This July I was lucky to visit Mexico for the first time. My expectations and excitement were very high because I have seen and heard many amazing things about this fascinating country. This year, I was in the need of some time off for myself and was desperately seeking for inspiration. Even though I live in one of the most safe, clean and amazing cities in the world, when it comes to art and inspiration, my artistic soul looks over to other parts of the world...
During the school year, I taught my students about Folk art from other countries. We learned about Russia, Mexico, Israel and much more, all projects were described in my previous blog posts. This exposure made me want to explore México with my real eyes, instead of through the eyes of Google images.
Last April, I decided to book a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, a state I have heard so much from friends and colleagues. They told me that there is so much art and culture in Oaxaca, that I will fall in love with that place! and indeed I did...
This July, my friend Jenn and I packed some summer clothes and off we went to Mexico for 10 days!
In Mexico, with a giant Lily!
Not only I fell in Love with Oaxaca, I got inspired by this rich in culture, colorful and diverse state but I also got the opportunity to facilitate a workshop for local children at the beautiful CASA in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca.
Setting up the art workshop at CASA, San Agustin, Etla
CASA was an old factory which went through massive renovations and now it is a beautiful building that offers free classes for children and adults in all areas of the arts (visual & performing).
This is their website: http://www.casa.oaxaca.gob.mx/wp/talleres/
On a rainy afternoon, we arrived in San Agustin, Etla and met the children. In the beginning, the children looked at me and didn't understand how a lady that comes from Canada, speaks such good Spanish, but her Spanish sounds different from theirs... a bit confusing. I did a short introduction about myself and showed them photos of my work. I also brought them some candies from Canada as an ice breaker. After a while, the children were more comfortable and ready to create!
Introducing my work to the children
It was challenging to pick an art activity that will engage children for 1 1 /2 hours and that could be packed (lightly) in a suitcase! I didn't have enough information before leaving regarding the number of children and their ages and gender. I decided to take a chance, and prepared necklaces from modeling clay. I modeled some birds, flowers and hearts for the children, and packed beads, colorful strings and glitters (always a successful supply) The children loved and happily engaged in the activity that lasted almost 2 hours!
The experience of sharing my knowledge and love for art making with children around the world was very fulfilling. Seeing the students so engaged filled me with pride and joy.
Children by the end of the workshop, showing with pride their creations
"The stories you believe to be true are the ones your life will become" with love, Jazmin