's very important and in order to raise the funding for this piece we had community involvement when we were sculpting it at our gallery "Demetro Gallería" by Parque Lázaro Cádernas. People would come by and we'd give them a piece of clay and they would put the clay wherever they wanted on the sculpture and then they would give us a donation. I'd say take a picture of this because someday, you know, when you get older, especially with the little kids that we had come through there, take a picture of it where you put the clay, then when the statue is there in person you can show everybody that "this I helped sculpt it, this piece" and they take ownership of it. We enjoy it, so that's the way we like to do projects, get the community involved, we also sell small models of this in bronze that we use to raise our funding. So that's basically how "The Fishermen" got here. There's a lot of people to thank, we couldn't have done it without, first of all, the people that contributed to the project with pieces of clay and buying the sculpture and then a special thanks to Hotel Playa Los Arcos, they gave us a nice donation, Engineer Enrique Carothers, Antonio López Rojas, over here, this gentleman, when things were getting a little anxious, things were being put in place, he came up, brought his construction crew in here, they built the base and got everything moving really fast, so, thank you, I appreciate that very much, for your help. Other people I would like to congratulate, architect Aiden Perez, is he here, no, architect Francisco Marugan, over here in the background, Francisco he lives in Vallarta, he's a very famous architect, he did all of the Bush Garden Projects, he did the Sea World in San Diego, he did a bunch of casinos on the Mississippi River and he's been a guy that I always go to if I need help and perspective on how to put things and where to place them, backgrounds and all, he's a really a great guy in México in that area, thank you, Francisco.
Gustavo López, where's Gustavo at, Gustavo here? Gustavo is the foundry guy, he's the one that made this in his foundry, he's done several of the projects and we did the burro project, the woman washing clothes, Elizabeth Taylor - Richard Burton, and he's just a great guy to work with, he's a great artist himself, so I enjoyed working with him. Gary Thompson, who, over here, Gary with Galería Pacífico, we work together, our gallery and Gary's gallery, he has 30 years, over 30 years of experience in the art world. Gary knows more about the artists, the sculptures, the paintings, the artwork, the stories behind them than anybody I know, and he gives a tour every Tuesday morning and Thursday evening, he walks along the Malecon and talks about all the artists, the artwork and then will come to our gallery and have a whole reception. So thank you, Gary, for being such a great person. He is also instrumental in helping me out Los Mangos library with his work.
The other person I'd like to congratulate, professor, Enrique Barrios, Enrique, he's a very important person in our lives. It's because of Enrique, that probably we are here with the statue tonight. It was 13 years ago that I met Enrique. He is the teacher of the Xiutla dancers, I think everybody knows who they Xiutla Dancers are. They perform on Fridays during the season right at Los Arcos by Parque Lázaro Cárdenas, Los Arcos Hotel provides the stage and all the seating for it. I watched them dance one night and I was so stunned and awed by the beauty of the dance that I thought, gosh, Vallarta needs a statue like this, someday they won't be dancing like that. So I happened to meet Enrique, he worked with the cultural administration at the time and I told him about my idea, he says "I am the teacher of the dancers", I said "Aha, I found the right person", so I told him my idea and he says, make a model of it and we'll show it to the mayor. So that's what we did, we made a model of it, showed it to the mayor and he approved of it and that's how the "Vallarta Dancers" got on the Malecon. Since then we've developed a great relationship, we've traveled all over Mexico together and he is a real treasure of Mexico because he worked under 3 different Presidents of Mexico... sorry about that. Traveled all over setting up cultural places all over Mexico and he is really a walking treasure, great, great person.
And a very special, special person I have here, he is part of the Zaragoza family, Margarita over here is his grandmother and I needed a model for the little boy as part of the sculpture, his name is Gerardo, Gerardo does not realize it, but he's going to be immortalized forever. So Gerardo is part of the Zaragoza family, who are fishermen, they have the Zaragoza store here for a while, that's where our gallery is at and they are very, very instrumental in a lot of the fishing projects and fishing supplies, so a special thanks to them for letting us use your little grandson as a model. Very soon we're going to see Gerardo, his double.
OK, I think with that we'd like to unveil the statue, enough of the speeches, and I'd like to have Gerardo help us out.
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