The Art of Sacred Placement in San Miguel de Allende

A charming Spanish colonial city with a UNESCO World Heritage designation, San Miguel de Allende, located in the central highlands of Mexico, is a mecca for all manner of creative types.

In a place where scores of art galleries cluster in and around a vibrant centro histórico, you’d hardly think it necessary to make a trek three miles out of town to see one more. But if you don’t, you’ll miss what is arguably the most interesting attraction the area has to offer—not to mention one of its most colorful characters.

Assemblage artist Anado McLauchlin lives on a fantastic 2.5-acre compound called Casa de las Ranas (House of the Frogs). The clear focal point of the property is the Chapel of Jimmy Ray, a gallery that showcases Anado’s work, which he describes as “an irreverent gumbo of the creative, joyful, sacred, profane, dangerous, and adorned.”

The American expat (Anado’s given name is James Rayburn McLauchlin, III) was raised in Oklahoma and spent significant periods of time in New York City, India, San Francisco, and the Sacred Valley of Peru before relocating with his husband, Richard Schultz, to La Cieneguita, a small village on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende in 2001.

McLauchlin describes Casa de las Ranas as “a life project” he and his husband are creating together that’s meant to be an “homage to the outlander viewpoint, visionary and purely original.”

The gallery, house, and gardens all reflect Anado’s eclectic vision, which combines indigenous secular and religious influences with a sort of freewheeling psychedelia. The genial artist, whose work sells around the world, shares his vision with people who make the pilgrimage to see him…provided they have an appointment.

But for those who can’t make the trip, this video by National Geographic Traveler contributing photographer Bob Krist offers a peek inside the Chapel of Jimmy Ray and Anado’s “art of sacred placement.”

San Miguel Stories: In The Chapel of Jimmy Ray from Bob Krist on Vimeo.

Comments

  1. Louise A Bishop
    New Bedford, MA
    April 10, 2016, 7:58 pm

    I have not been to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray yet but I have been to the mosaic creation in Havana Cuba. Known by some as ‘Fusterland’, it is truly a spectacular neighborhood!!!
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  2. Rafael Zayas
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    March 7, 2016, 6:41 pm

    Someday I’ll be visiting SMA and La Cieneguita.

  3. Peggy Lorene Allan
    Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mx
    February 24, 2016, 10:04 pm

    Awesome video. I had the priviledge of visiting Anado’s home and was so amazed by him and his dream state home. It brought me to tears of bliss and overwhelmed with so many emotions. There is never enough words to truly explain how two beautiful people come together and inspire each other and all those who have the glorious opportunity to experience such insight and wisdom. Like the great pyramids of the world, pictures can’t give you the awe struck feelings of when you are there touching, feeling, breathing the air surrounding them, and just taking all their glory and mystic. This is Anado.