Chamisa Elementary 6th Graders Enriched Through Artist In Residence Experience

Cecile Lipworth brings an inspiring discussion to 6th grade students at Chamisa about celebrating courage and resilience through Esther Nisenthal Krinitz’s stories on cloth. Photo by Renee Mitsunaga

Stephanie Riggs introduces the Arpilleras from Peru to the students. Photo by Renee Mitsunaga

Students receive advice on the next steps in the project. Photo by Renee Mitsunaga

Chamisa sixth graders their show completed artwork. Photo by Renee Mitsunaga

Chamisa Art Teacher

Cecile Lipworth, a guest speaker from an arts educational nonprofit organization called Art and Remembrance, shared the life of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, a Holocaust survivor. Krinitz created 36 fabric panels to tell the story of her experiences as a teenager during the Holocaust. Art and Remembrance inspires participants in their program to share their stories through art.

Cindy Richard, the 6th grade Social Studies teacher at Chamisa invited Lipworth to introduce a documentary about Krinitz’s experience and participate in a discussion about the Holocaust to supplement their unit on World War II.

This led to a collaborative project with Art teacher, Renee Mitsunaga, enriched with an artist in residence through the Fine Arts Education Act Funding (FAEA).  Stephanie Riggs, educator at the Museum of International Folk Art taught the sixth graders to create pictures using fabric as a medium. Students depicted scenes portraying acts of caring, friendship, community, and family.

This project was inspired by the commonality of the perseverance and courage depicted in Krinitz’s story cloths and the Arpilleras from Peru. The women from the impoverished towns and communities of Peru often created arpilleras that told the stories of life on fabric as well.

Stephen Boone shares his work in progress. Photo by Renee Mitsunaga

Wyatt Cionek and Noah Danforth work on their story cloths. Photo by Renee Mitsunaga

Elizabeth Tafoya shows the warmth of her family conveyed in her story cloth. Photo by Renee Mitsunaga