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Family Activity Inspired by Betsy Casañas’s AK Public Art Mural

Betsy Casañas is an artist, community activist, and educator. Her mural Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues to Be Yours) celebrates the significant contributions made to Buffalo’s cultural heritage by its Hispanic and Latinx communities. Be inspired by the shapes, colors, and patterns found in Casañas’s mural to create your own wrapping paper! 

Betsy Casañas's Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues to Be Yours, 2017

Betsy Casañas (American, born 1974). Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues to Be Yours), 2017. Acrylic on Polytab. Commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Public Art Initiative in partnership with the Rich Family Fund for Community Access, 2017. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Materials

  • Brown paper bag
  • Paper
  • Cereal box
  • Pencil
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Artmaking Activity

1. Prep your paper bag by removing any handles and cutting the bag down one of the corner seams to the bottom.

2. Cut out the bottom of the bag. This is now your wrapping paper. Set this aside.

3. Next, draw three objects that celebrate your cultural heritage and traditions on a new piece of paper. Shown here are three items that celebrate my Mexican American heritage: a concha (a traditional Mexican sweet bread roll), a tamale (a traditional Mesoamerican dish, made of masa or dough, which is steamed in a corn husk), and a poinsettia (indigenous to Central America).

4. Cut out all three shapes from your paper.

5. Trace the cut-out objects on the cereal box. (You can tape them to the cereal box to make tracing easier.)

6. Cut out all three shapes from your cereal box. These are your stencils!

7. Use the stencils to draw patterns on your wrapping paper.

8. Use your coloring materials to decorate your wrapping paper.

9. Now you can wrap your gifts!

Vocabulary 

Shape: a form created when a line is enclosed

Pattern: a design in which lines, shapes, forms, or colors are repeated

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