Updated: 4 days ago

Created by Maya Ankenbruck

Hello everyone, I am Maya, here on behalf of the South Haven Center for the Arts. Today we are going to be making Papel Picado which means punched or perforated paper, like a hole punch. The Papel Picado is used for various celebrations and they are very vibrant in color. They will be hung throughout the streets of Mexico for Dia de los Muertos festival, or Day of the Dead. A day for Honoring our ancestors who have passed. Maybe you would like to remember a grandparent or a beloved pet while making your own Papel Picado. 

Papel Picado is considered Mexican Folk Art. They are flags, or banners that display images to represent different things. Common symbols in Papel Picado art are, birds, flowers and nature and skeletons. At the South Haven Center for the Arts we are focused on Frida Kahlo and different aspects of her art pieces. I feel that these representations of the Papel Picado Tradition relates well to the Frida Kahlo theme as they are cultural, floral, symbolical as much of surreal art is, and the colors have different meanings, as do many colors in Frida Kahlo’s art. 

Frida Kahlo's Art- https://artsandculture.google.com/project/frida-kahlo

Materials Needed: 

-Paper, can be colored construction paper, colored wax paper, or a piece of computer paper colored on, whatever paper you would like.


That's it!

If you would like to hang it up after finishing you will want string or tape or both and if you would like to color on the paper then you will want crayons or a marker or colored pencils, anything you would like really. It would be very cool to take the side of a crayon, peel off paper, and go to an interestingly textured surface and make an etching by rubbing the side of a crayon on the paper on the textured surface. 

Example of textured surface- tiles, sidewalk, the floor, a hard textured surface. 

For these Papel Picado I am going to make them a bit different from tradition because I enjoy a round Symmetrical design rather than a traditional Square or rectangle shape. It is also more simple to achieve a beautiful design this way.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Okay The first thing we are going to do is take a piece of our beautiful paper and take one corner and fold it diagonally like so. After folding the paper we will cut off the access paper so that we are left with a nice square.

2. The next thing we will do is fold our nice lil square diagonally making it into a triangle. Or if you did not unfold the paper to cut which is totally fine then you already have your triangle. We will then fold the triangle into a smaller triangle by folding it in half.

3. Make one more fold so we have another smaller triangle this will be our third fold 

4. Now take the triangle and fold it in half again in a specific way like this.hold so that the top has two legs

5. After this fold you choose to cut off the triangle that has less paper. But I am going to choose to leave it on to have a larger and more square Papel Picado because they are normally square or rectangular. If you remove the little triangle like this (show what i'm talking about) you will have a round design rather than square. It is up to you what you want your Papel Picado to look like. 

6. Now for the scissors, be careful while cutting out shapes. You can draw out what shapes you would like to cut out or you can cut random shapes like triangles, circles, squares, and abstract shapes are great. The way to get a very nice design is to make the shapes not touch too much and to place them so that they seem to fit together like puzzle pieces. 

7. Also an important part of cutting your Papel Picado is to try and not cut all the way across the paper, this will make your Papel Picado smaller. Start the cuts from the sides and if you leave the small triangle paper part on your design then also cut shapes into that part (show what i'm talking about). I think it always looks very nice to cut off the tip of your paper with a diagonal cut. (show what i'm talking about) it will make a lil star. In the middle of your design. 

8. Okay, we are cutting our design and when you feel like you are done you can unfold your Papel Picado and see what it looks like. If you want to make more I encourage it, they look great as a group, you could hang them up similar to the traditional hanging with a piece of string and some tape. I am going to put mine in the window because I think they look nice there. I am also going to make more and will show you some shape designs and what they looked like before unfolding them if you would like to recreate a design. I hope you had fun doing a craft project with me, I had fun doing it. Post your Papel Picado designs if you are allowed, I would love to see all of them. 

Watch the DIY tutorial video!

Maya Simone Ankenbruck is the South Haven Center for the Arts' Intern for the summer 2020 season. This opportunity was made available by a grant from The Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation.

Maya Simone Ankenbruck, Sketch Artist, Oil Painter, Ceramicist, Silk Screen Printer, South Haven, Michigan

Email: maya.ankenbruck@gmail.com

Artist Bio:

I have been an Artist ever since I can remember. I am now 20 years of age and creating art or being involved in the Arts is the only thing I can imagine doing with my life. I Attended Southwestern Michigan College from 2018-2020 and received an Associates in Visual Arts with Honors. I have interned at the South Haven Center for the Arts in the Past and am very glad to have the opportunity to work with Kerry again, and now Noelle, with this 2020, Summer Internship. I am pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, selling my art, doing commissions, making various product items and building a name for myself through social media. I am planning to finish two more years of art school before I jump into my real adult career, but am working my way slowly to a website. Other than being a Freelance Artist, I am very interested in becoming a Tattoo Artist. I very much appreciate well done and unique body art. I love Art, Nature, Insects, and Turtles, specifically my Box Turtle Mabel.

Artist Statement:

I would always be drawing in class and when I look back on the sketches they are not bad. My peers enjoyed what I would create, even if it was a bit odd, so people enjoying my art really made me think about pursuing it as a job. I am always unsure if people will enjoy my art enough to spend actual money on it. But as I have grown and gone to college and met interesting people and discovered other artists I have realized that dark, symbolical, maybe confusing art has been made forever and has sold and has been revered as great. Surrealist art is my love. I love everything about surreal art, it makes me think, it makes me feel something, and I could look at and talk about surreal paintings for hours. I want to create art that makes other people feel that way. I am perhaps a dark person. I love the color black, my art is mainly not joyful, but I cannot say it is sad to me either. It is just what I felt like creating that day. I enjoy oil paint because it is old school, it dries slowly so I can continuously go back to it, the Impasto technique is so captivating, oil paint is the best paint in my mind. While at Southwestern College I took ceramics and fell in love with that as well. I love to make coil pots and add details such as body parts or interesting floral shapes. I very much enjoy glazes that look like nature and seeing a ceramic piece come out of the kiln finished, and not cracked is amazingly exciting. As for drawing, I draw many nudes, portraits, surreal people, surreal objects. I love the human form and have taken nude study classes. People are not superior to turtles or any other life form to me, but I definitely love to draw people the most. I have also just started my long learning process of silk screen printing. It's very interesting and worth my time. Creating my own shirts with my designs will be a large part of my entrepreneurial business and website.

My favorite tool is my lovely hands. I have to restrain myself from smearing the paint on my canvases with my fingers, like a child. It is just so satisfying to work directly with my hands. Maybe that is why I took a quick liking to ceramics, getting to be hands on with my material, and really sculpt and feel the art between my hands.

Maya Simone Ankenbruck is the South Haven Center for the Arts' Intern for the summer 2020 season. This opportunity was made available by a grant from The Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation.

Updated: Jul 24

Stephanie Lewis Robertson Fabricsinger

South Haven, Michigan


Stephanie Lewis Robinson is the juror for the South Haven Center for the Arts' Regional Online Juried Exhibition "Fantastical Flora and Fauna," which explores artist visions of the fantastical flora and fauna that live in their imaginations. This exhibition continues the celebration of Frida Kahlo and her beloved garden at her home, in Mexico City—Casa Azul—that inspired her artwork.

(Please note that "Frida Kahlo's Garden," the exhibition planned for Summer 2020, was cancelled by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the South Haven Center for the Arts is continuing our work to celebrate Frida and her gardens through "Fanstastical Flora and Fauna" and the outdoor Frida's Garden exhibition that is displayed in downtown South Haven and surrounding neighborhood gardens.)

Much like a musical conversation, Stephanie Lewis Robertson sings to her hand-dyed and –printed fabrics while she works. Spirituality, ritual, nature, music, the concept of the “last worst time” and the current state of the world serve as the inspiration for the fabric and paper constructions.

Artist Bio

Ms. Robertson is the Program Chair for Fine Arts at Ivy Tech Community College, Central Indiana region. She holds a MFA (1994, University of Georgia) and a BFA (1981, Miami University) in Fabric Design. Her work is included in several corporate and private collections and she is also a teaching artist with Arts for Learning of Indiana.

In 2017, she was accepted into Religion Spirituality and the Arts V. Among her other awards and grants are three Individual Artists Grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, an Arts in the Park grant (2017), Second Place for Three Dimensional Work in Artistry in Fiber 2016 and Best of Show, Artistry in Fiber 2014, Second Place (2015) and First and Third Place (2011) in Surface Design at the Indiana State Fair, recipient of the Stutz Artists Association Studio Space in 2002, and an Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellowship in 2001.

Some of her exhibitions include Invocations: Reliquaries for the Discarded (Artsplace, Portland, IN), Tiny IV, V, VI and VII (Gallery 924, Indianapolis, IN), Ivy Tech Community College Arts and Design Faculty Show (Gallery 924, Indianapolis, IN), Wrestling with the Infinite (Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN), TBI Prayers (Indianapolis International Airport), and The Infinite Moment of Now (Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN).

Artist Statement

"Prayer made visible. For children and mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters. For family for friends. For health and safety, prayers of compassion and empathy, fierce prayers and gentle prayers. For communities and the lost, for Mother Earth and Father Sky, for oceans, forests, flowers and crickets and creeks. For beauty, for peace, for love. For fires and food and keeping the faith for those who are wandering.

The fabric begins as a blank cloth, waiting for our conversation to begin. We sing, we pray, we say "yes", "no", "this". The fabric and the prayers tell me their story and I serve as the storyteller. I pray."

Artwork by Stephanie Lewis Robertson

Prayer Rug

Going Walkabout

Rust Detritus, detail

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© Copyright 2014 South Haven Center for the Arts. All rights reserved. The SHCA is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization.

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