Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist: Aurelia Fernandez
Aurelia Fernandez is a Mexican-born artist who has lived in the United States for twenty seven years. Through her traditional papier mache art work, Aurelia has helped assure that the cultural traditions of Mexico add a new layer of richness and vitality to New York City's cultural life. Her art has been exhibited in museums such as the Queens Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York and The National Arts Museum of Chicago. She has shown work and engaged with multiple libraries, public schools, and the Mexican Council in New York City. Additionally, Aurelia has demonstrated outstanding leadership in her community by volunteering in various churches and helping in the documentation of Mexican migrants. She was also part of the Mano a Mano Organizing Committee at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, NY. Aurelia has been honored seven times for her work and her contribution to society by important cultural institutions in the United States and Mexico.
Mexican Pinata Workshop
Most people think of pinatas as a fun activity during a party or celebration. But, did you know that the history of pinatas show that they were made to be more than just a game? In this workshop, students will learn about the history and create their own traditional Mexican pinatas using vibrant colored tissue paper and a ready-made papier-mache structure. All Ages.
Mexican Paper Flower Making Workshop
Colorful Mexican paper flowers and the intricate papel picado (cut paper banners) are used in both secular and religious celebrations throughout the year including weddings and holidays. All Ages.
Day of the dead altar presentation
Based on Aztec rituals from long before the arrival of the Spanish, Mexicans today celebrate the Day of the Dead or Dias de Los Muertos as a way of remembering and honoring their ancestors who have passed on. Each year, Mexican families create an altar or shrine in their homes to welcome the souls of their relatives. Fragrant yellow marigolds, incense, candles, food and family photos are placed on the altar in order to entice souls of relatives to visit and celebrate with the living members of the family. Aurelia will discuss these ancient traditions and demonstrate the making of the Day of the Dead altar. She will also teach students how to make calaveras---clay versions of the elaborately decorated sugar skulls used in Mexico. All Ages.