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Sculpture ‘studio’ nurtures international and Mexican artists

The name looks simple enough — Art 21 Studio — although the description below it, “Ateliers & studios, showroom, bronze foundry,” hints at something more complex. The setting is also hard to categorize. The handful of rambling buildings and tree-shaded open spaces are strewn with parts of large sculptures and located in a semi-rural area just north of Guadalajara.

Indeed, Art 21 Studio is hard to describe, says its patriarch Francisco Quiroz, who oversees things with his wife, Swedish sculptor and painter Ingrid Mattsson, and their son Eduardo.

The elder Quiroz gave a serene smile as he swung open the wide entrance gate, while the occasional car or bus whizzed by inches away. He ushered guests first to a rustic yet sophisticated gallery, where an impressive painting and sculpture exhibit belied the jumbled ambiance of the compound.

“We’re more a foundation than a business,” Quiroz explained. And more dedicated to work than to appearances, the humble look of the space chimed in. “We try to break even. We might struggle a year or more to cast something. Some pieces we do are exceptionally difficult.”

Sculptors of major pieces come to Art 21 Studio, he says, because “in many other foundries — in California, for example — they don’t like casting big pieces. They only want to do small pieces, which are more profitable.”

U.S. bronze sculptor Dale Evers, is one of the approximately 300 artists whom Quiroz and family count among their clients. Evers contacted Quiroz about seven years ago and now describes Art 21 Studio in terms that hint at the complex role of the organization.

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