La Peña presents “Misiones de Tejas,” an exhibit of artwork from 4th grade artists from Sanchez Elementary. It will be on display May 4 to 29 at La Peña’s gallery space in downtown Austin. There will also be a special reception on Friday, May 15 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. with a performance by the Sanchez Elementary Choir.
Students at Sanchez Elementary have created prints and ceramic reliefs based on Texas mission architecture. Architecture can be an art form that tells us a lot about history. The fourth graders learned about Texas history in social studies and continued that study in art class. They discussed the building of Spanish missions in Texas, the purposes for which they were built and the uses of the buildings, which have changed over time through the centuries that the buildings have stood. Missions were built in Texas starting about 300 years ago, when Texas was a Spanish colony. The materials used and the designs created for these buildings were influenced by the purposes of the buildings the conditions and environment in Texas.
The common features students discovered in the buildings include strong walls, doors and windows with arches, crosses because missions included churches, flags, fences, and bells in towers or walls. After discussing why these features were present, students began to design a building in the mission style. The students learned new art processes and built a vocabulary relating to art and art history. Art has a part in history and also in their lives today. Buildings can be art, and buildings can be designed to be useful, but also to look beautiful and even to communicate messages to the people who see and use buildings.
Here is a a small sampling of the Missiones De Tejas that you can see at La Pena:
For more information on Missiones De Tejas and other exhibits at La Pena,please visit their website at: