Weaving Demonstration with Master Zapotec Weaver, Florentino Gutierrez

Florentino, Susanna, Eloisa and Hugo
Florentino, Susanna Starr (owner), Eloisa and Hugo
photo © John Lamkin


During the annual Taos Wool Festival Master Zapotec weaver Florentino Gutierrez will be demonstrating weaving in Starr Interiors’ historic courtyard

Saturday October 4th from noon to 4 pm and Sunday October 5th from 10 am to 2 pm

Oaxacan hot chocolate will be served.

You can also view a photo show from Susanna Starr and John Lamkin’s new book, Our Interwoven Lives with the Zapotec Weavers: An Odyssey of the Heart. Copies of the book will be for sale at the gallery. Florentino is featured prominently in the book. He will be glad to sign your copy.

Book signing & photo show a great success


Book signing and photo show room
Book signing and photo show room

The photo show and book signing were a great success. Many people attended and many bought books. More information about the book, “Our Interwoven Lives with the Zapotec Weavers: an Odyssey of the Heart” can be found on previous posts. If you’re in Taos, the book is for sale at the gallery.

Book launch and photography show at Starr Interiors

Book Front Cover
Book signing and photography show at Starr Interiors

June 21, 2014

5 – 7 PM

Starr Interiors

117 Paseo del Pueblo Norte

(2 doors south of the Taos Inn)

Starr Interiors is joyfully celebrating its 40th year anniversary with a book launch of a new book written by Susanna Starr with photographs by John Lamkin. A book signing will be held in the historic building that houses Starr Interiors. The book, Our Interwoven Lives with the Zapotec Weavers: An Odyssey of the Heart, chronicles three generations of deep connection and parallels the lives of Starr and specific weaving families of the small Zapotec village outside of Oaxaca, Mexico through text and stunning photos. It has already received acclaim for its cultural importance in various countries as well as the U.S.

MAY – Pre-Columbian Designs

Serpent and Jaguar by Isaac Vasquez
Serpent and Jaguar by Isaac Vasquez


Jaguar and Heart - Triumph of the Spiritual over the Mundane
Jaguar and Heart – Triumph of the Spiritual over the Mundane


In celebration of spring in Taos, New Mexico, Starr Interiors is featuring Pre-Columbian images from one of its finest collections of weavings. Starting back in the seventies, we acquired what has to be the most extensive collection under one roof of the work of Isaac Vasquez, internationally renowned Zapotec Indian Master Weaver.

This feature piece of the Serpent and the Jaguar was done by him shortly before he appeared at Starr Interiors some years ago where we held an exposition of his work. It was and continues to be an honor to show the work of this famed weaver. The pieces being shown this month encompass images from various Zapotec codices including the Borgia, Dresden and the Nuttal codices. Their intricacy and detail go far beyond what most people associate with Zapotec weavings. These represent an art form at its finest and we are delighted for the opportunity to present this show.

Dancing Jaguar
Dancing Jaguar

Meeting don Isaac so many years ago was the beginning of a long relationship and we are extremely proud to be able to represent this outstanding collection that has spanned decades. Along with the late don Emiliano Mendoza, these two men produced some of the finest art weavings their village has ever known.

Pre-Colombian Maya Design
Pre-Colombian Maya Design

Included in this show are Vasquez, Mendoza and several other outstanding Zapotec weavers.


We are now offering for sale our museum quality private collection of these weavings. There are about fifty pieces in this collection and we will sell them as a group or individually.

According to Susanna Starr, Starr Interiors owner,

“This amazing collection of some of the finest weavings to have ever been produced in the Zapotec Indian village of Teotitlan del Valle is now being offered for sale, either as a complete collection or by the individual piece. They were produced in the late nineteen sixties and early nineteen seventies by three master weavings.

Emiliano Mendoza, who passed away in 1990, wove some of the finest interpretations of images from various ancient codices, primarily the Borgia codex. The complexity of each piece and the perfection of their execution reflects the pride and dedication of this important weaver and outstanding human being, honored in his village as Mayordomo.

His son, Arnulfo, a master weaver in his own right, worked with his father to produce what could be deemed the most valuable piece ever to have come out of the village. Measuring 9’4”x9’4”, this piece is done in angora wool, in the finest detail possible on a loom. It is the Ritual Sequence from the Borgia Codex. His own weavings from the seventies are taken from his original paintings in his own distinct style, but done with the same amazing attention to each detail.

Isaac Vasquez, another acknowledged master weaver is also represented in this collection. Now in his eighties, he is not weaving much any more. His work, however, appears in many collections and has received recognition for many decades both in the United States and Mexico.

I started collecting these weavings individually over a period of about ten years during the nineteen eighties knowing, even at that time, that they would never be done again. They were never woven for the mass market but, rather, as an artistic expression of the individual master weavers, being sold to collectors who could appreciate their intrinsic value.

The many pieces of the Mendoza family were acquired gradually and I remember vividly purchasing the original images of Arnulfo’s paintings that he had given to his father, don Emiliano, who decided to sell them to us under very emotional circumstances. He obviously was very proud of them and they were especially meaningful to him.

Now the time has come to divest myself of this amazing collection and, for the first time, offer them for sale as a complete collection or on an individual basis. They are a treasure, as they tell the story of ancient cultures of the Americas before the arrival of the Spanish. The codices that inspired these weavings are the only ones to have survived the Spanish conquest, the others being burned. To have them interpreted in these amazing textiles has been a labor of love, probably never to be duplicated individually and, definitely not, as a complete collection.

The Zapotec Indian culture goes back many thousands of years. Many of the temples that they built are still standing, the most notable, Monte Alban in Oaxaca. They have produced enduring work in metal and stone, gold and silver, and jade. These tapestries represent a continuation of recorded art in fiber.”

An example of this fine work was done by the late Emiliano Mendoza and his son Arnulfo. The piece, woven in alpaca wool, took a few years to complete.

Image from Borgia Codex 9'4" x 9'4" by Emiliano and Arnulfo Mendoza
Image from Borgia Codex 9’4″ x 9’4″ by Emiliano and Arnulfo Mendoza

You can contact us at sales@Starr-Interiors.com for more information.

It’s spring here in Taos, New Mexico and viewing this outstanding collection would be an excellent excuse for a trip here.




Alcove Show Honoring Taos’ Remarkable Woman, Ann St. John Hawley

Ann St John Hawley in her studio
Ann St John Hawley in her studio

On Saturday, September 8th, from 4 PM until 6 PM, a reception for the alcove show featuring the work of renowned Taos painter, Ann St. John Hawley, will be held at Starr Interiors, 117 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos, New Mexico.

Ann St. John Hawley 1919 – 2010

As an artist, Ann St. John Hawley produced a prodigious number of pieces of art ranging from oil and acrylic portraits, landscapes, water colors, pen and ink figures, block and mono prints, Sumi and Butoh drawings to ceramic pots and wood sculptures. Her goal was to communicate through her artistic medium the divine dance of nature, color and form. For Ann, everything she saw around her inspired her to reach for new and different forms of artistic and spiritual expression. That included new ideas, new thoughts and philosophies. She never grew old in spirit, constantly involved in taking classes, whether in drumming or in the study of world religions at the University of New Mexico, often attending lectures, relishing the mysticism in religions. All of this provided more inspiration for her painting.

Ann is not only remarkable because she was a working artist until the end of her life in 2010, nor only for the amazing collection of work she produced while being the mother of six, but for her spirit which permeated all she did. Her work encompassed a wide variety of expression, constantly evolving as she was.  Although never proclaiming herself as a philosopher, she was. In a quote in Fifty and Beyond; New Beginnings in Health and Well Being, here’s what she said about creating anew, “I also like chaos. You have to have some chaos in order to find a new way. Although it’s painful and you feel lost, out of chaos comes some kind of direction or insights – something new emerges.” She never stopped searching for that something new.

She was loved and cherished by family and her friends. Friendship with Ann has touched all who have ever received the warmth of her smile, seen the twinkle in her eye, never to be forgotten. Her extensive body of work is the legacy she left to everyone who comes in contact with it. It represents, more than anything else, the freedom of spirit that was the driving force behind her every artistic expression. Although her paintings are a legacy to the world, the friendship I had with her is my own personal legacy. Having this opportunity to honor Remarkable Women of Taos throughout this summer with alcove shows at Starr Interiors, this upcoming show of Ann St. John’s paintings is the culmination of that theme. This is a tribute to her work and an honor for me and for all of us at Starr Interiors. She was truly a Remarkable Woman of Taos.

The Gift 30 x 15in - Ann St. John Hawley
The Gift 30 x 15in – Ann St. John Hawley
Ann St. John Hawley © R Steinbach
Ann St. John Hawley © R Steinbach
Ann in Veil
Ann in Veil
Artwork by Ann St. John Hawley
Artwork by Ann St. John Hawley