November 2019 - The Philanthropy Issue

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Going On Tour

Arturo Aranda Esparza is the founder of Art Tours San Miguel de Allende.

I came to San Miguel de Allende 3 years ago. I left behind a secure job as a business strategy consultant in Mexico City to pursue art and cultural projects that would feel more meaningful to me.

I started working at Manuk art gallery in Fabrica la Aurora with Lourdes Rivera, where I met many interesting and friendly people who shared a common love of art. It was through this experience that I was inspired to start Art Tour San Miguel de Allende as a platform for local artists to have a connection with art lovers. Together, we meet and speak with artists in their workshops, studios, and/or galleries.

This experience combines art and tourism, showing the peculiarity of this beautiful, magical city and an art scene that has been in existence since the 1930s. The artists we visit on our tours might be painters, sculptors, textile artists, or even private collectors who share their own curated collections. We are invited into these sacred places where the artists have found a way in which they can express their essence through art. This is one of the reasons I feel grateful, and it is a pleasure to see the astonished faces of those who get to see and be involved in the process of how these beautiful pieces of art are created.

In this approximately four and a half hour tour that includes wine and appetizers, we talk with four different artists about their experiences, inspiration, and the techniques they use to create their works of art.

Here are 3 artists you might visit on one of our tours:

Ezshwan Winding

Ezshwan is an artist with classical training who has worked professionally for over 60 years. She moves easily from figurative to abstract painting. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of museums, universities, celebrities, and corporations. She lived in Europe for years and traveled a lot with her late husband, a well-known jazz musician. These experiences of traveling to other cultures continue to inspire her.

Twenty years ago, Ezshwan discovered the ancient encaustic medium. She got excited about the sensuality and diversity of the environment. She has worked and taught this technique for many years in San Miguel de Allende. A few years ago, she added online workshops on advanced encaustic techniques.

Encaustic can be laborious and magical at the same time. Ezshwan paints warm and liquid colors with brushes and fuses each layer with the flame of a gas torch. The fluidity of the encaustic medium is stimulating and liberating. She opens her senses to the experience of hot wax and fire, and emotionally consents to a poetic and exciting adventure. Ezshwan allows her subconscious to take over so that the work can transform the artistic experience.

Leonardo Díaz

Leonardo is a self-taught Mexican artist whose passion for drawing and painting began at a very young age. As a teenager, he became interested in graffiti and applied his principles as a fundamental tool in his sketches and as part of the murals in the city of Colima, the place where he lived at that time. Years later, he moved to Mexico City where he lived for almost a decade. The urban scene and the visually rich elements of the capital inspired him to translate his experiences into art, which evolved into a series of works he called "Urbanisms." Díaz's most recent work has developed a new style inspired largely by the mental landscapes that contemporary society has built. Leonardo has exhibited his work individually and collectively in the following cities: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Austin and Miami.

Miguel Canseco

Miguel is a painter, engraver, psychologist, and tarot reader. His approach to art is based on traditional religious symbols, ancient alchemy illustrations, and Tarot cards in a unique blend of fantasy and esoteric meanings. A visit to Miguel's studio is a trip to the world of ancient magical traditions with collective or individual Tarot readings; and, above all, with the artist's friendly disposition to share his knowledge and unique vision of the deep relationship between artistic expression and human emotions.

All the artists we visit are very unique in style and personality. The only thing they have in common is their desire to share their energy and talent with people who would appreciate their artwork.

For more information or to schedule your art tour, visit or send an email to You can also follow @ArtTourSMA on Instagram and Facebook.

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