Do you recognize the two children who are the subjects of this charming painting by Florentino Padilla? Padilla (who lived from about 1943 to 2010) was one of several young artists whose talent was recognized by Neill James, the American writer who resided in Ajijic from the mid-1940s. James helped Padilla obtain a scholarship to study art in San Miguel de Allende from 1960 to 1962.
The painting—believed to date from the mid-1970s, when Padilla was giving classes for the Children’s Art Program (CAP) organized by the Lake Chapala Society—was owned by acclaimed American photographer Sylvia Salmi, who resided in Ajijic at that time and was an active supporter of CAP.
- Short profile of Florentino Padilla (If you can supply more details about this artist’s life and work, please get in touch!)
Several chapters of Foreign Footprints in Ajijic: Decades of Change in a Mexican Village offer more details of the history of Art in Ajijic.
- My sincere thanks to Bruce Wilcox for sharing a photograph of this painting with me and for allowing its reproduction in this post.
Comments, corrections or additional material related to any of the writers and artists featured in our series of mini-bios are welcomed. Please use the comments feature at the bottom of individual posts, or email us.
Tony Burton’s books include “Lake Chapala: A Postcard History” (2022), “Foreign Footprints in Ajijic” (2022), “If Walls Could Talk: Chapala’s historic buildings and their former occupants” (2020), (available in translation as “Si Las Paredes Hablaran”), “Mexican Kaleidoscope” (2016), and “Lake Chapala Through the Ages” (2008).