The Public Library presents a painting exhibition
by Jose Cuellar

August 1 to August 31
Gallery of Cafe Santa Ana


It is an honor to exhibit my paintings here at the Biblioteca. My name is Jose Cuellar but everyone knows me as Rio. I have been living in San Miguel for seven years now. It is here that I first took classes at the Instituto Allende in 1974. I was a young ex-GI out of the Air Force
and attended art classes there back in the day when it was a thriving Art School. I went on to continue my art studies in California where I am from.

All these years later I find myself here again with my wife Marjie Iversen. We now live out in Los Labradores as well as our home in Davis California. We are both painters and bounce ideas off one another.

Marjie has an influence over many of my paintings. I am an
experimenter in a lot of my work. I love the challenge of trying new styles of painting;
consequently I have a variety of styles that I am exhibiting. Many of my paintings have a story
that they tell. It is up to the viewer to determine what that story may be. Mostly the story
unfolds as I am painting or after it is done. The titles of my paintings give a clue as to what the
story may be. Other paintings are of nature scenes or abstract. I also have a few tryptic
paintings which give a more expansive feeling to the work. I am exhibiting around 20 paintings
which give a sample of my work. As many painters I am continuously changing and evolving
and enjoy discovering the world of Art as well as what it reveals of myself. It is an adventure to
stay open to what the creative energy has to offer and reveal.


The library has thrived and grown through the generous gift of time and money by members of the community, and as is still the case, has relied for the past 50 years on the continued financial support of the people in San Miguel de Allende. The Biblioteca wishes to thank all of the generous persons, groups and companies for their donations of time and money. The library began in a private home in 1954 and moved in 1958 to its current location at Insurgentes 25. This year, the Biblioteca is celebrating its 50th anniversary at this address and will offer a series of special events. Aside from its holdings of more than 60,000 volumes in Spanish, English, German or French and its many lecture, film and theater events, the library grants scholarships to young students and offers cultural activities.


If you wouldn’t normally include a library on your vacation itinerary, you might want to reconsider when you’re in San Miguel. The city’s Public Library has an extensive collection of both Spanish- and English-language books and films, and offers a quiet respite from the sights and sounds of the city. In 1954, Canadian expat Helen Wale invited Mexican children to read through a collection of magazines in her home. Soon, the volume of visitors outgrew the space. In 1958, the library moved to its current location in an 18th-century building several blocks north of El Jardin in central San Miguel. Today, in addition to its abundant bilingual media, the library offers free classes for children on subjects like computers, painting and piano. The library also hosts cultural events and English-language tours that guide visitors through the neighborhood’s colonial architecture. Inside the library, you’ll find a courtyard cafe (good for a quick bite) and the Santa Ana Theatre, which shows international films and hosts concerts by San Miguel’s popular musicians. With its large number of events, the site has become a cultural artery for residents and visitors alike. “This is more than a library. It’s a memorable gathering point for Spanish and English speakers of all ages to share books, chess, movies, music and food,” one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote. The library is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guided house and garden tours operate on Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon; the two-hour tour costs 150 MXN (about $12 USD) per person. Tickets can be purchased at library’s Ticket Center.