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Peace Event

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Paul Hillman

SMHS Huichol Arts Programming for Magnet Arts Depart. August '19 – March '20

The South Mountain High School (SMHS) Magnet Arts Dept Gathering with Cultural Arts Coalition (CAC) administration & CAC contracted professional artists. Location SMHS Magnet Arts Building: Megan McRae's classroom, SMHS Visual Arts Magnet Manager @ 10:00-11:30 August 1, 2019

*Megan speaks concerning purposefulness of this collaboration with CAC & funding secured from Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture & the AZ. Commission on the Arts

The Art History presented in this school arts program assists with public awareness of the politically threatened Huichol people and their struggle for preservation of their cultural heritage.

Story Boards, many books/magazines featuring the Huichol people & their Pre-Columbian cultural history: intent to "Protect & Honor the Earth" were provided as research for students & teachers.

Periodicals come from many diverse resources Huichol artifacts were also on display for all Students and Teachers to examine & explore; CAC made available by arts programming facilitator Judy Butzine.

Mitra Kamali was also present ...Mitra is a Cultural Arts Coalition Board Member from Iran. Her expertise is as an Engineer, Mother, Artist & Human Rights Activist who focuses on the unity all individuals, held by preserving universal cultural stories!

This gathering gave plenty of time for teachers to connect with the arts techniques & understand how the CAC contracted artists will bring additional art making processes and critical thinking perspectives to the students over the fall semester, enhancing their creative expressions. On an entry table were a variety of diverse, symbolic objects for each participant to select one which introduced the individual through a story relevant to one's personal history and "Sense of Place"...

Reggie Casillas discussed his selection of a conch shell which reminds him of the flow of the ocean's water and the designs embedded in the shell's form. Gloria Martinez continued holding the "Believe pillow" discussing her faith in her continuing to receiving DACA funding to complete her BFA; and the importance of her belonging to a loving, wise family who have always supported her. Oliverio Balcells selected a Hopi rattle to remind us of the power of ceremonies Honoring the Earth, Honors Us All.

The Cultural Arts Coalition's Philosophy: Since ancient human history people have had a need to represent their beliefs, values and emotions in physical, artistic forms taking the shape of symbols, language, objects and performance. These metaphors may be more powerful than language as a means of communication. The CAC believes everyone can use the arts to Reflect, Express and Discover, recording thought, emotion and experience in temporary or permanent means, personally and in community.

Mission: The Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona (CAC) 501 (c)3 Coalition Arizona. CAC incorporated in 2005 facilitates and promotes multidisciplinary arts and cultural experiences through educational youth and adult programming, exhibitions, and celebrations; purposefully documenting each experience for community reflection.

Oliverio created a Powerpoint presentation on the Huichol Art Unit, available to art teachers and SMHS students. Reggie & Oliverio, facilitating painting classes have modified traditional images in their own artworks. Gloria will be instructing not only beading techniques, but printmaking to incorporate one's own designs onto clothing or other materials of personal choice. The concept of design selection for individual students' creative endeavors was discussed through the recommended design book described later.

Oliverio's murals and paintings adhere to traditional colors and style of the Huichol people from Jalisco, Mexico...


Artists Oliverio, Reggie & Gloria highlight art making symbols and cultural stories as modalities to enrich the life journey of every person, individually and in community. Community exhibitions/discussion & art making programs like this one keep stories and artistic milestones alive for remembrance and reflection, personally and collectively, in the form of published reports, community events and ongoing arts curriculum like this...

Traditional Huichol male dress, hat and pouch One of Gloria's examples of print making, can be transferred onto anyone's favorite t-shirt or blouse...etc.

Gloria and Reggie @ SMHS enrolled in the Magnet Arts Program in 2000 when the Huichol curriculum was first uploaded onto the internet. It had been researched & written by Tlisza Jaurique/Judy Butzine to accompany a Huichol exhibition of artifacts @ the Bead Museum in Glendale, Az.

Oliviero noted there are shared images like the eagle, jaguar and snake. All are important symbols in many cultures…There are many basic symbolic designs which are the same as rock art around the world since development of ancient human history…




What object, design or symbol reveals your story (values, ideas & beliefs) from ones "Sense of Place": Culture?

Megan McRae, SMHS Visual Arts Instructional Leader, SMHS Visual Arts Magnet Manager; Art Foundations and Jewely & Fiber Arts Teacher
      5401 S. 7th St.
      Phoenix, AZ 85040

Programming created and facilitated by, judy butzine, MSW

Grant Funding for this arts semester project at South Mt. H.S., Magnet Arts Department provided by Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture & the Arizona Commission on the Arts

Photo Narrative by judy butzine, MSW, Project facilitator and co-founder of the Cultural Arts Coalition