This spring Spartan Spanish students took part in a cross-curricular project that melded art and Spanish language: Alebrijes. Alebrijes are paper maché figures of imaginary creatures that originated with the 20th century Mexican artist Pedro Linares. As a young man, Linares fell ill and while unconscious had a dream of a fantastic forest filled with strange animals-- a donkey with butterfly wings and a lion with the head of an eagle. The animals were shouting "Alebrijes!" When Linareas recovered from his illness, he brought the Alebrijes to life in paper maché, and artists have been emulating him ever since.
As part of a culture and art lesson Mrs. Ayres and Señora Calderón asked their students to create an alebrije of their imagination. Some were made on papier-mâché and others were covered with plaster.
"This project was a wonderful opportunity for the students to really immerse themselves in a different culture through art," said Señora Calderón. "It helps them gain a better understanding and connect to the people not just through language but through a stronger cultural understanding."
Student's alebrijes are on display in the Heinrich Learning Resource Center now. Stop by to experience these amazing creatures!