Category Archives: El Ejido Art Workshops

Children making art

Celebrating El Ejido Mural

The El Ejido Mural, a collage of photos and painted imagery, was inspired by French photographer JR who found a discarded camera in a Paris subway and began taking photos.  In one project he photographed persons living in poor neighborhoods in the outskirts of Paris and then pasted huge prints of their faces on public buildings in wealthy downtown neighborhoods.

Local children designed El Ejido’s mural with the assistance of Colectivo TAN 473 artists Celia Jameson, Katie Clancy, and Paola Huitrón.


Several times a week for 3 weeks TAN artists,  tourists, El Ejido community members, and other Guanajuato residents helped  children paint frames for the photos.

TAN artist consulting with children

TAN artist consulting with children

Katie and Paula took photographs of the children and of other El Ejido community members. On  February 1, 2014, TAN 473 artists arrived  with the printed photos and pasted them to the wall.


Katie Clancy photographing a young artist for the wall.

Paula Huitrón

Paula Huitrón


El Ejido resident helping paint a frame.

A young tourist stopped by to help paint

A young tourist stopped by to help paint


News cameraman with Katie Clancy of TAN 473
News cameraman films Katie Clancy putting up the first photo.
Celia Jameson preparing to paste on a photo.

Celia Jameson preparing to paste on a photo.

Artists at work

Artists at work

img 7968Colectivo TAN 473 found funding for materials
Colectivo TAN 473 found funding for materials
Masked and unmasked

Masked and unmasked


Celebrating with snacks
Celebrating with snacks
Celebrating with music

Celebrating with music.

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Finishing touches

Andrea Parra’s Art Workshop IV, June 29, 2013


Man sees egg, paints bird. Why?

While showing slides of surrealist paintings Andrea posed questions about the images.





A city of the real and imaginary

A city of the real and imaginary

A surreal ride through Guanajuato

A surreal ride through Guanajuato

The young artists cut images from magazines, postcards from France, and brochures of Guanajuato to make surrealist collages.

Katie studies Manuel's surrealist collage

Katie views Manuel’s collage: The President of Mexico pushed into Dante’s Inferno.

Andrea’s farewell

Andrea's farewell letter

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While young artists made collages, Andrea wrote a farewell letter summing up her four workshops.

The Surprise

At the end of the workshop Kate Clancy told the young artists the surprise: an exhibition of their art.  To prepare, the children will gather Saturday July 6 for a work party to polish their works of art.  Katie will guide the finishing touches. Painter and collage maker Dylan Williams (who taught the first workshop in this series) will come by to measure for mating and framing.

Date and place of the exhibit: TBA.

Thanks again to Dylan Williams and Colectivo T.A.N. 473 for providing these workshops!

Andrea Parra’s Art Workshop III, June 22, 2013

Painting in the style of Jackson Pollock  In Andrea’s 2nd workshop she showed photos of Jackson Pollock painting.

Katie and Andrea giving tips on painting like Jackson Pollock.

Katie Clancy and Andrea Parra giving tips on painting like Jackson Pollock.

In her 3rd, she reviewed Pollock’s method,and then the young artists make a Pollock style painting.

The finished product

The finished product

Mural Painting Two of Mexico’s great muralists, Diego Rivera and José Chávez Morado, were born in the State of Guanajuato,  Rivera here in the Capital, and Chávez Morado in nearby Silao. Chávez Morado studied in the US and eventually moved to the Capital with his wife, also a painter, Olga Costa.   The Rivera family home and the home of Chávez Morado and Olga Costa are now museums.

Boys' mural

Boys’ mural

Girls' mural

Girls’ mural

A Surprise Katie Clancy gathered the young artists to tell them that next week, the last week of Adrea’s art workshops, there will be a surprise. Check my next week post, Andrea’s Art Workshop IV, to find out what it is.

Thanks again to Colectivo T.A.N. 473 for providing these workshops!

Andrea Parra’s Art Workshop II (June 8, 2013)

Same image, different stories   Andrea talked about how we take in information through our senses, and then the brain interprets that information. Different people interpret the same sensory information differently.

She showed an image from La Paz Porfiriana, a period in Mexican history of relative peace and economic stability. There was, however, considerable injustice during Porfirio Diaz’s presidency, thus fueling the revolution of 1910.

La Paz Porfiriana?

La Paz Porfiriana?

The image shows a young boy standing on a chair and holding the Mexican flag. Andrea asked the children to make up a story about the boy.  While they were writing, she gave them bits of information about the time period to incorporate into their stories.  When they finished she asked them if they would like to read.

Only one of the children chose to read.  But they all wrote detailed narratives and put them into their folders for safe keeping.

Abstract vs. Figurative Andrea asked the children how they would define the difference between abstract and figurative.  She showed slides, including of Frida Kahlo’s The Two Fridas, to illustrate figurative art, and showed them some Jackson Pollack paintings and a photo of him tossing paint on a canvas. She showed them a series of lithographs of a bull by Picasso, illustrating a process of abstraction.  See Pablo Picasso – Bull: A Master Class in Abstraction. See The Two Fridas for an image and analysis in English and Spanish of Kahlo’s work.

Abstract and Figurative?

Abstract and Figurative?

Andrea asked the children whether they would call Rufino Tamayo paintings abstract or figurative–or both.

Awareness and expression of feeling

The children enjoyed chatting while making abstract art.

The children enjoyed chatting while making abstract art.

Andrea asked the children to close their eyes and she led them through a visualization exercise, imagining in detail a place where they had positive feelings.  She then asked them to express their feelings in a piece of abstract art.

Parra’s Art Workshop I

Parra, Hacer la creación (video)


Andrea Parra’s art workshop I

June 1, 2013
Colectivo T.A.N. 473 volunteer Andrea Parra taught concepts of art and self knowledge with activities and slides. Summer volunteer Monica Reuman took photos. For more information about Colectivo T.A.N. 473 follow their blog or friend them on facebook.