Fellow: Awarded 2011
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
In his works, Mexican-born Canadian artist Jesus Mora explores the relationship between the manmade and the natural and the often chaotic relationship between the two in the modern world. He believes a wider knowledge and deeper understanding of the culture of his Mayan ancestors and a greater reliance on their philosophy, known for its emphasis on balance and harmony, would help rectify current economic, environmental, and social instabilities. With that end in mind, during his Guggenheim Fellowship, he will be undertaking an indepth study of the Pop Wuj, the Mayan holy book, under the guidance of the Mayan K'iche' elder Bartolo Alvarez.
His study will expand the Mayan iconographic “vocabulary”—the images of skeletons, iguanas, snakes, native faces, and ancient patterns—that inform so much of his art. He also plans to illustrate a children’s book, in English and Spanish, about the Pop Wuj also known as Popol Vuh.
Mr. Mora has shown his drawings, watercolors, oil paintings, and mixed media art in over 100 group exhibitions during the last decade, and the Canadian Heritage Ontario Region office, Gallery 1313, Apostolis Gallery, Spence Gallery in Toronto and Centro Cultural Agora del Parque Naucalli and Casa de La Cultura Tulum in Mexico have mounted solo exhibitions of his work. During his career he has enjoyed generous support from the Ontario Arts Council in Toronto. In addition to his Guggenheim Fellowship, his honors include the CSPWC Julius Griffith Memorial Award and Granada, Spain’s Cultural Association “Valentin Ruiz Aznar” award.