Corte de Naranja, Santa Cruz la Laguna
(Picking Oranges in Santa Cruz la Laguna)
17" x 17", oil on canvas.

Antonio C. Ixtamer

Bought by Vicente for Arte Maya from Ixtamer

It was because of this painting that Vicente Cumes Pop began working with Antonio Ixtamer, as critic and teacher, and as a result Ixtamer produced the best work he has ever done. I had had Vicente take me to Ixtamer’s house in San Juan la Laguna, because I admired his work. Vicente didn’t personally know Ixtamer before that, but he looked him up and arranged a meeting date. As a result of our visit Ixtamer started painting after having given it up for about a year, planning to move to Guatemala City to work construction. I had returned to the United States, when Ixtamer painted this painting, his first since our visit. He took it to San Pedro with the idea of selling it to Clemente Puzul, who ran a small gallery in San Pedro. Clemente was not in his gallery, so Ixtamer went to his house on one of the back streets of San Pedro. Clement was not there either, so he wandered out to one of the larger streets where there stood a house with a pink bouganvillea plant flowering over a small stoop. Tired and discouraged Ixtamer sat down on this stoop to think and rest. Just about this time Vicente Cumes, who unbeknownst to Ixtamer was owner of this house, came home. Vicente seeing how discouraged Ixtamer was invited him inside. Wanting to encourage him to continue painting, Vicente bought this painting with a little money he had managed to set aside. They soon became good friends, with Vicente providing themes and visiting Ixtamer every day or so to see the progress of the paintings and provide imput.

This painting and Pascual Abaj are good examples of Ixtamer best work up until the time he started working with Ixtamer. There is a casual symmetry to the painting with two women and a orange tree on the left side balanced with two men and a orange tree on the right. The four people are harvesting the oranges and putting them into sacks, baskets and the crates _____ a type which are seldom seen anymore. The oranges in various degrees of ripeness from green to orange surrounded by dark green orange leaves provide an ornamental effect. The soft blues and yellows of the lake, sky, and mountains peek through between the trees, the peeks of the volcanoes can be seen if one looks carefully through the canopy of the orange trees. Santa Cruz la Laguna is built on a rounded hill in the center Lake Atitlan. Steep mountains rising almost vertically above it



La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA; Nov.—Dec. 1992

Café Nidal, San Francisco, CA; July 1993

French Hotel Café, Berkeley, CA; Nov. 1993

Depot Bookstore & Cafe, Mill Valley, CA.; June 1994

Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI; Dec. 1994—Jan. 1995

Holland Area Arts Council, Holland Michigan; Feb. 1995

Saginaw Museum, Saginaw Michigan; May—June, 1995

Arte Americas, Fresno, CA, May 4 to July 13, 1997

Museo Chicano, Phoenix, AZ; February & June 25—Aug 7, 1998

SOMART Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Jan. 4—22, 2000