Alonso Mendez Gallery
Born in San Cristobal de las Casas on February 6, 1964, Alonso spent much of his youth surrounded by the vibrant highland Maya culture of the Tzeltal and Tzotzil, as well as the emergent movement in anthropology and ethnography that occurred during the ‘60s and ‘70s. His father, Alonso Mendez Ton, a Tzeltal Maya of Tenejapa, Chiapas, participated prominently in these studies as a cultural informant, translator, and liaison, while his mother, Francisca T. Mendez, also played a key role in the Maya communities as an historian, facilitator, and participant in the social and ritual life of the Highland Maya. In this atmosphere of dynamic contact between cultures Alonso grew and witnessed critical changes that altered the physical and cultural landscape of Chiapas. Alonso attended Middlebury College, graduating in 1987 with a degree in Fine Arts.
His skill as an artist would prove critically useful when in 1997 he joined the archaeological projects in Palenque, first as project artist with the Palenque Mapping Project and subsequently with the Proyecto Grupo de las Cruces and the Proyecto Arqueológico Palenque. During this time Alonso produced drawings that documented the new discoveries and developed 3D reconstructive drawings of the site. Alonso also studied the ceramic techniques of the classic Maya and created scale replicas of period pieces as well as original ceramics that followed in the tradition. In this atmosphere of discovery, he began to conduct astronomical investigations at Palenque and other important sites in the area, and discovered many new astronomical alignments in the major temples as well as new understanding of the hieroglyphic texts. He has published these findings and presented many of these in symposiums and conferences, and has participated in educational programs with focus on indigenous science and knowledge. His most recent participation is as co-scriptwriter for the full dome planetary production of Maya astronomy for the Chabot Planetarium in San Francisco.
You can purchase Alonso's art work in person by contacting him below. He is also represented at Reviving Ancient Ways.