Turtle Creek’s Alebrije Art creatures come to life thanks to DDHS students

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Delavan-Darien High School sculpture students had a surprise for Turtle Creek art students. DDHS art teacher Rachel Pfarr had her students make Alebrije sculptures based of paintings that Turtle Creek art teacher Rachel Hill had her fifth-grade students make in class.

The creatures were first painted in fluorescent and “hot” or “electric” colors. They were recreated in clay and kiln-dried by the DDHS artists. Those creations were then painted and given to the Turtle Creek artists at the end of the school year during a surprise visit.

Alebrijes (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈβɾixes]) are brightly colored Oaxacan-Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures.

The first alebrijes, along with use of the term, originated with Pedro Linares, a Mexican-born artist.

In the 1930s, Linares fell very ill and while he was in bed, unconscious, Linares dreamed of a strange place resembling a forest. There, he saw trees, animals, rocks and clouds that suddenly turned into something strange — some kind of animals unseen ever before.

He saw a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, a lion with an eagle head, and all of them were shouting one word, “Alebrijes!” Upon recovery, he began recreating the creatures he envisioned using cardboard and papier-mâché and called them Alebrijes.

Some very clever and very colorful creations, DDHS and Turtle Creek Students!

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