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People of Playa: Artist and Poet Mercedes Bautista

Meet Mercedes Bautista, a local art teacher who is committed to nurturing and developing the inborn creativity of her young students

Resident in Playa del Carmen, Mercedes Bautista is Spanish and studied art in Madrid. Here she divides her time between her own art projects and the classes that she teaches. This artist is a part of “Crecer Verde” (Grow Green), a very interesting educational project here in Playa del Carmen. It brings together as a group a few days each week the families of children who are educated at home.

Art is a fundamental part of the workshops given by Mercedes. Beyond the technical aspects of painting, she believes in freedom of expression and the mediums at her disposal are used for creating artistic works.

My intention is to bring out what each child has within them, their way of expressing themselves. “

Mercedes Bautista

This is what she tries to pass on to the children and teenagers in local schools where she gives classes, as well as workshops she delivers in family homes. The children are free to create with the techniques and materials at their disposal. She encourages creative freedom and a love for the poetic.

“I feel that all children are born as artists,” she told me. “We are all born with a capacity for creativity, but our education system works to take it away from you. Art needs to be a fundamental part of education. We can develop more interesting people through art studies, educating through creativity and discovery creates a sense of self worth.”

Mercedes perfectly recognizes what is the social function of art. She is committed to working with isolated communities that have no means for learning art, because the schools don’t have the curriculum. She and her students from Playa also provide workshops in elementary schools.

“I am more of a guide rather than a teacher of techniques,” she told me. “My intention is to bring out what each child has within them, their way of expressing themselves. Everything is real and authentic because they express themselves based on who they are, without fear. I see that many teenagers have lost this, that much of their creativity has been lost.” She adds that “maintaining creativity is the job of a good art teacher.”

Mercedes presented her show “Where the Heart is Born” on Friday April 13 at Galeria 18 in Evass Restaurante.

Find out more about Mercedes, her work and classes at

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