I have been doing a lot of research pre-trip on art topics, and have found some really interesting things. Yesterday, I found out about paño art, which is art done on handkerchiefs and other fabrics by Chicano prison inmates. An interesting connection I made was with one of my entries from the Hispanic Heritage Month Poster Contest I had last year. One of the entries was turned in on t-shirt fabric. It looks strangely similar to paño art. I wonder if it was really done by a boyfriend or relative…hopefully, not in prison. Although it will probably interest some of my students, I doubt that the administration will be into prison art…
That will be the challenge with preparing these lesson plans and projects. So many people are intolerant – you get flack for talking about the Virgin of Guadalupe and a lot of customs because it’s too religious. Then, other aspects, like gang stuff, are too controversial and most of my students are too immature to discuss them rationally.
I found a really cool website that exhibits children’s art called Artsonia. A lot of teachers have done retablos and other projects that are based on Mexican culture – it’s really neat. The retablos and ex-votos seemed really popular. I just typed in “Mexican” in the Search and all of these great examples of student project work came up!
Hubcap art has fascinated me since I found some assemblages using hubcaps on E-Bay a couple of years ago. I am always looking for “masculine” art projects to interest my students. Here is a site with hubcaps decorated by children for a garden project. And I found an awesome series called Hubcap Milagros by an artist named David Avalos. I am including an image of one of his creations here. I don’t think that the school will let us work with sawblades!
Today is the last day of school – yay. I still have a lot to do: I get to pack up my classroom, mainly. In theory, I didn’t really have to move last year – I was supposed to, and had already started, but that room sprung a leak and flooded. It is a challenge, finding enough boxes.
This week is also very busy socially. I went to a retirement party for a colleague last night, I am going to the graduation of one of my former students tonight, and tomorrow I am making a cake and taking it to a birthday party. The only complication to all of these things is that they are all the way on the opposite side of town from my home. Sunday, I will sleep. All day.
I have made some plans and reservations for the trip to Mexico. I should have been a travel agent. We will be staying in Morelia, but visiting a different place every weekend. The first weekend, we will stay in Patzcuaro, at the Mansion Iturbe. I’ve stayed there before, and it’s beautiful. There is also breakfast included. We will be visiting other towns, either by rental car or by paying a taxi driver. The second weekend we will go to Guanajuato and staying at the Posada Santa Fe. I plan to visit Dolores Hidalgo and try the weird ice cream flavors. The third weekend, we will be staying at the Hotel Morales in downtown Guadalajara. I want to go to Tlaquepaque to shop for crafts, and definitely check out the Distroller store there.
The week after classes, my mom will meet us in Puebla, and we will visit old friends in Atlixco. They are the ones who live in the really awesome ex-hacienda. I plan to visit another Distroller store in Puebla. I also have other ideas of crafts areas to visit. They make amate paper in one of the towns, I know.
Now, I have a little problem. In my proposal, I stated that I planned to do a profile of Amparin Serrano, of Distroller fame. I don’t necessarily have to meet with her face to face, but my husband says that it sounds like I am definitely doing that in my grant proposal and in the press release. What I said is that I HOPE to interview her. I have tried sending an e-mail to the information contact at the Distroller website, but of course I have heard nothing back. It’s really funny, too, because there is a whole discussion thread on one of my blog entries about the company. Some of those people sound like they think I have some sort of inside information, but I am just as clueless as everyone else.