Podcast Episode #9 – Reflecting on Culture Through the Arts

Podcast Episode #9 – Reflecting on Culture Through the Arts
August 23, 2010 Lainie Liberti

Arts & Culture

As Lainie and Miro travel, they have made it their mission to learn as much about the cultures they visit and have discovered, one of the best ways to understand any culture is to explore the arts. In episode #9,  Lainie & Miro share their impressions of the art and artifacts they’ve experienced along their journey and share what they’ve learned about Pre-Columbian art history. Also in this episode, Miro & Lainie  speak with Mario Lanz, an up & coming Guatemalan artist . Miro shares his drawings with Mario, as Mario shares his thoughts on creativity, life, art, and the Guatemalan art scene.

The arts, as a reflection of human existence at its highest, have always and spontaneously lived up to this demand of plenitude. No mature style of art in any culture has ever been simple. ~Rudolf Arnheim


Over the past year, Lainie and Miro  have visited many museums and archaeological sites, and have seen examples of artifacts made throughout the ages. From Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras, they have learned a lot about those cultures. Central America is rich with Pre-Colombian art and on of Guatemala’s nicest collection is found  the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art and Modern Glass.

The archaeological samples seen at the Museum at Santo Domingo, make up of a complete collection of more than 50 ceramic and stone objects, such as feminine figurines, glasses, plates, bowls, funerary urns, incense burners, hatchets and ceremonial yokes that mainly correspond to the Mayan Classical Period 200-900 AD, which by many, consider the era of greatest splendor within the ancient Mayan Culture. A single display case contains a thousand-year-old Mayan artifact in the form of a jaguar or a human face, and contrasted by an abstract glass work from Sweden or the Czech Republic with a similar overall shape and a very different interpretation of the same motif. The entire collection is astonishingly beautiful, curated magnificently as each display contained a thoughtful juxtaposition. The Archaeological Museum at Santo Domingo has a collection who’s artifacts are in pristine condition, often times, in better shape than some of the Pre-Colombian artifacts found at the natural history museums throughout the United States.

Here are a few  images of the displays at the museum:

Most of the work from the Museum at Santo Domingo belongs to the Late Classic Period, its colors and meticulous details are well preserved, and are in an excellent state. These pieces date from between the 200 and 900 A.D. Mayans were known for the advances they reached in several disciplines, including art.

These pieces have been preserved thanks to the fact that during the burials of their governors they included these delicate artworks surrounded by balls of mud and hay, which deadened any impact. It is worth mentioning, as an important fact, the delicate nature of these pieces that were not carved in stone, and even though they are fragile, they were kept without trouble in spite of being buried for hundreds of years, even surviving the various earthquakes that shook Guatemala.

Next, Lainie interview Mario Lanz, an up and coming Guatemalan artist.

The chief enemy of creativity is “good” sense.~Pablo Picasso

Mario shares his views on art, the child-like spirit that sparks creativity and the stolen childhoods of most Guatemalans. Here’s a few images of his artwork at the gallery we met at:

We love receiving questions from our listeners. Robert Fixer Smith from Los Angeles, asks to both Miro and Lainie: “What did you think you would miss most about home (and did you)? and what do you actually miss most?” Listen to the end of Episode #9 for their answers.

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Special Thanks

To those of you who have supported us so far on this journey, the donations we’ve received  and the wonderful words of encouragement. Thank you all for your comments and feedback, and please keep them coming. Thank you Hanna for giving us a wonderful professional boost with the intro & outro, engineered by Hanna Jakobson, music “Multilayered Timbres” by Dr. Pimp courtesy of CC (creative commons) license.


  1. Mary 14 years ago

    Those are really meticulous details,they are so beautiful!nNice share.

    • Author
      ilainie 14 years ago

      Thank you so much! We really enjoyed putting together this podcast for you!

  2. Andy Hayes 14 years ago

    Wonderful podcast. I think the arts really are an underrated way to absorb, learn, see/feel/hear/touch the culture of a place and their people.

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