As we move from celebrating Cinco de Mayo, we continue to celebrate the month of Ealy "Mayo" and his years in Mexico. If Gertrude Stein were writing this, it would undoubtedly have its own color association – Ealy Mays’ Pink Period, his Rose Period, or his Fuchsia Period. For our purposes however, we will simply call it The Mexican Years as Ealy Mayo.
Ealy Mays arrived in Guadalajara Mexico destined for medical school in August 1985, only a month before a major earthquake would rock Mexico City with over 10,000 deaths. While he arrived with his schoolbooks and clothing, his luggage were mostly art-supplies, as painting was still at the core of who he was. Mexico was to be a new frontier, a brown country with a deep and complex history and one in which slavery was officially abolished some 50 years before America. In fact Mexican President Vicente Guerrero was the first black head of state in the Americas, some eighty years before Barack Obama. Guerrero’s 1929 decree which abolished slavery in Mexico would lead, a few years later, to the withdrawal of Texas from Mexico, by wealthy and powerful Texan slave owners.
Mays had chosen to study in Mexico where he believed he would have been able to get an education while indulging his passion for art. He applied to and was accepted to study medicine at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine (UAG) in 1985. On his arrival, he was surprised and impressed by the scale of painting and artistry in Mexico. According to Mays, "The Mexicans painted art on extremely large surfaces – whether canvas, murals, concrete, external, or internal. They celebrated their culture and its subject matters in ways that would be taboo in the United States." Ealy Mays found Mexican art raw and uncensored.Add a comment
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