Hola! I'm Alberto Ruiz founder of Taller Ocho. My friends call me Beto.
Posted by MELISSA PATENAUDE
In 2010 I opened Taller Ocho in my native town of Teotitlán del Valle--a workshop with residencies, working with artists and the community. That's how I wanted the workshop to function, not so much production workshop.
In the workshop, we see the problem that local young people are now removed from the textile. The same had happened to me growing up, I lived that experience. So the idea was to work with young people and inviting contemporary artists. The first rules of the workshop were that we don't invite textile artists and don't get involved with anyone who dedicates themselves to textiles. Since the community already knows the weaving techniques, talks about textiles all day, if you now have to take a workshop about textiles, it can get very tiring.
So, we've been inviting artists who have nothing to do with textiles. This way, it's a mutual exchange. I am much more interested in how the artist's eye works, how they get there, how they work, how do they get to do their work, what is their creative process, their style, their process, how does their eye work, etc. The student artisans absorb that inspiration, and the artists gets inspired by the new techniques they learn... the techniques of the community.