Eye on Art

“Art helps us see connections & brings a more coherent meaning to our world.” — Earnest Boyer

A picture's worth a thousand words...

Discovering through art

intelli.tours Academic includes art in the daily activities, explorations, and learning objectives on our Discover Oaxaca educational journeys.

As educators, we understand the power of art to engage students in experiential learning, in which they connect their experiences directly with their prior knowledge, thus achieving, retaining, and creating deeper understandings and connections on the journey.  

Gazing upon pre-Hispanic art in the tombs of Mitla allows students to connect with the realties of ancient peoples and their cultures. 

Experiencing the art in Spanish Colonial churches opens a window on to the intersection and merging of radically different cultures and gives insights into the resulting cultural amalgams. 

Contemplating modern Oaxacan art in a local museum offers the chance to connect with the experiences of those who are living the cultures we’re visiting.

Perusing folk art in markets is yet another opportunity to experience the spirit of the people and see how their historical customs and artistic expressions have evolved into a modern-day representation of their and cultural realities.

Engaging in hands-on art activities allows students to connect directly with the creative and artistic heritage and cultural richness of Oaxaca and its people.

We see art — in all of its forms — as the expression, reflection, and connection with all that is seen and experienced on our journeys to Oaxaca.

We invite you to discover how we integrate the arts into our journeys as an integral component of our academic journeys to Oaxaca.

Before the Journey
Context Before the Journey

Prior to departure students engage in interactive learning modules to provide them with context for and understanding of what they will experience in Oaxaca.  

The art module focuses on how art — as a form of human expression — thrives in Mexico and Oaxaca from indigenous arts and crafts to the contemporary merging of pre-Hispanic, Spanish Colonial, and modern creative artistic expression.

Emphasis is on all aspects of art including, architectural embellishments, painting, sculpture, weaving, pottery, and more.

Students see and learn about the art and artists they will experience and meet on the journey and arrive to Oaxaca with the knowledge necessary to engage in higher level learning, appreciation, and understanding relative to the arc of artistic expression and creativity in Mexico and, specifically, Oaxaca.

During the Journey
Art Immersion

intelli.tours Academic knows that art is the most important expression of individualism, culture, and perception of events and one’s place in history. We also know that artistic expression is a window on cultural and historical understanding.

As Oaxaca and its people are intensely artistic, we incorporate the full range of the region’s artistic expression, including:

  • Pre-Hispanic
  • Spanish Colonial
  • Modern Oaxacan
  • Modern Mexican

We also focus on these essential questions relative to the arts:

  • What is art?
  • What is the purpose of art?
  • What are the hallmarks of pre-Hispanic art in Oaxaca?
  • What are the hallmarks of Spanish Colonial art in Oaxaca?
  • How did religion play a role in art in pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial art?
  • What are some examples of where pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial art merged?
  • How has contemporary Oaxacan art been influenced by pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial traditions and cultures?
  • How do pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial art differ?
  • How do pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial art differ from U.S. Native-American and British Colonial art?
  • How is contemporary Oaxacan art similar or different from U.S. contemporary art and what similar or differing influences do you see?
A Few Specifics
We Visit Galleries
We Meet Artists

During our discovery walks and explorations we happen into galleries and meet well-known Oaxaca artists and learn about their work.

We See Artists at Work

Each day we explore elements of Oaxacan folk art. We visit potters, painters, weavers, and wood carvers.

We see them create.

We learn about their inspirations.

We experience and connect with their passions.

We Become Artists

It’s one thing to watch and another to do! And, on Discover Oaxaca journeys, we do!  

We paint our own alebrijes (fantastical Mexican folk art sculptures).

We create our own pottery masterpieces in barro negro (black clay).

And we add to the region’s colorful creative spirit by painting a street mural in a local village.

We Visit Remarkable Museums

Oaxaca is a rich repository of pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial art and is known for its wealth of important art museums and exhibits.

We use our visits to these venues to provide students an understanding of the arc of artistic expression in Mexico and Oaxaca.

We tailor museum visits to each student’s interests and passions.

We Check Out Street Art

Oaxaca has a vibrant street art culture, and on Discover Oaxaca journeys we make sure to see it all — from murals to pop-up art fairs to local dance rehearsals to architectural design.

We leave no art behind and appreciate it all.

We take the time to stop, ponder, discuss, and appreciate the street art of Oaxaca.