Students blossom during Arte Latino outreach |

Students blossom during Arte Latino outreach

Sixth grader Jose Sanchez works on his paper flower during an outreach activity hosted by the Kimball Art Center as part of the Arte Latino exhibit.

Art can teach us about other cultures or our heritage.

Twenty English Language Learners (ELL) from Ecker Hill International Middle School toured the Arte Latino Exhibit at the Kimball Art Center last Thursday.

Students got a tour from artist Ruby Chacón whose own paintings are part of the current exhibit, which is on display through April 21.

After the tour, sixth grader Jose Sanchez reflected on what he had seen.

"It’s cool because it’s part of our heritage," he said.

His favorite piece was a collaborative mural by Chacón and members of the Park City community that was created during the Arte Latino exhibit last year.

One of the central figures in the colorful painting is Cesar Chavez, who was a Mexican-American labor activist.

"He did a lot of good things for the Hispanics," Sanchez said. "He made a change like Martin Luther King did."

Following their tour, students made paper flowers with local artist Dolores Perez who has more than 25 years of experience with the craft. She explained creating the vivid flowers is a traditional Mexican art form.

They are made for festivals, holidays and religious ceremonies.

Perez conducted the lesson in Spanish since many of the ELL students are first-generation immigrants and came here with their parents.

As sixth-grader Leslie Gonzalez made a blossom from crepe paper she offered her opinion on the exhibit paintings.

"I thought they were really cool and they were nice, I like the colors," she said.

Their teacher Meri-Lyn Stark said she brought her students to see Arte Latino to expose them to more Latino culture and was thrilled that one of them asked Chacón where the hot spot was on one of the paintings, meaning where light hits the painting.

Stark said it was wonderful to see a student making connections between what was taught in class and real life experiences.

"It’s great that our community sponsors events like this one," Stark said.

She added it helps open their eyes to different options.

"I just want them to see there’s a bigger world out there with lots of opportunities," she said.

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