Fourth-grade students at Somers Intermediate School let their imagination take flight while creating alebrijes in art class during Hispanic Heritage Month. Alebrijes are mythical creatures in Mexican folk art that were originally created by Mexican artist Pedro Linares.
Students created their creatures by combining qualities and features from at least two animals to form something new and unique. Eli Mundis described his alebrijes as “a monkey and a bird. It kind of just describes me. I’m crazy like a monkey and my name is Eli. It means elevated.”
“Bunny, bird, camel, and monkey. It’s got wings. It’s got a tail. It’s got bunny ears. It’s a camel. I just wanted to make something crazy,” Van Sannito said about his creation.
Each student sketched four possible combinations before deciding which one they liked the best. Penelope Berger chose to combine a hamster and an eagle. “I thought it was the cutest. These other ones didn’t have the vibe I was going for, which was cute and dainty.”
Once students decided on a design, they used tracing paper over their sketches to find the simple shapes within it. “I used a circle, an oval, another circle, and a rectangle. I just wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” said Ava Ivicic, referring to her seahorse and turtle combination.
Students then drew their alebrijes on larger paper, starting with simple shapes to create the basic form. Projects were completed by connecting the shapes and filling in the details, features, and colors. The end results? Fantasy creatures that are just as unique as the students who made them.