Artisans of Trabajo Rústico: The Legacy of Dionicio Rodríguez (Volume 19) (Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and

Artisans of Trabajo Rústico is a book about the artists and art of the Trabajo Rústico style. This book highlights the work of Dionicio Rodríguez, who is considered the father of this style. Trabajo Rústico is a type of folk art that is characterized by its use of simple materials and techniques.

Dionicio Rodríguez was born in 1891 in the town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He began his career as a stonemason, but later turned to woodworking. He is best known for his “false stone” technique, which involved painting concrete or stucco to look like stone. This technique allowed him to create unique and lifelike sculptures.

Rodríguez’s work was influential in the development of the Trabajo Rústico style. His sculptures can be found all over Mexico, and his work has been exhibited internationally. Artisans of Trabajo Rústico is a must-have for anyone interested in Mexican folk art or the work of Dionicio Rodríguez.

Editorial Reviews


“The union of art and nature is at the core of landscape design. The role of creative craftsmanship in this process is evident from Patsy Pittman Light’s in-depth research and Kent Rush’s photographs of outdoor structures and furniture composed of carved concrete representations of tree trunks and branches. Artisans of Trabajo Rustico is a book that will fill a seldom-explored niche within the history of public parks and private gardens.”—Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, president, Foundation for Landscape Studies — Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

“Cultural historian Patsy Pittman Light and photographer Kent Rush document in narrative and images the extraordinary achievements of twentieth-century Mexican immigrant craftspeople (as well as Mexican-American artisans and contemporary artisans) identified with hand-modeled concrete rustic construction. This popular art form is especially associated in Texas with the subject of Patsy Light’s previous book, Dionicio Rodríguez. From a wide ranging survey of historical antecedents, to an overview of fabrication techniques, to a gallery of works by individual artists, Light and Rush make readers aware of the rich delights that folklorist Pat Jasper, in her Foreword, describes as a ‘family tree,’ branching outward from the San Antonio studio of Dionicio Rodríguez.”—Stephen Fox, architectural historian, Fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas — Stephen Fox

About the Author

PATSY PITTMAN LIGHT is the author of Capturing Nature: The Cement Sculpture of Dionicio Rodríguez, winner of the Ron Tyler Award for Best Illustrated Book from the Texas Historical Commission. She lives in San Antonio. KENT RUSH is professor emeritus of art and art history at the University of Texas, San Antonio. A former Fulbright and NEA fellow, his work has been exhibited extensively across the United States and internationally.


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