Teresina - PI
Teresina is the first planned capital in Brazil, and has a population of 822,363 (IBGE, CNM, 2011). It is located in the Mid-North mesoregion of Piauí more than 350km inland from the coast, and is the only capital in Northeast Brazil that is not bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. The foundation of the district at that time was in 1832, and then promoted to capital and city in 1852, when it received its current name in homage to the wife of Emperor D. Pedro II, Dona Teresa Cristina (IBGE, 2011). In the universe of Brazilian folk art, the State of Piauí is known for its saint making art. As in other Northeast States, the influence of the religious theme made the artists known nationwide as “great wood carvers”. Master Expedito, born in 1933 in the town of São Pedro, interior of Piauí State, had several Jobs before devoting his time fully to work as a sculptor. After exhibiting his work in some markets and receiving many orders, he moved to Teresina with his family in 1969. His Catholic religious figures made him famous as a “saint-maker” thanks to the refinement of his work. He participated in exhibitions at home and abroad and his work is displayed in the main folk art museums in Brazil (Frota, 2005; Lima, 2010). According to Lima (2010), in Piauí there are around 50 wood carvers in five municipalities, but mainly allocated in the capital Teresina and coastal town of Parnaíba. In addition to the saint-making art, the regional production covers “things we see every day, the day-to-day life’, with all kinds of caboclo and sertanejo figures: cowboys, farmers, accordion players, pregnant women, women carrying gourds on their heads, fishermen, crab catchers” (Lima, 2010: 7). This is the case of J. Freitas, a refined artist from Teresina whose wood carvings include a lace-maker, for example, showing the firmness of his carving and precision of her features.