Apr 062023

The sculptor (María) Leticia Moreno Buenrostro (1930-2016) began her artistic career as a child. Moreno was born in Tizapán el Alto on the southern shore of Lake Chapala on 30 November 1930. Her grandfather and one of her uncles had apiaries, and Moreno used to take some of the wax to model small figurines of animals: horses, dogs and cats. She later began to make human forms by carving sticks she found in her own garden.

Moreno entered the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (San Carlos) in Mexico City in 1953, and graduated from that institution in 1957. She was awarded a Masters in Fine Arts in 1960 and taught wood sculpting at the Escuela Nacional for fifty years before retiring in 2009. Several of her students have gone on to become professional sculptors.

Tizapan el Alto

Moreno produced 61 major wood sculptures during her career. Because she chose to live for her art, not from her art, she exhibited only infrequently. Her major shows, all in Mexico City, were at the Bienal de Escultura del Museo de Arte Moderno (1979), the Museo Universitario del Chopo and the Academia de San Carlos. Moreno was awarded a second place medal in a competition among the teachers in the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas.

In 1990, Moreno was commissioned to design a coat-of-arms for her native town, Tizapán del Alto. Below the name (derived from “place of Tizatl, where the river passes”) is a circle adorned with blue green feathers, from which protrude six obsidian-tipped arrows. The central area of the shield includes a representation of the Río de la Pasión entering Lake Chapala, along with two stylized buildings made of reeds and thatch, with a line of footsteps indicating the long journey made by the town’s ancestors to reach this idyllic location.

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Chapter 4 of Lake Chapala: A Postcard History is devoted to the early history and importance of Tizapán el Alto and the southern shore of Lake Chapala.


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.

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