Latin Art Series @ the library

I love art.

Art, art, art.

I could wander through the Art Institute of Chicago for hours, maybe even a week if given the right amount of simple carbs and sweets…oh and coffee.  Because of this I created a program at the library focusing on art, particularly Latin American artists to tie into my “bilingual programming” efforts.

I was tricky in marketing this so that parents would feel excited to bring their kids so I used the buzz word, “camp” and “free” not a likely combination when dealing with art programs.  Parents were thrilled there were no fees associated, which is what I wanted to avoid.  There are plenty of art camps out there that cost an arm and a leg…and yes, i’m sure the art instructors are oozing with credentials—but…I said i’ll give this a shot and muster up some of the Latin American art knowledge I learned in my DePaul days.

I gained some more knowledge of how to go about this from the wonderful world of Youtube Oil Pastels Technique and an amazing website called Deep Space Sparkle DSS that has a lot of great podcasts related to art—(last “and” I promise) and the Milwaukee Art Museum has a great simplistic teaching technique to engage kids in critical thinking called Visual Thinking Strategy VTS that worked out really well!

The series focuses on three different artists:  Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and a student rendition of Cesar Chavez’s Si Se Puede poster.

Our summer reading program is called, Engage 8:  Build a Better World.  I took Diego Rivera’s painting, The Flower Carrier and cut it into sections.  flower-carrier-diego-riveraEach child took a section and used oil pastels and pastel paper for their square. At the end we combined all our pieces to “Build a Better Mural.”

art11Parents were thrilled at the experience and if ever there was an ounce of disappointment from a child it was taken away by Mexican sweets at the end.  I also gave the kids pencils to sketch out the ideas.  My trick was, the pencils had no erasers.  Many of the kids asked for erasers and I told them more than once, “there are no mistakes in art!”  Big smiles all around 🙂

Finished Product:


Picture of setup before and after kids came in 🙂

Group photo of Young Artists:  




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