This week has been a major event at our house in San Miguel. As I have jokingly said more than once since Fred and Pinky and I moved into this house, “We are turning Mexican Minimal into Mexican Maximal.” This house was so very tastefully decorated when we moved in that I felt for the first week that I was living in a high-end VRBO—well, because I was. This house was used mostly as a rental to part-time San Miguel visitors for the past few years. In the month that we have been here we have been turning this house into our permanent home. We brought some of the things from Nashville that we really loved, and we kept some of the things that were in the house when we bought it furnished.
The dining room is one of my favorite rooms of the house. The light in this room can change dramatically during the course of the day. When the sun is coming in from the long front entryway and shining down from the skylights, it is bright. But, in the late afternoon, when the sun is coming from the terrace behind it, it is dark and needs artificial lighting. The dining room has a niche built into the wall. I learned today that it was put in by a former owner to display a Mandarin robe. The latest owners had installed a Zen-like fountain wall in the niche that we really didn’t like. It was heavy as hell, and we told the movers that it they could get it out they could have it.
We soon realized exactly what we needed for the niche, a mosaic mural by our new friend, Anado. If you don’t know him, you should. In my mind, he is simply a creative genius. I truly believe that when the story of art in San Miguel is told many years from now that Anado will always be remembered as someone who added a great deal of beauty, originality, and life to this city. I first met him when a friend took me out to visit the home and gallery that he shares with his husband, Richard. Richard is another wonderful guy… the yin to Anado’s yang. He is an art historian, and still teaches in San Francisco part-time when he isn’t in San Miguel. I was totally taken aback by the environment that they have created. The gallery on the property, The Chapel of Jimmy Ray, can be visited by appointment and if you are ever in San Miguel de Allende, do not, repeat–DO NOT–miss it. I wanted to take a little of Anado’s art home with me, so I bought one of the necklaces that he had made and had on display.
Shortly after meeting Anado at his gallery, I ran into him again at a party. I felt a definite connection, and started to imagine one of his works in the niche in our dining room. This is a very important spot in our house because you see it first thing when you walk in the door. Fred was very receptive to the idea, and was extremely easy to convince that this was exactly what we should do. After we saw the Anado’s work at the home of our friend, Linda Bacon, we were absolutely sure that this was what we needed to really put some energy into our new home. We decided it would be our 35th anniversary present. I have been thinking for the past ten years that this one would be worthy of a really big present. Since 35th is the “Ruby Anniversary,” Fred knew he was getting off light. (Full disclosure–our anniversary isn’t until summer, but neither of us wanted to wait that long.)
I was quite impressed by how quickly Anado and his team of artisans got this done. It was fun to have them in the house, and it is such a joy to walk in a see the mural. I love the way it changes, depending on the light and the time of day. I love the way it reflects light and makes a disco ball pattern on the dark stone floor. It is a big piece of jewelry for our house. Who needs a Burmese ruby anyway? It will be fun to watch people react to it. One thing is for sure, it is impossible to ignore it. It is the perfect work of art, in the perfect place. Thanks, Anado.
To see more about Anado, and my first visit to The Chapel of Jimmy Ray, check out this blog post as well…https://margaretellisaroundthehouse.com/2015/11/04/an-afternoon-with-anado/