Postcard from San Miguel de Allende: Sun rises again at La Aurora

“Holy Wedding,” watercolor by Kelley Vandiver

More than 300 workers lost their livelihoods when the giant mechanical looms quit spinning cotton at Fabrica la Aurora in 1991. After 90 years, the massive mill stood silent.

Twenty years later, artists began to breathe new life into the abandoned structures as developers reopened one after another to create a vibrant center of art and design. The studios of working artists, art galleries, antique stores, restaurants and cafes now number more than 40, meaning meandering through the campus can take several hours.

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Naturally, my favorite space belongs to artist Kelley Vandiver because every painting tells a story – the kind I call “saintly stories nuns never told me.” And Vandiver splices wonderful iconography into the tales he weaves.

Why live in Mexico? Vandiver’s answer:

This is a beautiful country that embraces the insane and the artistic with open arms.

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