Anne Damon may be just opening her first brick-and-mortar store, but she’s no newbie to the world of Mexican folk art.
At age 16, she went to Mexico City to study Spanish, and fell in love with the country’s crafts, and every year she keeps going back for more.
“I’m more interested in the quirks, the handmade pieces,” she said. “I find it more interesting to see pieces that are one-of-a-kind, that are less ‘schooled’ because people have learned their craft from their family or their community, not an art school.”
A few years ago, she decided to put her expertise to use, opening a pop-up shop in St Louis Park before settling on the old Kurimay Interiors space as a permanent home for her wares.
The new shop, to be called , will boast art from a wide range of styles and locations in Mexico.
“Everything I carry is handmade and comes from a long tradition,” Damon said. “A lot of my stuff is made by people who’re showcased in museums in Mexico.”
Each buying trip she makes brings something new and different. On her last one, she found herself on a rooftop outside Mexico City. The paper mache sculptor she was visiting had set up a studio poking up amid the tangles of rebar that sprouted from the neighborhood’s low concrete and corrugated steel skyline.
“You could see all the neighbor’s with their washing machines and their clothes hanging in the air. The whole thing looked very unfinished, almost shoestring,” Damon said. “Even his studio was full of paper mache in process. You couldn’t move without kicking something.”
Zinnia Folk Arts is expected to open this spring.