by Terry Rogers
Gilberto Rodriguez Traditional Mexican Art
Mispillion Art League recently announced that Gilberto Rodriguez and Cathy Walls will be teaching a Traditional Mexican Decorative Art class on October 7 from 6 to 8:30 PM at the art league building. Rodriguez will teach a traditional art form that includes painting on figurines, pottery and wood carvings similar to Alebrijes from Oaxaca, Mexico.
“Albrijes are paper mache mythical creatures painted in colorful patterns,” Walls said. “Gilberto will use this technique to completely cover almost any shape, usually animals, with areas of color outlined and filled in with tiny dots, wiggles, slashes and textures. The result is bright, colorful and eye-catching.”
Walls explained that Mexican handicrafts and folk art are a complex collection of items made with various materials. They are usually intended for utilitarian, decorative or other purposes. Different regions or cities are known for different traditional artforms. Examples provided by Walls include Alebrijes from Oaxaca; leather goods from Leon, Guanajuato; beaded products from Jalisco, Durango or Nayarit and hammocks from Yucatan.
“Gilberto’s work is influenced by the Alebrijes from Oaxaca,” Walls said. “He brings examples of carvings, paper mache and ceramics that he has painted in a decorative style to show the class, then briefly demonstrates the process. He prefers to let the class start working on their figurines as soon as possible before moving from one to another, making suggestions and keeping them on track.”
Well known in Milford and the surrounding area, Rodriguez paints in different styles and his decorative art is just one of them. Almost 20 percent of Milford’s population is Hispanic and Mispillion Art League felt it would be beneficial to demonstrate the diversity in the town and represent that diversity through the visual arts.
“The class is designed for any skill level,” Walls said. “Beginners will master the technique instantly and professional artists will have fun expressing themselves as they create their own patterns and color combinations.”
Every student will have their own desk and no sharing of materials or supplies is permitted. Masks are required with all desks, chairs and tools disinfected after each class. Mispillion Art League also disinfects all frequently touched surfaces after each class. Gloves, paper masks and hand sanitizer are available as well.
Registration ends October 3 and the class is available for ages four and older. Children nine and under must be accompanied by an adult. The class is $15 per person with registration available on the Mispillion Art League website or through their Facebook page.