SAN MARCOS: Powwow in the Schools: Ancient Symbols Art Workshop – Sat 3/26

What: Powwow in the Schools: Ancient Symbols Art Workshop
When: March 26, 2011, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, 211 Lee Street, San Marcos, Texas
Who: Featuring renowned El Paso artist Gabriel S. Gaytán,
Contact: María Rocha, (512) 393-3310; ICIinfo
Fee: Free, limited spaces available. Call for reservations, (512) 393-3310.

San Marcos high school and middle school students will get in touch with their ancestral roots through an exciting Ancient Symbols Art Workshop sponsored by local nonprofit Indigenous Cultures Institute, on March 26, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, 211 Lee Street, San Marcos, Texas. Space is limited, so the public is asked to call ahead for a reservation, at 393-3310.

A native of El Paso, Texas, Gaytán has attracted wide attention as a visual artist. The University of Texas at Austin commissioned him to produce an original work for the McDonald Observatory’s commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month. His painting “Mi Jefita” was selected as the cover illustration for the book “The Last Tortilla and Other Stories.” His workshop on ancient indigenous symbols guides students to create their own, unique animals in two and three-dimensional art pieces.

This workshop is part of the Institute’s Powwow in the Schools program that is supported by Texas Commission on the Arts, San Marcos Arts Commission, Hays County, CenturyLink, San Marcos Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Texas State University’s Bilingual Education Students Organization, and the Tomblin Family Foundation. Once each month, the Institute brings a presentation to the high school that demonstrates the rich and vibrant Native heritage of the Hispanic students. This program is the only one of its kind in Central Texas.

“Many people don’t realize that most Hispanics in Texas are descendants of Native Americans who lived in this area long before the Spaniards first arrived,” says Dr. Mario Garza, board chair of the Institute. “Gaytán shows the students the symbols used by their ancestors to represent various animals, and then helps each one create their own special creature – and name it.”

Closing the series on April 15 will be Carlos Aceves, M.Ed. who will present his Xinachtli Project teachings based on the Aztec calendar. Aceves explains how the Aztec calendar does far more than just mark time. It is actually a blueprint on how one can learn about and live their lives, aligned and in balance with the cosmos.

Indigenous Cultures Institute organized the local Native community to provide education and information about Native Americans, particularly from this area, southern Texas, and northern Mexico. Their first major event in San Marcos, “Songs of the Seven Directions” music festival, was held at the Aquarena Center’s Earth Day Celebration in 2009. They have since produced several Native functions including “Eagle and Condor” dance exhibition, “Hispanic’s Indigenous Identity” lecture series, “Tracing Indigenous Ancestry” genealogy workshop, “Seven Directions Art Exhibit, and the May 2010 Sacred Springs Powwow. For more information visit

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