Alebrijes Artists From Mexico Bring Their Craft to the Cameron

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Video by Patty Stocker

Alebrijes artist, Armando Jimenez Aragon and his son, Alejandro Aragon visited the Cameron Senior Center on March 5 to exhibit and demonstrate their woodcarving art. Visiting from their homeland of Oaxaca, Mexico, the father and son showed the crowd of several dozen how the soft wood from the capol tree can be carved and then painted to create their award winning sculptures most often depicting animals and mythical creatures. Armando’s grandfather, Manuel Jimenez, was instrumental in adapting the original alebrijes art from paper mâché to the capol wood carvings of today, according to John Tyler, a Groton-Dunstable Foreign Language Teacher who spoke at the event.

Tyler, who is a frequent visitor to Mexico, recalls how a conversation with Armando on the streets of Oaxaca led to the father and son coming to the Westford area. Alejandro had won a young artist contest several years ago which prompted Tyler to inquire about him visiting the United States to speak with his students at Groton-Dunstable Middle School.

Tyler recalled asking the father if Alejandro would come to the states to speak to his students. It turned out that Armando was bringing his son to the midwest to teach workshops and give presentations, that fall. Tyler raised enough funds to bring the two men to the northeast.

“After I finally got enough money for Alejandro to come, I sent him a text,” said Tyler.

Alebrijes art was recently featured in the Academy Award winning Disney film, Coco.

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