Tag Archives: teachers

Travel Day (and Night) to Oaxaca, Mexico

You might think that a short post about taking an airplane to Oaxaca belongs in a Tweet or Facebook post. Federal elections will be held this Sunday, June 7, and this is wrecking havoc in Oaxaca. The Oaxaca airport was closed yesterday and news from friends there on the ground is that it is closed today, too.  The CNTE teachers union Section 22 has shut down the airport and Pemex gasoline stations in and around Oaxaca. Access is limited.

This is a way of life in Oaxaca. We are never surprised, only discouraged that we have to find alternate routes, interrupt plans, do a work-around and accept. What I have learned from living in Mexico is patience and acceptance. As a visitor, that’s all I can do.

I arrive in Mexico City this evening. My plan is to take an overnight ADO bus to Oaxaca arriving tomorrow morning. This way, I’ll avoid the Oaxaca airport. I hope there is a taxi driver and enough gasoline to get me home and no delays along the way.

Friends from Oaxaca and Philadelphia are also scheduled to arrive into Oaxaca this evening by air from Houston. I hope it will be an easy day for them, too.

Hasta pronto from SFO, Norma

 

 

Photography + Art Collage Workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico

Questions? EMAIL  normahawthorne@mac.com

Please Distribute!

Yesterday, Mari and I worked together in Humberto’s studio to create this poster.  The main image is a fine example of how you can make a photograph and then transfer the image to create an art collage.  The small portrait at the top features a Carnival reveller.

The workshop allows you to focus on the medium you prefer to work in:  photography, collage or painting.  You can also experiment with any mix of the three, if you wish.  Our two expert artist-instructors will coach and teach you every step of the way.  Mari is an accomplished photographer who will share her tips and techniques.  Humberto is an exhibited painter and assemblage artist. They have been teaching together for over five years.

Reduced price for Oaxaca visitors/residents who don’t need lodging!

Oaxaca is filled with art to inspire you.  There are gallery and museum openings galore during this time of year.  For Carnival, we take you to the village of San Martin Tilcajete to experience the festival first-hand.

Then, after the workshop, you have the option to join Mari for 3-Days in Puebla.  If you can’t attend the workshop but want to come along or meet us in Puebla, you are more than welcome!

If you are in Oaxaca in February, we offer a special resident’s/visitor’s price that does not include lodging.  Contact Norma Hawthorne for details and special pricing.

Pan Comida! Piece of Cake!

After hours of preparation, Eric and Janet hosted a free 3-hour after school workshop yesterday afternoon for Chatham County, NC teachers, for which they received in-service training credits from the school district.  There were seven teachers.  “The right people always show up,” I reassured them after a few expressed the wish that more would have participated. The workshop was included in the Grassroots Grant awarded to the NC Arts Incubator through Chatham Arts and the NC Arts Council.

We “set the table” with samples of hand carved fanciful wood animal figures, called alebrijes, that are brightly painted; a Francisco Toledo kite crafted from handmade paper; and miniature woven tapestries made with a hand-held cardboard loom.   Another table spilled over with supplies teachers are familiar with:  scissors, rulers, non-toxic paint, brushes, egg cartons, popsicle sticks, buttons, empty plastic bottles and metal cans, stencils of Zapotec rug patterns pre-cut from foam core board, strands of brightly colored and naturally dyed yarn, Elmer’s glue, plain brown wrapping paper, bamboo sticks, and string.

Several taught K-8 and covered art classes at every grade level.  One mentioned that kindergarten art classes go for 25 minutes, and we marveled at what could be taught or experienced in a 25 minute class period.  They were from all over the county, east to west, and said that Latino students 25% to 70% of the student population in their classrooms.  One told the story about a student who spoke no English, but who created extraordinary art and inspired his classmates.

After a brief presentation about the history and art of Oaxaca, the teachers constructed their own hand-held cardboard looms, warped them with string, and proceeded to weave miniature tapestries with yarn connected to a popsicle stick with masking tape, that they could then demonstrate to students.  Eric explained that this was a process he had taught to over 250 school children in Oaxaca with great success to understand the Zapotec culture and weaving techniques.  Some finished quickly and created their own alebrije, cutting, painting and glueing pieces of cardboard, plastic, drinking straws, and foam packing materials together.  Look, it’s an owl.  See the bat flying through the dark sky.  Another wanted to make a kite from brown wrapping paper and dowels, decorated with designs duplicated from the patterns of rugs hanging nearby.  We talked about whether kites need tails in order to fly.

When it was all over, the teachers left satisfied and with instructions about how to construct the loom and kite, and Eric exclaimed, “pan comida.”