tree of life rsAn example of a clay Árbol de la Vida (Tree of Life) like the one the public will have the opportunity to contribute to during the Community Tree of Life workshop at Western New Mexico University's ¡Fiesta Latina! on June 23 and at the Silver City CLAY Festival in July.Silver City, NM – Patricia Castillo of Taller Artesanal de Don Alfonso Castillo Orta and her husband Paul Jolet are creating a clay Árbol de la Vida (Tree of Life), and the public will use that foundation to build a Community Tree of Life during a two-part workshop that begins at ¡Fiesta Latina! on the Western New Mexico University campus Saturday, June 23, 2018, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Participants will have a chance to make small clay sculptures representing our region's landscape and way of life. Each attendee will make two figures: one to hang on the Community Tree of Life and one to take home when it is completed.

Castillo, of the well-known Castillo family of Puebla, Mexico, and Jolet will create the foundation for the Silver City/Grant County Community Tree of Life in their Texas studio, then workshop participants will build small clay sculptures representing the flora and fauna in southwest New Mexico to add to the piece.

Sculpture creation will take place at ¡Fiesta Latina! and sculpture painting will take place at Syzygy Tile (106 North Bullard St.) during the CLAY Festival (July 16-21).
The first workshop, Part I, takes place in the clay studio in WNMU's McCray Building (1000 W. College Ave.) and will consist of a description of the history of the Tree of Life and the Castillo family's work, and an introduction to working with clay.

The second workshop, Part II, will consist of learning the painting techniques to finish off each piece. Registration for each part costs $35 and includes all supplies; registration for both Parts I and II costs $70.

After Part I, participants will leave their pieces with ¡Fiesta Latina! staff at WNMU so the pieces can be prepared for the second workshop, where they will be painted.

The completed Community Tree of Life sculpture will be displayed at the WNMU Miller Library.

To register or get more details about the workshops, visit fiestalatina.org or contact the WNMU Cultural Affairs Office at 575-538-6469.

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