22 2nd-grade students at Markonzaga school
Teacher: Leire Pinedo
Artist: Naia del Castillo

By watching videos of artists from all over the world working in their studios, the schoolchildren discovered the concept of diversity, and posed questions about the context in which each artist creates, and the differences between them in terms of age, physical appearance, origin, and gender.

One exercise was to make a portrait of a classmate: observe the shape of the eyes, hair, etc. The students then photocopied their portraits and cut them up into fragments, and mixed them up to make new faces on mirror board sheets. The viewers’ own faces reflect in the mirror, giving them a different view. In the process, students were prompted to ask themselves, “What is the color of skin?” Angelica Dass and her Pantone of over 3,000 skin tones inspired the students to photograph the diversity of their hands and create a “Pantone” book of hands in 17 different tones, which they then transferred into paintings and sculptures.

The students created performances and games to explain two opposing ideas: collaboration and rejection. The world shouldn’t be looked at from just one perspective, but from many. If you take a sheet of paper and place it in front of your eyes, you will see nothing but the paper. If you make a small hole in it, you’ll see through the paper, and if you make many small holes in it, then you’ll have a much more complete view of what lies in front of you. Each student created a sculpture in the shape of a spyglass; by putting them all together, we get a much broader view.

Naia del Castillo summarized the year as follows:

“This year, the 2nd-grade students at the Markonzaga school in Sestao and their teacher Leire, with their enthusiasm and attention, helped me create a perfect work environment, in which we combined exercises, games, and thoughts about artists such as Vermeer, Marina Abramovič, Mark Rothko, and Angelica Dass. Little by little, we were able to untangle the concept the school wanted to develop: multiculturalism.”

“We made art. I liked the whole thing. I had a great time. In the Museum we saw art and labyrinths. We played the game ME, YOU, and US. We got some very nice photographs. I’d encourage our friends to participate in an activity like this one.”

Leire Pinedo summarizes the year as follows:

“The 2nd-grade students collaborated very well on this project, and worked on multiculturalism through very different activities and mediums. We reached the objectives that were set at the beginning of the year, which included improving working as a group and the use of the Basque language. The methodology was very motivating and interactive, and fostered relations between the students. They all participated enthusiastically and really enjoyed it. It has been a great experience, and highly recommendable.”