Friendship Blankets - Sánchez Elementary, 4th-Grade Students Exhibition 2017
April 1 - April 29, 2017
Monday, April 24th, 2017
4:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Join us for a musical performance featuring The Aztec Choir directed by Mr. Chris Diaz.
Exhibition Dates: April 1 - April 30, 2017
Friendship Blankets - Artwork created by Ms. Holland’s fourth-grade art students at Sánchez Elementary, inspired by textiles woven in Mexico and Native American blankets, will be on exhibit during the month of April.
Weaving by 4th-Grade Student-Artists
The textiles of Mexico have a long history. The making of fibers, cloth, and other textile goods has existed in the country since at least 1400 BC. Pueblo and Navajo tribes also have weaving traditions. Weaving began in the Southwest more than 1000 years ago; traditions have changed and grown as different people with different technology arrived in the region.
By the 1800s, Navajo tribes had adopted weaving techniques from the Pueblo tribes and were weaving with wool, introduced by the Spanish and English. Weavers had a limited number of colors to use. Tribes had natural dyes that could make a variety of shades of brown and black. A blue dye could be made from the indigo plant. Their red yarn might have come from unraveling red blankets and material from England; the famous cochineal, a red dye from Mexico, was popular and available, but expensive.
Fourth-grade students designed weaving replica collages in limited color schemes based on their study of the color wheel. They cut and glued paper in a repeating pattern and tied on a fringe at the edges.
With Native American and Mexican blankets and rugs as an inspiration, students also used cardboard looms and created weavings. Once they learned the basic plain weaving style, students experimented with different styles. From a selection of nine different weaving styles found around the world, students were challenged to try at least three styles. Some used four or more styles, and some invented styles of their own.
We worked for several weeks, mastering the styles and the process of weaving. The students set individual goals for the number of styles and length of the weaving they hoped to achieve.
After they finished their individual work, students worked in teams to paint large artworks inspired by traditional weaving, but with their own styles. They added yarn tassels to the edges to complete these painted blanket replicas.
Weaving is an important lesson because it builds skills, allowing students to plan, problem-solve, achieve results through perseverance, and exercise craftsmanship. Collaborating on an artwork is an opportunity to unite SEL (social) skills with art skills.
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