Self-taught tile mosaic artist Juan Eduardo Rios Mancilla came to art late. He left school when he was a young boy to help care for his family, then spent long years in many jobs until becoming a gardener. Among his clients when he was in his early 30s was a San Miguel artist who asked him to make a tile top for an iron table. It was, she said, not very good. But it ignited a flame in him that has grown until his work is found both inside and out in homes throughout San Miguel de Allende. He creates extraordinary tableaus using little more than Mexican talavera tiles and small tools to clip them into shapes that combine color, history, and imagination.
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"I was Juan’s first client, and I have watched in amazement and pleasure as he has mastered his skills. He has transformed the exterior of my house by creating in mosaic tiles the history of his Mayan ancestors, the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Frida Kahlo — and these few words can in no way capture the beauty of his work. I hope I never run out of space in my home for him to create his amazing artwork. He is a true master of mosaic." — Victoria Pierce | www.VictoriaPierce.com
"Juan Eduardo is an artistic genius. The mosaic tile work he does captures and enhances nature and beauty. Each piece is magical — whether he is telling the stories of Mexico or creating jewel box decorations for a home. I am lucky enough to have several of his mosaics in my home. When I look at them, I see the feathers on his birds, the petals in his flowers, the beating hearts of his mythical creatures. I am so lucky." — Jan Pogue
"We hired Juan Eduardo to create a mosaic for us in our courtyard in San Miguel de Allende. He is so professional and talented. We would definitely hire him again to do another piece for us. His work is all over town, and he is very popular!" — Cathy Baeshore
"Juan Eduardo has blessed our courtyard with an exquisite and inspiring mosaic image of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist goddess Green Tara. The grace and elegance of this piece is truly breathtaking. It could easily be labeled ‘museum quality.’ Juan is an open and giving artist whose integrity shines through every piece he creates. May many opportunities open for him to evolve. And may he continue to bestow his talents upon the community of San Miguel de Allende and beyond!" — Emerson Pirot
"Juan is a very talented artist who takes great pride is his work. He is also one of the nicest people I work with, honest, great integrity. All my clients love him. I always know his mosaic work makes people happy." — Lesley B Fay Design | www.lesleybfay.com
"I have worked with Juan on four mosaic projects on and in my house. Each was totally different. I was amazed with how the design process flowed with ample give and take until both of us were satisfied with the approach. I have two mosaics that are based on Mayan and Huichol symbolism, one that is comprised of birds, flowers and butterflies and the other is a purely decorative graphic design. They give me great joy each day. Juan has vision and a design sense with no formal training. And he is a delight to work with. The bonus is that mosaics last and will bring you pleasure for years to come." — Suzanne Bacon
"When I first saw Juan Eduardo’s beautiful mosaics, I wondered if he could do a mosaic flower garden for the front of my house. I really wanted gladiolus – a flower with special meaning for me – but I feared it might be too difficult to render such a complex flower in bits of tile. Juan Eduardo answered all concerns by creating a sample of a single gladiolus – beautiful – and then he drew a large life-sized sketch of the proposed garden on brown paper. Of course, I asked him to do the mosaic, and he did it with amazing speed and skill. As for that sample gladiolus, I asked him to do a matching flower, and used them on both sides of the recessed doorway in front of my house. Now my house appears in photo albums all over social media. I am so delighted and impressed by this amazing natural artist." — Catherine Marenghi, Author | Juan de Dios Peza 19A, Colonia Guadalupe | www.marenghi.com