His youngest son, 39-year old Norberto, is also a talented carver and painter. He graduated from the small junior college in the nearby village of Ocotlán with a certificate in technical construction, and has taken classes in computer science, but feels called upon to continue in the footsteps of his father as a campesino/artesano. His wife, Blanca, is a skilled painter who continually invents new designs for their figures. They share childcare for their three young children, Norbertito, Jesus and Viviana.

Ventura Fabian is one of Oaxaca's most respected and accomplished master woodcarvers -- one of the original small group of woodcarvers from the rural villages of San Martín Tilcajete, Arrazola and La Unión Tejalapan whose remarkable sculptures began the wood carving revival in the 1980's.

Ventura's work is renown for its originality, humor, and charm, presenting an unusual mix of elements from everyday life with phantasmagoric creatures. He is one of several carvers mentioned in the May 1991 edition of Smithsonian Magazine. His work is also featured in the book Oaxacan Woodcarving: Magic in the Trees.  Author Shepard Barbash writes, "Ventura, who of all the carvers perhaps best fits the image of the eccentric folk artist, lives in a peculiarly private world where reality mixes with something less immediately verifiable…. His carvings are the weirdest, most expressive of all." Clients from all over the world seek out his work, yet he remains a humble, shy man who still tends his animals in the field each day.

Having been a carver for over 60 years, Ventura, 81 years old,

is now an inspiration and teacher to many of the younger carvers in his village, including members of his extended family. 

Nina Hasin has been an editor and independent filmmaker since 1983. She studied with pioneer documentary filmmaker, Richard Leacock, at the MIT Film/Video Section and assisted editor Ralph Rosenblum (Annie Hall, The Pawnbroker, The Producers, author of When the Shooting Stops, the Cutting Begins) at the Maine International Film/Video Workshops. Hasin’s short films have been screened internationally and received numerous awards at established film festivals including the Chicago Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, New York Independent Film & Video Expo, the New England Film Festival and the Columbus International Film Festival. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Regional Film/Video Fellowship to make the award-winning poetry video, American Rhapsody.  A long love affair with Mexico led Hasin to a five-month stint at the Indigenous Video Center in Oaxaca, where she helped shoot and edit indigenous-based productions. She is currently a free-lance editor in Boston, MA and project director for The Visiting Mexican Artists Program: The Dancing Chickens of Ventura Fabian, a touring arts education program.

Biographical Information