According to Regina Pozo, founder of Mexican design house Txt.ure, Mexico is beginning to be recognized as the “cultural superpower” that it’s always been, thanks in large part to the popularity of Mexico City. And while the capital remains a veritable paradise for the creative class, the world is beginning to turn its attention to Guadalajara—a city of 1.5 million, about four hours northwest, where the arts have an equally rich but lesser known history. Los Angeles–based photographer Jessica Pons traveled to Guadalajara with Here in February for the PreMaco arts festival, discovering a love for a city where the influence of the arts is inescapable.
“Guadalajara is all lines and fachadas,” says local photographer Gaal Cohen about the city’s many intersecting phone lines and colorful façades.
Guadalajara’s streets are made especially colorful by lively street art such as this chameleon mural.
Though few people have lawns in urban Guadalajara, there is still plenty of well-manicured greenery in front of homes. This boxy tree, outside of equally boxy windows, was a real treat for the senses.
New friends come in all shapes and sizes in Guadalajara.
Cohen also remarks on the connection in Guadalajara between trees and people. He adds that “Jalisco,” the state in which Guadalajara is the capital, could be derived from “jal,” a name for the rich soil in this region. Here, a residential citrus tree in the middle of urban Guadalajara.
Vibrantly colored compositions like this exist all throughout the city.
Paints in ceramicist Eduardo Sarabia’s studio.
A painter working on one of Sarabia’s upcoming projects to be on view in Madrid. “With my ceramics, I’m moving into a more personal theme instead of the more political or folkloric,” he says about some of his new works.
Another of Sarabia’s painters working on a ceramic series.
Views from inside the Palacio de Gobierno in the historic center of downtown Guadalajara. This building features some of Jalisco native 19th century painter José Clemente Orozco’s most famous murals.
An urban cowboy in downtown Guadalajara.
This sculpture is a part of a series of bronze benches and chairs created by Guadalajara-born artist Alejandro Colunga, located in the plaza outside the historic Hospicio Cabañas downtown.
An installation inside ceramicist José Noé Suro’s workshop, a popular venue for PreMaco arts festival events.
Staff members at Noé Suro’s workshop before a PreMaco event and the subsequent rush of Guadalajara’s artsy elite.
“Virgen de Guadalupe” by Ismael Vargas, a sculpture depicting the confluence of Christianity and pre-Hispanic religion on the streets of Guadalajara.
The view from the city’s newest design-focused shopping mall in Andares.
Even dessert has an aesthetic at Puerco Espada, chef Tomás Fernandez’s restaurant that puts a unique spin on traditional Mexican cuisine. Here, an avocado-chocolate paleta.