Local Event for Teachers! In the Wake of Juárez: Teaching Politics through Art

Art by Alice Leora Briggs

Abedecario de Juárez by Alice Leora Briggs

We are very excited to announce the Latin American and Iberian Institute’s next workshop for the spring term! And it’s another art-based event! “In the Wake of Juarez: Teaching Politics through Art” will take place on Tuesday March 26, 2013, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. in the UNM Art Museum.

Participants will first engage with the subject and technique of the museums’ exhibition, “In the Wake of Juárez: The Drawings of Alice Leora Briggs,” and then discuss how to implement it in the classroom.  This event is recommended only for teachers of grades 9-12 given the content of the artwork, though all are welcome to attend.

In the first half of the workshop, UNM Art Museum Curator of Academic Initiatves, Sara Otto-Diniz, will lead a guided discussion of the art in the exhibit and offer a hands-on experience of working in sgraffito (the artist’s method). In the second half, LAII staff members will review the socio-cultural context of Ciudad Juárez and provide Common Core-based curriculum strategies that will allow participants to explore the topic in more depth with their students.

We’re thrilled to partner with the UNM Art Museum to bring you this exhibit-based workshop that looks at the drawings of Alice Leora Briggs (see here if you’re not familiar with her work: http://aliceleorabriggs.com/home.html).  She’s a powerful artist who has used sgraffito for the past decade to document the violence associated with drug cartel activity in Ciudad Juárez.  Sgraffito is a type of reverse drawing that, instead of making darker marks over a light surface, involves scratching through a dark surface layer to reveal lighter highlights below.  Practiced since at least the 6th century BCE, and most often associated with ceramic decoration, sgraffito has nevertheless enjoyed wide applications in the arts over the centuries.  Briggs uses sgraffito on clay-coated panels that have been covered with a layer of black ink.  Using a variety of tools -knives, fiberglass styluses, metal brushes, and steel wool – she removes the black surface to expose the white clay.  This exhibition contains a selective representation of Briggs’ largest and most sustained body of works, produced over the last five years.   They represent the fulfillment of the artists’ long-range reflections on our darker nature.  For more than a decade, she has been consistently involved “in some attempt to gain an understanding of what many consider less than civilized conditions.”  I persist in trying to resolve why these less civilized dimensions of human life are such a critical part of ‘civilized’ life.”

Dinner will be provided.  Participants will receive a certificate of professional development credit and copies of the curriculum materials.

If you have any questions or to register, email Keira at kphilipp@unm.edu.  Click here for a pdf version of our flyer. Feel free to share this information with anyone else who may be interested.

For those of you who aren’t local or can’t attend–don’t worry! We’ll be posting resources and lesson plans here on the blog.  Be sure to check back!!

This will be our last workshop of the semester, so we hope to see you there!


6 thoughts on “Local Event for Teachers! In the Wake of Juárez: Teaching Politics through Art

  1. Thank you for sending this! I have heard some great reviews of her work, and am looking forward to seeing the exhibit this Saturday. I would really like to go to this workshop.
    Happy Spring!

    • I hope you can make it to the workshop Florence! We would love to see you. I can’t wait to hear what you think about the exhibit–it’s very good, quite intense.

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