Painting Global Connections

Benedicto Ixtamer's works depict traditional Mayan culture, emphasizing the collaborative effort displayed in harvesting coffee beans.

During a journey to Guatemala, President Schall had the opportunity to meet and stay with the family of one of that country’s treasured artists—Benedicto Ixtamer.

Impressed by Benedicto’s captivating paintings of traditional Mayan life, Dr. Schall helped the artist to connect with the Coca-Cola Company, which was busy putting together an exhibition to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Now, the Mayan painter’s mural “Cooperativa de Cafe” graces the walls of their Atlanta global headquarters.

The 7’x9′ oil on canvas mural depicts the Mayan people working cooperatively in harvesting and processing coffee, a regional agricultural tradition. Proceeds from the sale of the mural support “Al Planeta un Pincelazo,” an organization that will facilitate the purchase of 4000 plants of coffee and 3000 trees.  The funds will also help support several young adults finish their education.

Benedicto, who still works  in the coffee plantation part-time, recalls joyfully picking coffee fruits with his brothers in his native Guatemala.  The artist, who began painting at the age of 13 with only three jars of paint, traveled to Atlanta to present the mural and stopped by Oglethorpe’s Hearst Hall to attend a reception in his honor,where he displayed and sold smaller works of art, quickly snapped up by attendees.

For more information about Benedicto Ixtamer’s work and Al Planeta un Pincelazo, visit http://www.benedictomayanartist.org/Bienvenidos.html

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