"Oaxacan Alebrije" Educators Workshop
By Carlos Orozco of the Puech Ikots artists’ collective in Oaxaca, Mexico
INTRODUCTION: Puech Ikots (which means “Words of Our People” in theindigenous Ikoots language of Oaxaca, Mexico) is an art collective founded in Oaxaca,Mexico in 2009. Puech Ikots is an association of indigenous artists who make alebrijes, which are a form of traditional Mexican folk art, consisting of colorful hand-painted wooden animals and fantasy creatures carved from wood. The goal of Puech Ikots is to
promote this traditional Oaxacan art form as well as empower local indigenous artists. Puech Ikots is fiscally sponsored in the United States by Cuentos Foundation, a Chicago-based 501c3 organization that promotes cultural exchange and understanding through art.
More detailed information on Puech Ikots can be found on their website: http://www.puechikots.com
WORKSHOPS: Carlos Orozco is an indigenous artist and activist of Ikoots ancestry who lives in Oaxaca City. He is the founder and main organizer of Puech Ikots. He has lectured and given art workshops at Loyola University Museum of Art, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Loyola University, as
well as numerous elementary and junior high schools.
The Art of Alebrijes
This lecture is a presentation on the cultural significance of alebrijes, including a showing of samples of the art. Includes a discussion of the Puech Ikots collective itself, its artists, and the goals of the project. In addition, Carlos explains of the technique of creating alebrijes, from the harvesting, preparation and treating of the wood to the carving and painting of the final work. Each participant in this workshop receives their own small alebrije (approximately 4 inches tall) that was hand carved by members of the Puech Ikots artists collective in Oaxaca, Mexico. Under Carlos’ guidance, workshop participants paint their own alebrije to take home. By doing this, the participants obtain
a deeper understanding of the artistic process. Workshop includes all materials needed to create alebrijes (unpainted alebrijes, paint, brushes, etc).
Professional Development workshop primarily for K-12 educators, and librarians. K-12 educators in Illinois are eligible to receive ISBE Professional Development Hours (PDH). Others are eligible to receive General University Continuing Education units (CEU).