Exploratorium: Home

ColorFest Demonstration: Oaxacan Dyes and Textiles

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2011

Media Available
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

ColorFest Demonstration: Oaxacan Dyes and Textiles

ColorFest Demonstration: Oaxacan Dyes and Textiles
Featuring world-renowned Oaxacan Artisans
Making Crimson Dye from the Cochineal Insect
Friday July 1-Sunday, July 10, 2011 (Excluding Monday)
12-4 pm

To help kick-off the Exploratorium’s two-month long ColorFest, artisans from Oaxaca, Mexico will be demonstrating traditional dying techniques in the skylight area of the museum from July 1 through July 10. Hailing from the town of Teotitlán del Valle, Fidel Cruz, his wife Maria Luisa Mendoza, and Elena Gonzalez Ruiz, are on the vanguard of preserving their culture by educating people about natural dyes.

Their yarns, dyed using only natural substances, are woven into tapetas or handmade rugs. Cruz is known for the quality of his tapetas which are collected by museums worldwide. While many rugs are woven and sold in Oaxaca, most are made with chemical dyes which are cheaper but often toxic to people and the environment. Dedicated to natural dyes, Mendoza, Ruiz and Cruz continue to develop new vibrant shades in addition to producing traditional dyes like the brilliant hues of crimson made from the cochineal insect. The red pigment that results from the labor-intensive process was prized highly by the Aztec ruler Montezuma in the 15th century. “Cochineal,” as the dye is called, was similarly prized by the Spanish during the colonial empire, becoming an export as sought after as gold and silver.


Stay tuned for the launch of a new ColorFest website featuring a calendar full of performances, films, exhibits, activities, demonstrations and other colorful events, to be announced.

Read more about ColorFest programming, including ColorFest for Adults and the ColorFest Chromatic Cinema Series.

Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.

Getting Here
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367