Artist in Residence

2015 Artist in Residence: Elena Gonzalez Ruiz

    Elena and her family have been an integral part of Toklat even before it became a site of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Elena brings a wealth of textiles knowledge from her native Oaxaca, Mexico. As a long-standing Artist in Residence each summer, she contributes to ACES’ mission by providing educational opportunities related to traditional and environmentally responsible textile production.

Through interactions with visitors at Toklat and a daily Cochinilla Color Demonstration, Elena teaches the art of weaving and dyeing as her indigenous community has sustainably practiced for generations in the Oaxacan area of Mexico. Elena's community has successfully fostered a thriving textile industry while protecting and nourishing its natural resources, specifically its vast and critical watershed.   

Elena fulfills critical environmental education roles at the Catto Center at Toklat. Additionally, Elena and her family generously donate 5% of Oacaxan weaving sales to ACES' Kids Naturalist Field School scholarship program. 

The Gonzalez family's unique, original Oaxacan woven rugs are available for purchase at the Catto Center at Toklat, open in the summer months on Mondays from 11AM - 5PM and Tuesday - Sunday from 9AM to 5PM.