The Wondering Latina: Sealed With A Kiss…in San Elizario

It is said, that “Life, the gift of nature, Love, the gift of life, a Kiss, the gift of Love.” Yet others believe that a kiss is the union of two souls because in ancient times it was believed the soul was carried in our breath, (that’s why we say God Bless You when someone sneezes to ensure that the Devil wouldn’t jump in and steal your soul).

Even when studied in other primates a kiss was found to be used only in the moments to heal or soothe or display affection. In human civilization, ancient Sanskrit text finds the description of “drinking moisture from the lips” (we are pretty sure that’s a kiss reference) and the  “Ain Sakhri Lovers” is the earliest image depicting a “kiss” dating all the way back to 9000 BCE. Whether you are a hopeless romantic, or a naysayer of Valentine’s Day, one thing is certain, a “kiss” can transcend time and place.

Luckily for me, I did not have to wander too far to experience such magic. This past weekend I headed to San Elizario Historic District, where Placita Madrid was hosting their annual “Lovin’ The Art” showcase. This years theme was “The Kiss.” Each artist was to create a custom piece for the event to have on display during the festivities.

Escamilia Fine Art Gallery – award winning artist and Hall of Fame inductee, Alberto Escamilla who’s artwork I just love, so refined and precise, it is almost like listening to classical music on canvas, I could stare at his work for hours. For this festive occasion, Alberto recreated a first kiss between he and his wife, Rachel. What I love about their story, they restored my faith in true love. They met on a blind date over 30 years ago and each one said they knew, when they met, that they had found “the one.” When asked to describe their “kiss” they said “my beloved.”

Next I headed to House of Positive Karma where owner Irma Lopez showed me her piece which she calls “Meet Me Under The Bugambilia Tree.” She explained to me that this was in honor of her father and the famous tree of Mexico. They had purchased this tree for him and it didn’t really bloom, but after he passed, the tree sprouted and now has beautiful blossoms. She depicted a mariachi with salt pepper hair, under the Bugambilia tree, the lovers sharing a kiss under the beautiful buds. Between the exquisite huipiles on display and the bright colors all around and the image of the magical tree, it reminded me a little of Coyoacán, where Frida Kahlo lived.

Over at Dozal Fine Art Gallery  they had a work station for the kids, so they could also get in on the fun and make their own Valentines as well. Wine, cheese and yummy treats were overflowing and a delicious cranberry fruit punch that I could not get enough of. Robert Dozal was previously a local educator of close to 30 years, but his passion always had been in art and he had always worked on his craft. Now, no longer in the classroom, he is an award winning artist and he and his wife were the inspiration for his “kiss” piece.

Resident artist, Romy Saenz Hawkins also created her rendition of a “kiss” in perfect step with Valentines and our favorite Cherub, Cupid, with his arrows, uniting lovers all across the globe. Walking through her stunning metal works was like taking a stroll through the Catedral Metropolitana, I love the way she has taken a traditional style and used modern images to connect with the audience.

The ambiance was full of whimsy and the air was filled with that delicious smell of cocoa…time for coffee! Café Arte Mi Admore, is my personal new favorite coffee place. It reminds me so much of all my favorite things in Mexico City, the arte, the ambiance, and especially the authenticity of her “Café De Olla.” Anyone that follows my instagram knows that everytime I return from Mexico City I go through withdraws from lack of true ‘Café De Olla.” Artist and owner, Erica Zamora Murrill, has done a phenomenal job of  bringing the beauty, the art, the eclectic vibe that I love so much of CDMX. Her “kiss” was a recreation of the famous iconic piece by Gustav Klimpt titled The Kiss

I hope everyone enjoys this national Day of Love and Lovers, and if you find yourself in need of some extra charm, whimsy or want to take a “stay-cation” with bae, your Valentine, etc…then Placita Madrid is just a short drive away. San Elizario, where the magic is!