Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Work with an Artist in the Taller at CelebrARTE: Revive

Every CelebrARTE, the Taller is the spot to make art with a maestro (master artist).  A taller, pronounced “tay-yair,” is an artist’s workshop, and this learning format has a very long history in the arts of Latin America.  In a taller/workshop aspiring artists learn as a group by working hands-on with the guidance of the master-artist.  Every month, we partner with professional artists to lead the workshop.

I am always looking for partner-artists, but leading the Taller is no small task. If you could overhear an early meeting with a partner you'd likely hear something like this, “Can you create a project that engages DAM’s art, comes from your artistic perspective, and that fits the theme? Oh—and it should be easy for visitors of all ages. Oh—and you should be able to do it in 10-15 minutes, but be able to elaborate on it for an hour.  Oh—and we have limited materials available because you will be near the art. By the way, ¿habla español?” 

Afortunadamente, Beatriz Gómez, a Boulder based multi-disciplinary artist told me, “¡Yo puedo!”  She led the Taller during the first CelebrARTE in June, and her projects were so successful we had to ask her back—each project just keeps getting more intriguing. For our Fiesta-themed day in July, she helped guests make piñatas in the shape of animals in our pre-Columbian collections. Remember how hot it was this summer?  She made fans that doubled as masks. This maestra has embodied the spirit of CelebrARTE’s Taller, and in the video below she explains how (en español).

Beatriz explains that growing up in rural Venezuela shaped her creative mind—she created toys using only rocks and her imagination! Constraints inspire her creativity, and her ability to work through these constraints allows her to invent engaging Taller projects. She thinks of what families will enjoy making together, and seeks inspiration from what she sees in the objects at the DAM. As she works with visitors, she prompts them to use the materials to give the projects a personal style. Let Beatriz inspire your inner-artista this month as we make art on October 21, 1–4 pm, that celebrates life’s transformations during the festival of Día de los Muertos.

 

Madalena Salazar is the Latino cultural programs coordinator in the education department at the Denver Art Museum. Madalena has been at the DAM since 2011 and her favorite artwork that has been on view here is Mud Woman Rolls On. This piece reminds her of home, family, and community and serves as inspiration for her practice as a museum educator at the DAM.