Giving my children as much information about our cultural roots is very important to me as a mother. I know that something as small as an art project can help aid me in teaching them to be proud of our Mexican culture. We recently learned about el sol y la luna (the sun and moon) through an easy project. Mexican folk art is known to showcase and tell the story of many people, as well as objects like the sun and the moon.
My grandfather was the man of stories in our family. I wish I had asked him as many questions about art from his native land as I did about the music and religious celebrations. One thing I knew he was passionate about was keeping our culture alive through religion and traditions.
This summer I pledged I’d teach my kids more about where we came from, even if it meant having to do a little research in the process.Mexican folk art was a common result in my search to learn more about where my family was from. The various forms of Mexican folk art were around my whole life without me ever realizing it. It’s present in clay pots, masks, and paintings. I quickly learned that Mexican folk art was a way our people expressed their feelings. Though their work was beautiful and their talent was apparent, they had no formal training in their art. This made for a great lesson for my kids.
I learned that Jalisco, the state my grandfather was from in Mexico, was known for a certain type of Mexican folk art from the Huichol people. I like to remember and share with my kids what my grandfather shared with me. Most importantly, I want to pass down the pride we have in our culture in our people. Mexican folk art of the Huichol people was a perfect example of what my grandfather had preached to me growing up.
Huichol art featured traditional designs of the sun, moon, and faces. This was a great concept to begin our lesson of Mexican folk art with the kids. We gathered inspiration from Mexican artist Marcos Garcia Lopez who is a Huichol native from Jalisco. His art is the perfect example of Mexican folk art. It’s bright, it tells a story, and it’s beautiful. The kids enjoyed expressing their thoughts via our paintings much like Marcos Garcia Lopez with his creations.
Learn about Mexican folk art and share it with your kids with this easy DIY project!
DIY Mexican Folk Art 1 of 7
There are various forms of Mexican Folk Art. For this DIY for kids we used materials we had at home to create a canvas painting out of a brown paper bag. Scroll through to learn how you can make your own too.
Supplies 2 of 7
For this craft you will need:
A brown paper bag â€¢ scissors â€¢ paint brushes â€¢ black marker â€¢ 3-5 colors of acrylic paints
Prepare your station 3 of 7
With kids, it's important to prepare your station. Squeeze paint ahead of time on a piece of brown paper bag.
Cut a rectangle shaped out of the brown paper bag to use as your canvas.
Set our brushes to get ready to paint.
Mexican Folk Art Design 4 of 7
Discuss what you would like to paint. Mexican Folk Art is very whimsical with its details in paintings but usually a large portion of the painting is a very specific object. In our case we used the sun and the moon. Trace the shape to help kids get a start of where to begin painting.
Painting 5 of 7
Let them express and paint how they feel. The design will get covered in paint but that's the magic of the painting. As the painting is being created kids begin to add their own details to their Mexican folk art. Take this time to discuss their paintings.
Adding details 6 of 7
Allow your kids to get wild with the details. The brighter and more detailed the better. My kids added dots all over and lines like many of the Huichols art pieces we browsed through. Let it dry and cut it out to have it ready to showcase!
The Sun and the Moon 7 of 7
Display it with pride. Allow your kids to pose and share how amazing their work turned out. These were the creations of my children. Both paintings are distinct and full of color and their own personalities. I'd call this a successful Mexican Folk Art DIY session!
How do you teach your children about your family’s roots?
Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican