George McDowell School

Alejandra Diaz Roman at George McDowell School
January – March, 2012
64 students (grades 3 & 4)

Visual artist Alejandra Diaz Roman spent several weeks collaborating with students at George McDowell School in St. Vital, the second-oldest permanent settlement in Manitoba. Together they created Alebrijes, brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. Various presentations and hands-on projects were also included in the workshop, incorporating the use of recycled and reusable materials. The end of the project cumulated in a fiesta, where students participated in working with traditional decorative design and enjoyed Mexican foods they helped to prepare.

“The goal of the project was to allow the students to understand the relationship between colour and its importance in art, design, history, traditions, and foods of Mexico, and establish similarities and contrasts with their own country and culture. The creation of an Alebrije was an enjoyable process that enriched the students’ learning.” – Alejandra Diaz Roman

The project and students’ written reflections on their work were included during parent evenings held at the school. A hands-on centre was also available for parents to see the process evolve in the classroom. “Many warm comments and smiling faces were observed as the sharing of successful work took place.” – George McDowell School April Bear Facts newsletter

“The project had good connections to the curriculum outcomes and was enjoyed by the students, parents, and staff. The class did work together to build community and develop communication skills to express their thoughts and feelings, both verbally and in writing.” – Jason Schneider, Amber Britsky, Dana Cormier (teachers involved in the project)

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