New Zealand Community Education Centres

Mexican Folk Art

Discover the beauty of traditional Mexican art as you create two traditional items – an alebrije and a Tree of Life – in this hands-on folk art workshop.


Folk Art is the name given to the artistic creations made by Mexican peasants, indigenous people or craftspeople with no formal training. A folk art item is handmade and has a functional purpose and is not only for aesthetic purposes.

Mexican culture has some of the most recognisable and widely appreciated folklore art. This art embodies Mexican culture and provides a forum for people to express their innermost feelings in an artistic manner. An alebrije is a being that is whispered in the dreams of an artist, guiding his or her hands to create an enigmatic creature from Mexican mythology. The Tree of Life (arbol de la vida) is a clay sculpture traditionally depicting the creation story but also other contemporary subjects.

By the end of the workshop, you’ll be able to:

• Discuss the origins of Mexican folklore handicrafts
• Make an Alebrije sculpture, using paper clay as a medium
• Sketch, create and make a Tree of Life sculpture
• Use paints to create a good finish on your sculptures
• Apply glue to your sculptures to create a lasting finish

Most materials provided but bring long nose pliers (if you have them), an apron, old rags, newspapers and lunch. 

Note:  Courses need a minimum number to go ahead so if we don't have enough enrolments a few days before the start date, we have to cancel. We'll let you know by email so please check yours regularly. If you need to cancel your registration, here are our terms and conditions: "What You Need to Know".

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