In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Haywood Community College and Asheville Sister Cities will host Mexican amber artists on the College campus September 20, 1-2:30 p.m. in the Creative Arts Building. The artists are visiting from San Cristóbal de las Casas which became Asheville’s sister city in 1994. The international artists will have work on display and will hold a presentation and demonstration. There will also be Mexican refreshments available. This event is free and open to the public.  

Álvaro Hernández Alaniz was born into a family of jewelers. At age 21, he began his 8-year journey through Central America and Europe. His famous works draw inspiration from prehispanic culture, Mexican amber and textiles of the indigenous communities that he was surrounded by and experienced during his travels. Alaniz has earned various awards in national competitions; one of the most notable being the Hugo Salinas Price Award, September 2006, Mexico City – a collaboration with the master Ezequiel Tapia Bahena. In the annual Amber Expo in San Cristobal de La Casas, Álvaro has consistently won the Jewelry Innovation prize from July 2013 to the present (2017). He has taught classes at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Taxco Campus, at the School of Fine Arts in Mexico City and been selected by Academie der Bildenden Kunste Nurnberg in Germany.

Antonio Ramírez Jardines established himself as a handicrafts merchant in 1989 in San Cristóbal de las Casas - an activity that led him to the fascinating world of amber. Since 1990, Jardines has focused his time and energy in creative outlets by taking courses in jewelry, design and the arts. Since then, he has become a guide and pioneer in the Mexican amber movement. Along with his colleagues, he founded the famous Amber Expo in Chiapas, which has been occurring annually for 20 years. He has earned numerous awards at the local amber competition including two in the most prestigious category, Grand Amber Masters. Currently, he is the co-founder and president of the Amber Art Mexico group.

For more information about the international artist visit, please call 828-627-4579.