Zihuatenejo, Mexico

Adventures in Zihua

Natasha and Antonio

Natasha, Barbara, Antonio and Franco to far right

Installed worksI have truly found my winter home in Zihua.  I am excited to announce that I will be Artist-in-Residence at Quinta Camelinas starting on January 21 – April 1, 2017. This means that visitors are welcome to visit my studio and  I will have a free (only supply fee)  open studio once a week by appointment. I will also be available to host workshops for up to 6 people at a time. I have been a teacher for over 40 years -20 of those an art teacher. Click here for biography info: http://bridgescreate.com/about/

I also rent the entire top floor at Quinta and sublet my second room. Details here: http://bridgescreate.com/barbara-quinta-rental-room-details/

I left several artworks in Zihua when I returned to Minneapolis. Visit Paty’s Boutique http://www.patys-marymar.com/on La Ropa to see or buy (!)  several small works from La Mujer (The Lady) Series. http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/la-mujer-the-lady-series/   Franco’s Gift of Madre Art to me.  http://bridgescreate.com/francos-madre-art/

Quinta Camelinas has several of my small and medium works. Go see the art and stay for the food at Tonio’s! !! https://www.facebook.com/Tonios-1566932606955668/?hc_location=ufi   

Antonio also does special order parties at Tonio’s or in your casa.  http://bridgescreate.com/tonios-special-dinner-parties/
ENEFIT. QUINTA IS ON RIO BALSAS (NEAR THE FIRE STATION) AND YOU CAN PARK IN FRONT OF THE RESTAURANT!!!! Click here to see our fabulous Pork with Tamarind Sauce: http://bridgescreate.com/special-dinner-at-tonios  Sydney, Roy, Judy and I had a lovely meal together.  Click here for an opportunity to own a piece of Zihua with Sydney and Roy. https://www.gofundme.com/22z3ydpd 

The following works are all available for purchase at Quinta; Read More about the Art at Quinta : http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/la-mujer-the-lady-series/

Frida Installed Frida Pearls Hearts Installed
Bridges, B De Del Mar main2

De El  Mar:

24″ T X  18″ W X  4″ D
Mixed Media, drift wood, glass and wood beads, rope,
Rhine stones, waxed thread, oyster shells, coral, clay beads.
Collected by Karen from Zihua ‘s La Ropa.

I walk La Ropa Beach every morning.  The palm trees shade the water line until about 9:00.  I make my way to Patys for yoga  followed by a 90 minute massage for around 40 US dollars.  Life is pretty rough here in Zihua  Read More  http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/de-el-mar/



Bridges, B Gods MAin


18″ W, 8″ Tall 3″ D . Mixed Media Santeria and Catholic artifacts, holy cards, beads, rattlesnake tail, copal, shell

Chango and Santa Barbara

Being raised in the Catholic religion, I am very interested in the various interpretations of Catholic doctrine I have discovered around the world. Santeria comes from the Spanish word for “saint”  and came to Cuba with slavery.  The African slaves incorporated their magical Yorba religious rites, into the ritual worship of the Catholic Church. The process is referred to as syncretism, which is blending of the two belief systems with a resultant creation of a new practice – Santeria.  Read more: http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/ggods/

Bridges, B. Tres Mujeres Main Front

Tres Mujeres  2016   4500 pesos 
Mixed Media –  Found Objects on the streets of Zihua, beads, fabricated icons. Minneapolis, Zihuatanejo, Maine

Appearing at MEZGALERIA Opening: February 13th, 2016 Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Opening on February 2016  http://bridgescreate.com/opening/

La Mujer Series was created to honor and consider the position of power Frida Kalo and The Lady of Guadalupe hold in Mexican culture.  In the United States we refer to the most powerful man in any cultural as “The Man”.  In an incredible gender development…I am suggesting that Mexico has “The Lady”.  I am just not sure which one is “The Lady” of  Mexico. What do you think?    Read More http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/tres-mujeres/


Bridges, B Basura Main

Basura and Tesoro  2016

 Trash and Treasure

18″ W X 16″ T X 2″ D

Mixed Media: Found Objects from the streets of Zihua, Oyster shell, wood, crushed soda bottle, cast resin jaguars, beads, brash findings, pearls, bronze cross.

This work is a particular favorite of mine because of the pattern which emerged when the crushed bottle was stained with silicone. As we all know, the harm done to our planet from plastic products is profound- in the making, the using and the disposal of. Make trash into art!!  One of the reasons I chose Zihuatenjo (I spent a month in my three favorite places in 2015 -Oaxaca and Merida being the others) was the concern given to the cleanliness of the streets. Zihua is really doing a very good job in this area. http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/basura-and-tesoro/


rice and beans 2

Rice and Beans

Linda Fox  hosts a cooking class for reserved guests on selected Thursdays to raise money for the Rice and Beans program at theCasa Para Ninos del Pacifico.   Linda is an internationally recognized chef and Guide Book author 

I brought my Quinta guests Shawn and Shari. Taking reservations for 2017 and  full time resident and future B and B hostess Sydney Byron . Winter resident Jody and her daughter also shared this remarkable experience with us.  Lind’s stories of the early years here in Zihua go back 45 years.  The cooking tips and detailed descriptions of all the ingredients and where to buy them were invaluable!!

