Archive for the 'Projects' Category


Who needs a tiger reading Blake?

Readers by Sergio Santos and Calixto Santiago

This is National Library Week, and have we got a library for you!

The green cabinet near the counter at Mingei is full of whimsical carvings of cows, mermaids, goats and dogs and other studious creatures reading.    All of these readers are from the village of La Union in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, a beautiful agricultural spot in the mountains which had no library until two summers ago.  That problem has now been remedied, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our customers and of fabulous and big-hearted local performers Carmen  Deedy and John McCutcheon who created a wonderful benefit performance for us at the Georgia Center for the Book.    To continue to support the village and their library, we sell the reading figures at Mingei and send 20% of the sales to the library.  To read more about this project, click the link on your right (under About Mingei World Arts)!

While the green cabinet is full– that’s all there is!  We have worked our way through the spares tucked away in the back and are down to what we have on display.   It is time to get those carvers working again so  we can get plenty more in time for the Decatur Book Festival on Labor Day weekend!

Now here’s where it gets fun.  Is there is special someone in your life who really needs a snail reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking? or a red dog reading Clifford?  Because of our special relationship with the carvers, we are able to make special requests.  We would love to help you plan a very special gift, choosing the price range and carver for just the piece you want.  Since we are working with artists, sometimes the final product differs from the vision; sometimes it is better!  Come on in to talk to us about your ideas!  The figures begin at $35 for the beautifully detailed little pieces by Maximino Santiago and go up from there.  Most are $55-$60.  A fine piece by well-known carver Gabino Reyes could be $250-$300.  We work regularly with 11 carvers in the village, so there is quite a variety of styles– something for everyone.  Depending on your request, we may ask for a deposit.

We will be sending our wish list to Mexico early in May, so please make your requests by May 1.


Helping Haiti

Market by Raymond Lafaille, Port-au-Prince, Haiti*

The tragedy of the earthquake and its aftermath in Haiti have moved all of us at Mingei to act, and the most effective way to act now to help Haiti is to send money to an effective organization who knows Haiti and the Haitian people and who had a track record of successful work in this wondrous but crushingly poor nation.

We have chosen Partners in Health for our contributions.  We donated a portion of two days of our sales to PIH on January 14 and 15 and continue to collect your cash and check donations at the counter.  We are happy to consolidate and forward your donations large and small to this wonderful organization.  You can also donate directly to PIH by clicking on the image in the sidebar.

We will also be participating in the Decatur Haiti Relief Event on Monday, February 1.  A portion of our proceeds for the day will be contributed to the city-wide fund, which will be matched by the Decatur Beer Festival and sent to the Red Cross.

We are looking for other ways to support Haiti in the months and years to come.  Look for more announcements soon!

* Thanks to the Vassar Haiti Project for this image.

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