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Novice artists travel world on a paintbrush

Tour de Art Club01BIG CYPRESS — A blank sheet of paper became a magic carpet to Mexico during a recent Tour de Art Club project at the Big Cypress Boys & Girls Club.

Eight members of the new afterschool club on Sept. 11 water colored, magic markered and penciled El Sol y La Luna, a symbol of the indigenous Huichol people, in their own way while learning about artistic similarities that link the world.

“For all people, whether they are Seminole, African-American or Hispanic or other, arts and crafts are somewhat similar because every piece has purpose and a story,” said Boys & Girls Club counselor Dayana Calvo Driggs, who leads the art club.

In the traditional Aztec piece, the circle that envelopes the center represents the cycle of life. The sun symbolizes female warmth and sustenance; the moon indicates men and gravity, Calvo Driggs said.

Though club members were encouraged to recreate the artwork using colors that best represented their own interpretations of what the sun and moon represent, few strayed from the original piece.

“I think the colors should be the way they already are,” Miki Cypress said.

Throughout the hour-long activity, children learned that color interpretations cross many cultures because certain colors reveal or evoke particular innate human emotions and values. Most noted the El Sol y La Luna color meanings on a separate sheet of paper: black for protection, blue for peace, brown for mother Earth and friendship, red for deep emotions like love and orange for abundance.

Calvo Driggs said future Tour de Art Club meetings will explore a different continent or country every week. Children can expect to visit Africa through Tribal masks and Australia via art that reveals the Aborigines’ spiritual value of the earth.

“We’ll go to Russia, Asia and all around the world to learn a little more about art from every part of the globe,” Calvo Driggs said.