We’ve known Fructuoso Zalapa for several decades, and his guitars continue to be as popular as ever with the GSI staff (who have personally owned his instruments) and with the countless players and fans of his work who have had the opportunity to play or own one of his instruments. Each guitar we receive is both exotically-pleasing to the eye and robust in sound. Despite already having won numerous awards over the years for his work, Fructuoso was recently honored again with another prestigious award by the Mexican (Michoacán) government.
Fructuoso received the award called the Galardón Nacional “Grandes Maestros del Patrimonio Artesanal de México 2019” just a few months ago this year, given to him by the Instituto del Artesano in the Palacio de Gobierno de Tlaxcala in Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala on behalf of the Michoacán state government. Tlaxcala is just one state east of México City (the capital of México, also one state east of Fructuoso’s hometown – the famous guitar pueblo Paracho, Michoacán). The Paracho luthier received such high recognition for his work on constructing a “romantic guitar” modeled after Mexican guitars one would see during the 18th and 19th centuries (pictured above). The Ecos de La Meseta online publication remarks that this is yet another demonstration of the high-quality creativity and craftsmanship that comes out of Michoacán and that preserves the tradition and culture of México through art. We couldn’t agree more!
Fructuoso has built guitars for over 40 years. For the last five of them, he’s had this vision to construct historic, period instruments of México. And, one year ago he began this work. He sought out unique materials to make guitars worthy of national pride, praise and ultimately a national prize – a prize that he took home (the Galardón Nacional pictured above).
“I’m a 4th generation luthier within my family that chose to dedicate my efforts to making guitars. My sons, who are the next generation, also build guitars, and we foresee continuing this family tradition.” – Fructuoso Zalapa
Among 18 prizes in 9 categories for master artisans (female and male) of popular Mexican art, 1 prize was given to our friend Fructuoso. Among awards worth a grand total of 1,300,000 pesos (provided by FONART, Fomento Cultural Banamex, Alfredo Harp Hélu Foundation), some of that went to our friend Fructuoso. Among the 154 artists who participated and thus 154 unique pieces of art in competition (including ceramics, paintings textiles and more), our friend Fructuoso’s one period guitar won an award.
It’s amazing that one guitar and one luthier can do so much to contribute to culture and tradition. The guitar and its maker can influence how much emotion and passion a guitarist can put into his/her music. And, the guitar and its maker can be such a piece of art to admire as much as we do here at GSI.
This information was presented using the online publication Ecos de La Meseta as a source. You can read their full article about Fructuoso’s award in Spanish on their website.
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