A steady of flow of students and community members wound in and out of the Denair High School library this week but they were not checking out books. Instead, they were witnessing the traveling Diego Rivera exhibition which featured several replicated works by the famed painter.
Known as Mexico’s most famous muralist, the works of Diego Rivera were hung from the ceiling in the DHS library and on Friday morning 43 first graders made a trip to witness the works of the artist they learned about in class. After creating small informational booklets on Rivera in class that allowed the students to draw their own murals, witnessing the works of the famed artist satisfied the first graders’ curiosity.
“This is an awesome exhibit and to be able to do this for the students is wonderful. It’s like our own little museum,” said first grade teacher Kelly Bear.
The exhibit was made possible by DHS Spanish instructor Maria Olivas, who discovered that she could host the works through Teachers' Discovery, a classroom teaching materials supplier that offers traveling exhibits. With the help of funding by the Denair Education Foundation, students across the District made their way to the DHS library to witness the works of Rivera.
“My hope is that there is a greater knowledge of Latin American art, which is not usually included in classes,” said Olivas. “I hope this experience has created more curiosity for the students and interested other teachers to bring in other exhibits.”
The exhibit inspired teachers to touch on the artist’s life and works in class and also spurred collaboration across several school campuses. Olivas’ students volunteered to provide informational tours of the works to their fellow Denair Unified students, which allowed the older student to not only teach the younger students about the artist, but act as mentors as well.
“I think it is really cool because you do not get a lot of chances to see things like this,” said tour guide Kimberly Perez, a junior at DHS.