Second SundAZe Family Day: Exploring Paper Art
Francisco Toledo, Kites, 20th century, handmade paper, ink/pigment. On loan from Dr. Ronald and Mrs. Katherine Margolis.
The first thing visitors see as they enter the Schmidt Gallery of Latin American Folk Art is a collection of kites created by the Mexican Zapotec artist Francisco Toledo. For this month’s Second SundAZe Family Day, here are four activities related to the kites.
Second SundAZe Family Day @TMA is presented by The Stonewall Foundation.
First, take a minute and think about what you notice about these pieces. What stands out to you? These kites were made by an artist from Oaxaca, Mexico named Francisco Toledo. Do you recognize the images on the kites? Many of the designs are inspired nature and Mesoamerican art. For example, the bat is associated with the underworld in Mayan art. How do you think these kites were made?
Toledo used natural fibers and colors to create the paper that made these kites. He also trained other artists in the same paper making process through a community project called Taller Arte y Paper (Paper and Art Workshop) to make these kites. The next time you visit the museum, check out these kites in person in the Schmidt Gallery of Latin American Folk Art on the lower level.
El Taller Arte Papel of Oaxaca is a paper-making cooperative founded in 1998 by Francisco Toledo. After refurbishing the former Hidroeléctrica La Soledad, a 19th century hydroelectric plant that once provided all of Oaxaca’s electricity, Toledo set up the Taller in an effort to teach paper-making techniques to local people and to provide work. Paper is made using fibers and other natural ingredients that are renewable and available locally, like pochote, coyuchi, hemp, silk, linen and mica.
Artists in the co-op make and sell kites, bags, jewelry, notebooks, boxes and more. The space hosts workshops and offers studio space for visiting artists. Over the years, many of them have created installations while working there.
Watch this 2017 video from Craft in America to see Francisco Toledo and learn more about Taller Arte Papel.
Color and Design
Download our printable coloring sheet to color two kites by Francisco Toldeo, then draw your own designs on the blank ones.
Using Francisco Toledo’s kites as inspiration, create your own paper kite decorated with an image or design that is significant to you. Watch the video below for instructions. If each member of your household creates a kite, you can hang them up together to create an installation like the one at TMA.
- 2 bamboo or wood skewer sticks (for kebabs)
- Colored construction paper
- Ruler – at least 12 inches long
- Glue gun or white glue
- Yarn or string
- Markers, paints, stamps or stencils for decorating
Wednesday – Sunday,
10 am – 5 pm