Learn how artisans from Oaxaca, Mexico, draw from pre-hispanic design motifs to create contemporary woodcarvings.

For generations, one family of artists in Oaxaca, Mexico, has created woodcarvings called alebrijes: whimsical animal forms painted in a rainbow of colors. The family uses traditional carving techniques and pre-hispanic design motifs from the ancient settlement outside their village of San Martin Tilcajete.

To introduce the art of the Fabian family to the University of Michigan community, archaeology graduate student Lacey Carpenter, who works in the Valley of Oaxaca, has organized two November events. The first, on Thursday, November 9, is an interactive demonstration of woodcarving and painting techniques. After watching the artists work, the audience will be invited to paint their own pieces. An exhibit of the woodcarvings will be held the next day, November 10, at the Michigan League. 

Both events are sponsored by Carpenter’s award from the Rackham Program in Public Scholarship, the U-M Office of Research, a Title VI federal grant administered by the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and the U-M Museum of Anthropological Archaeology.

Event information is posted here. 

Read more about the Rackham award here.