Museum holds yarn painting class in January

A multi-colored Huichol yarn painting inspired by peyote pilgrimages

Idabel, OK (December 18, 2018)—The Museum of the Red River will hold a Huichol yarn painting class on January 12. The workshop is free and open to the public. Participants can drop in and drop out any time between 10 am and 3 pm. The workshop is part of the Museum’s “Fun With” program, a series of classes designed to connect people through art.

The Huichol are an indigenous group from west-central Mexico. After the Spanish began colonizing the area, the Huichol moved north, into the mountains. As a result, they kept their values and traditions relatively intact. A key part of their belief system is the creation of meticulously decorated tablets known as nieli’ka or yarn paintings. Nieli’ka often feature traditional activities or spiritual motifs; their bright colors mimic the psychedelic aspect of peyote. In the 1950s, some Huichol artists began creating yarn paintings for commercial purposes. Consequently, they have become increasingly complex in recent years. In fact, a single painting can take weeks to complete!

Modern yarn paintings are made by pressing yarn onto a board coated in wax or pine resin. Due to the nature of the workshop, Museum participants will use yarn and liquid glue instead. A simple four inch by four-inch painting should take one to two hours to complete.

[Pictured: Yarn painting, ca. 1980 by Apollonio De La Cruz. Huichol (Mexico). Gift of Fred Fagan.]

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