Guatemala is a bright and vibrant country steeped in deep Mayan culture. Throughout history the Mayan people have adapted and embraced the cultures that have and people who have shaped their present day lives. From the Spanish conquistadors  and the catholic religion to modern art and technology. Yet some how through the centuries their ancient folklore, culture and way of life is preserved and depicted in their art, crafts and everyday life.

Further Information

These are some examples of the unique styles of painting by over 200 different local artists. Please contact us or click on the galleries to view the current work  available on display in San Juan or on exhibition around the world.

The Impressionist Artists of San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala on the shores of Lake Atitlan (a world herritage site) are known to be some of the finest painters and artists in Central America.

With paintings hanging in the Permanent Section of the Smithsonian, and galleries around the world, the the San Juan Cooperative is proud and privileged to present our artist community as individual groups who work together fusing ancient Mayan arts with modern styles and techniques.

The imagination and creativity of the local artists cradled in the caldera of an ancient volcano exposes their natural expressionism bursting with color and life.

These artists create paints made from ancient Mayan recipes passed down through the ages to create their natural dyes and pigments. 

The unique composition for their vibrant colors come from secret ingredients extracted from seeds, flowers, plants, roots, bark and ground jade   

The canvasses upon which they paint are hand woven by the women in the town from raw cotton and silk blends grown locally and specifically chosen to create the texture and vitality to match the artists imagination.  


Impressionism 

is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.

The Impressionists faced harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France many of whom brought the paints, pigments and color fastners  from Central American Rain Forests to use in their paintings.

The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari.

As early travelers selling coffee and fruits to Europe brought back new ideas to the "New World", the town of San Juan la Laguna known for its fine organic coffee and medicinal plants, embraced these new styles fusing them with their traditional Mayan designs and colors. 

 

San Juan Cooperative  is  both proud and privileged to represent over 200 artists all painting in their own unique style and evolving view of society around them.

 

Our Individual  Artists, Groups and Galeries offer  painting  dying and tinting classes along with traditional weaving classes .

 

PAINTING  CLASS   TIMES: 

    Monday to Saturday :                                                                                                                   

  • 9:00 am       until      10:30 am                                                                                                      
  • 11:00 am       until      12:30 am                                                                                                        
  • 1:30 pm       until        3:00 pm                                                                                                        
  • 3:30 pm       until        5:00 pm