NMMA Field Trip: Johnny G.

Well I had a great time at the National Museum of Mexican Art. I learned a lot about art from my Mexican heritage. For example there was an installation of a real sit-down lawn mower that looked a low-rider. I was interested in that piece, attracted to the golden steering wheel and seat. Our group took pictures in the NMMA as well as outside at a tree. We went on a walking tour of Pilsen. There were a few murals painted on the sides of buildings. One mural that stood out to me showed an old man laying down with barbed wire wrapping around him. That stood out to me because it seemed like the man was locked inside of the barbed wire and could not escape.


Now we are planning our last project. I have a couple of plans. I either want to create a song or a mural. I want to create a song that expresses the different things that we have done and worked on in Teen Council. I would create lyrics for the song, inspired by a workshop we had with Mel L. I was also thinking of creating a mural: there would be a lyrics of a song (that I wrote) on one side and then two people (representing Veterans) painted next to it.

love art peace.

by:johnny j. g.

NVAM Teen Council visits the National Museum of Mexican Art

Last Saturday the NVAM Teen Council went on a field trip to Pilsen and visited the National Museum of Mexican Art. We viewed two exhibitions, Nuestras Historias and Dos Experiencias, Una Identidad, since the focus on identity corresponds with the theme of our upcoming Spring Showcase. After being greeted by the friendly staff, we split into two groups and toured Nuestras Historias. Drawing on the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibit displayed diverse stories of Mexican identity in North America. It was great observing the teens who come from a Mexican background share their experiences with those who were encountering the culture for the first time. We spent a large amount of time in the final gallery showcasing local artists, investigating the motivations behind color choice in Oscar Moya’s Blue Collar/Cuello Azul (2000) or the feeling of nostalgia in The Posadas/Las Posadas (2000) by Carmen Lomas Garza.

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Next door was an intimate showcase of prints by René Arceo, Mexican-born art educator, lecturer and printmaker. It was a great follow up to Nuestras Historias, since he is based in Chicago and is art teacher in a CPS school. Arceo works primarily with print medium of linocuts and his art was organized by the themes of spirituality, portraiture, and indigenous. The teen council responded positively and found familiar elements in Arceo’s work based on their experience in the printmaking workshop with Eric Garcia last February. Of particular help was the decision to display the physical linocut; I found this to be a particularly useful education tool when exploring the artistic process with the teen council. It was during this time the teens began to voice their reactions to the museum and its collection. Some students were amazed at the rich culture and history of Mexican and Mexican-American populations and some who were Mexican realized that there was so much to learn about themselves and where they come from.

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We wrapped up the afternoon by having a picnic in Harrison Park with a feast of pupusas, tortas, tacos and aguas frescas. With the smell of elotes in the air and families out enjoying the weekend, it was a lovely day spent with the teen council. Right before hopping on our school bus, we swung by Hector Duarte’s iconic home for a quick impromptu lesson on public art.

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