Monday, December 7, 2015

De Colores: Another Art Project in Llanos del Pinal

Text and photos by Elizabeth Barnes

The Family Support Center was a jumble of stacked tables and benches, baskets of food, heaps of clothes, and a scatter of cleaning supplies when we arrived for la prueba de zapatos (trying on shoes) last Thursday, December 3. La prueba is the last chance to ensure that each FSC kid's upcoming Christmas pair of shoes fits properly. Now all we have left this year is a pool party for the older kids and a family Christmas party, so the staff are doing a massive cleaning and reorganization of the space.

While Amy and the FSC staff set up a shoe station, Pop Wuj students and volunteers herded the kids into the other room to keep them occupied with an art project. Former intern Dawn, newly returned to Xela, came up with the idea of combining a watercolor base with a black silhouette to create surprisingly beautiful and inventive paintings.

FSC teacher Gustavo gives Jonathan some painting tips.
The littlest kids were absorbed in their art despite not really understanding (or caring about) the suggested project. 
Oscar considers his landscape.
Ximena opts for more abstract self-expression.
Luisa draws inspiration from one of the sheets of vector art that Dawn put together. 
Jenna, a student in the Pop Wuj Medical Spanish Program, came with her teacher Carlos to paint with the kids. Both of them turned out to be talented artists!
Whether the kids followed Dawn's lead in combining watercolors with black silhouettes or forged their own artistic trails, their finished paintings were quite striking.

Arturo (in the green jacket, white trim) working on his masterpiece...
...and showing off the finished spooky landscape!
Most of the older kids sat together to avoid the chaos of the little ones.
VerĂ³nica's finished painting turned out lovely!
Marcelo's more abstract painting was one of my favorites. Stellar choice of colors!
Carmensita and Brandon were possibly the most dedicated to their craft.
Brandon's painting reflects the care and time he put into his work!
Cristobal combined several of the vector sheet ideas to compose his painting...
...a beautiful landscape featuring a wolf howling at the full moon.
Ever-smiling Ilcy invented her own whimsical landsdcape...
...featuring this lovely swing hanging from a spiraling tree!
Watching the FSC kids unleash their creativity was gratifying, as opportunities to create art without rules or limitations are rarer than we'd like in their schools. And of course we're happy that the kids had such a worthwhile way to spend their time while waiting for their turn to try on shoes!

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