This Rice and Beans nutritional program feeds 105 students each week in Zihuatanejo, Mexico schools.   Scroll down to see the student I am sponsoring at Los Ninos program.



Bridges, B Gods MAinMaking Art in Zihuatenejo. Post drb@bridgescreate.com to visit my studio!
Tres Mujeres http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/tres-mujeres/
G(g)od(s) http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/ggods/
Vida, Amor, Muerte http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/vida-amormuerte/
Basura y Tesoro http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/basura-and-tesoro/
La Bestia http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/la-bestia/
La Muer Series http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/la-mujer-the-lady-series/
Amour http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/amour/
Beauty http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/beauty/
LAtino/A http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/latinoa/
Sista’ Art http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/zihua-sista-art/
Mascara Uno http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/masacara-de-aguacate-uno/
Mascara Dos http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/masacara-de-aguacate-dos/
iche  http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/niche-uno/
De El Mar

New restaurant opens on Rio Balsas at Quinta Camelinas. Run, do not walk, to Tonio’s which is open 7am – 2 pm everyday!  They will also cook special requests for your party during the evening hours. The menu is authentic Mexican selections prepared by native son, Antonio Evangelista Diaz who was also trained in French cooking in Mexico City where I hear he also learned to speak French!   He shares the kitchen with Quinta owner, Natasha Raess, who bakes German pastries, cakes and bread.  WHAT a delicious combination!  You know you have enjoyed a unique EL PAN experience when you enjoy a slice of Natasha’s heavy grain German bread with Antonio’s home made guava or green marmalade jam spread.

You will love it!  Quinta is located on Rio Balsas but none of the cabbies know where that is.  Tell them to take you to the Estacion de Bomberos. (The fire station). Tell them to take a left (izquierda) after the fire station and then NEXT right (a la derecha). THAT is Rio Balsas. Drive almost to the end of the street and Quinta is on the left.

First Guest Leslie

The very first guest: Leslie



Dining room

First DAy Flowers

First DAy

First Day



pipi room

The classiest Pipi Room in town!












More Food !  Pozole on Thursday from Laurithaa . Several folks in the Quinta neighboorhod are on regular delivery.  60 pesos.  CAll  755 111 64 64  or order on her FaceBook



studio1studio3Puentes  La Escuela

We have been having great fun making art here in my nest at Quinta where I have a studio set up on my balcony where  I have been selling  my art as fast as I can make it.

People seem really interested in creating and being a 40 year veteran art teacher…it certainly has been soulful. Today I am formalizing my little operation which will be called  Puentes  La Escuela (The Bridges School).  See all the amazing work completed!  Makers   http://bridgescreate.com/makers/


Kodak Moments in Zihua

More Food . Thursday Pozole from LAura Nicoles . There are several of us in the neighborhood who make it a regular Thursday experience. 60 pesos.  CAll  755 111 64 64  or order on her FaceBook



I am sponsoring a Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico student.  I am excited to share that I have joined the new initiative supporting the elementary students in the Pacifico program when they move on to Secondario.  The school fees in Mexico are quite the  reverse of  the situation in the United States.  Elementary and Secondary fees are unmanageable for all but the middle class but  University enrollment is more accessible.  So… that effectively denies University attendance, from a practical point of view, to many students from the majority of the Zihua families.

I introduce Kenya Alejandra Madora Sanchez and her sister Natalia, mom Selene and teacher Lily. I meet with Kenya and her family and we practice English and Spanish.  The Sanchez family’s  English is better than my Spanish. As I have mentioned, I am humbled by my quest to learn to speak Spanish. Kenya is interested in being and architect and asked if I could help tutor her in math and chemistry. As all who know me know- this is not my area of strength! I  was shocked to hear that at Kenya’s school, Jose Marti, there is one computer and that is not connected to the internet.  Considering how digital curriculum delivery became my career…this was a bit of that famous cognitive dissonance for me that I am always yammering about.  http://bridgescreate.com/3826-2/ I am not sure why I was so surprised since I require my students to watch “If the World Were 100 People” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6eTr4ldDYgwhere it reports that 22% of the world has access to a computer and 90% of those are in the United States and Canada.

I did several projects with Kenya…she wants to be an architect so I had her design her dream house and label the rooms etc in English.

House designHs design 2hs design 3

Lily and Selene

Las PAras Nonos 001

With Lily at Para Las Ninos

Las PAras Nonos 002

Para Las NinosJose Marti














Testimony:  The first time I met my Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico student I also met her mom and her sisters.  My Spanish is minimal but we had a great time untangling Kenya’s four names and talking about the similarity and differences in how people from the United States add and subtract names.

I am a retired teacher so I am very interested in Kenya’s goals and the educational training she is receiving to reach those goals.  I met her at her school and even went to her English class where all the 13/14 year olds put me to shame with their English proficiency.

Kenya is interested in being an architect so I gave her the assignment of designing her dream house and labeling all the rooms in English. She did an impressive job and then shared a spectacular oil painting that she had painted. She has the creative and critical thinking skills she will need to be successful in her career path of that I am assured.

Right before I left for the winter I met up with Kenya and two of her sisters at Pizza Loco. The conversation was excellent. I spoke Spanish and they spoke English and the pizza was enjoyed by all.  I would highly recommend participating in this program. Although college is cheap (compared to the US) the Elementary and Secondario fees prohibit access to college to all but the affluent.  You could literally change the world for a  Zihua student.

Barbara Bridges is from Maine and Minnesota and spends the winters in Zihua. Contact her to learn more about her experience as a sponsor: bbridges@bemidjistate.edu. See more about her Zihua experience here: http://bridgescreate.com/blog/


Bridges,B Amor detail1Vida, Amor, Muerte  2016  

In the collection of Evi Levins,  Mallorca, Spain.

Mixed Media: Beads, found objects

Life, Love, Death was inspired by the much healthier attitude towards death which I have discovered in Mexico. Read about El día de los muertos

Although many believe romantic love is a social construct – I am holding out for the love of my life to roll on by.

Evi at Loot

Evi Levins wearing Vida, Amor and Muerte  http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/vida-amormuerte/
You know you are self-actualized when you allow yourself to be photographed with a super model. Perhaps you have arrived to a place beyond caring. Either way…it is an adventure!

Evi commissioned  Amour  for her friends’ wedding.  http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/amour/

We met to deliver the art at the unique lifestyle store Loot. You need to check it out. It has appeared in Rolling Stone and they are showing my work!!   http://www.loot.mx/

Bridges, B. Tres Mujeres Main Front
I was invited to submit a work in a new gallery

Tres Mujeres  2016
Mixed Media –  Found Objects on the streets of Zihua, beads, fabricated icons. Minneapolis, Zihuatanejo, Maine

Appearing at MEZGALERIA Opening: February 13th, 2016 Zihuatanejo, Mexico  Click Here for Opening pictures.

Read more on Tres Mujeres (Three Women)



More Art with Mexican Themes

La Bestia   http://bridgescreate.com/bestia/

Sista’ Art: http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/zihua-sista-art/

Mascara :  http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/masacara-de-aguacate-uno/

Beauty:  http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/beauty/

Vida, Amor, Muerte   http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/vida-amormuerte/

Amour: http://bridgescreate.com/artwork/amour

Bridges, B Main

Beauty 2016 Mixed Media: Found Objects from the streests of Zihuatenajo, beads, religious icons

Beauty 2016 Mixed Media: Found Objects from the streests of Zihuatenajo, beads, religious icons

 Bridges,B Amor detail1









Chili Queen

Chili Queen

My arrival in Zihua coincided with the annual Sailfest fundraiser for local schools.  This event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I volunteered this year and enjoyed meeting really wonderful people. Offer to help. You will not regret it! http://www.zihuasailfest.com/ 


More Sailfest



L and MArgaret

Margaret and Linda


Auction Queen

I rode on the Patricia Belle for less than $30US. Being from Maine… the opportunity to sail on an 80 foot wooden schooner was a soulful experience http://roadslesstraveled.us/patricia-belle-sail-fest-zihuatanejo-mexico-sailing-blog/







me at Petatlan

MAking a wish at Iglesia

2016 also began with a visit from my friend and colleague, Pat Rogers.
We went to Bara De Potisi for a delicious fish lunch and
Petatlan to buy milagros at the church.
The local Jesus has a unique crown representing the Trinity.

 Pat’s Pattern Pics

z dog

Iglesia Sentinal

Pat is also a dog person. I have always been interested in cars as metaphor and dogs as metaphor. Recently, I have been seeing cats on leashes around Minneapolis…not sure what the deconstruction of that trend might be!Pat took many pictures of dogs on her visit and promises a perro anthology.

zdog and cat

Gato sneaks on by


zpics6 doggiesJPG


pat and bPat and I took a launch to Las Gatos in Zihua for a beach day. Rumor has it that when Owen Lee passes the current owner plans 80 units. Enjoy Las GAtas now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS2tdZbOTA