The Honorable Adair Margo was in Uruguay
last week on an extensive visit, liaising with local artists,
learning about Uruguayan art and culture, and sharing the
Council's work with the Uruguayan people through lectures
The visit kicked off with a tour of
the Casapueblo Workshop Museum in Punta Ballena, where she
met with renowned Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez Vilaro and
his wife Annette. The museum houses a large portion of the
artist's work, paintings, ceramics and sculptures, most of
which he completed throughout his career in various countries
around the world. Casapueblo is also the artist's home, a
massive construction he designed and built over the past 50
years on a cliff overlooking the sea.
(R to L) Adair Margo with artist
Carlos Paez Vilaro, accompanied
by the U.S. Ambassador's wife, Mrs. Audrey Silverstein,
and Paez Vilaro's wife Annette.
Mrs. Margo's tour of Punta del Este included
a visit to Parque de la Percepción, a botanical park
overlooking Laguna del Sauce that includes a studio where
artists are invited to do their work in an inspiring natural
In Montevideo, Mrs. Margo visited two widely
known stores operated by the organization "Todos por
Uruguay", a NGO which main objective is to provide
improved income sources for artisans and women from rural
areas. "Hecho Aca" sells a variety of products
made by artisans from throughout Uruguay, while "Mesa
Criolla" sells canned and other food products that
are prepared by rural women living in areas of scarce income
opportunities. The Uruguayan First Lady, Mercedes Menafra
de Batlle, is closely involved in this project, and the
stores are widely known for the quality of their products,
form crafts to souvenirs, and home made breads to specialty
Next day, Mrs. Margo visited the Legislative Palace, where
she spoke to a group of artists involved in Ambassador Fernandez-Faingold's
"The Uruguay Foundation for the Art". The topic
was on "How the (p)arts contribute to the whole".
Many of the artists had visited or exhibited their art in
the U.S. and were interested in Mrs. Margo's presentation
which included anecdotal references to her hometown El Paso,
Texas, as well as her work with local artists, many of whom
from Mexico and other Latin-American countries.
Adair Margo and Mrs. Audrey Silverstein
received by the staff of "Mesa Criolla"
She also toured the Legislative Palace where
she had the opportunity to admire its formidable architecture
and the extensive collection of national artwork housed
in its finely decorated halls.
On an unrelated leg of her tour, Mrs. Margo
was invited by the U.S. Ambassador's wife, Mrs. Audrey Silverstein,
to visit a women's shelter run by the Center for the Promotion
of Human Dignity (Centro de Promoción por la Dignidad
Humana - CeProDiH). Mrs. Audrey Silverstein is actively
involved in this non-profit organization that works with
women and children in precarious situations, to bring them
off the streets and back on their feet, through training
and reinsertion in the labor force. Ms. Adriana Abraham,
director of CeProDiH explained how the center works to help
these women who are mostly single mothers, often victims
of spousal abuse or abandonment, and are unprepared to fend
Mrs. Adair Margo and Mrs. Audrey Silverstein
are greeted by children and mothers at shelter run by
Wednesday, Mrs. Margo met with Uruguayan Minister of Culture
and Education, Dr. Leonardo Guzman, in order to sign a shared
commitment to bi-national cultural cooperation between the
U.S. and Uruguay.
Through the agreement, both countries became
committed to have the rich, diverse, and creative aspects
of their cultural expression and heritage reach wider audiences,
and to collaborate in the vital task of cultural preservation.
Both governments thus recognize that a nation’s cultural
life contributes to the vibrancy of its society, the dynamism
of its economy, and the strength of its democracy, and the
need to expand access to cultural markets to a larger number
and variety of artists in both countries, involving a wider
range of regions, cities, institutions, and individuals,
through increased bi-national cultural exchange. (See related
Later in the day, she visited former Uruguayan
President Dr. Julio Maria Sanguinetti's residence, where,
in company with U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein and
his wife Audrey Silverstein, she viewed one the most impressive
private art collections in Uruguay. Dr. Sanguinetti, an
avid art connoisseur who also dabbles in painting, showed
off some of his own work as well, and conversed at length
with Mrs. Margo about the history and evolution of Uruguayan
Former Uruguayan President Dr.
Julio Maria Sanguinetti,
Mrs. Margo, U.S. Ambassador and Mrs. Silverstein
through his art collection.
Accompanied by Audrey Silverstein,
Mrs. Margo later visited Uruguay's most prominent art museum,
the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. They were received by
the Director, Dr. Angel Kalenberg, who guided them through
a number of exhibits on display, including one featuring
emergent female artists.
In the evening, Mrs. Margo gave a lecture
at the Bank Boston Foundation Center for a group of cultural
management students. She talked about the role of the President's
Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Many of the students
in the program are working professionals who after graduating
from the program may seek positions in local museums, theatres,
hotels, embassies, or local government. The students attending
this lecture were interested in how the Committee works
and Mrs. Margo own experiences with her gallery.
Wrapping up her 5 day visit, Mrs. Margo
toured Museo Zorrilla, where in addition to a number of
exhibits by local artists, she was able to see first hand
the private studio where the renowned
national sculptor Jose Luis Zorrilla de San Martin did most
of his work. Upon arrival to the museum she was met by Ms.
Susana Nunes, president of the board, along with several
other board members, and very unexpectedly by Ines Zorrilla,
daughter of the famous sculptor.
Ines Zorrilla (sunglasses) accompanies
Mrs. Margo and Mrs. Silverstein through Juan Luis Zorrilla
de San Martin's private studio.