These Chile art activities are wonderful for getting to know Chilean leaders and creators, and learning from their gifts and style. Keep reading until the end for some virtual field trips to some amazing museums in Chile!
Featured Chilean Artist: Roberto Matta
Roberto Matta was a famous Chilean painter. He helped progress a period of art known as abstract expressionism and surrealism.
In school, Matta studied architecture and design. Through traveling the world, he met other important artists, especially surrealist artists, including Pablo Picasso. This influenced his own work.
Matta was one of the first artists to use biomorphism, which creates design based on inspiration from nature. (Gaudi later used this form in his tree-inspired design inside La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.)
Interesting fact: “Matta believed that art and poetry can change lives, and was very involved in the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. He was a strong supporter of the socialist government of president Salvador Allende in Chile. A 4×24 meter mural of his entitled The First Goal of the Chilean People, was painted over with 16 coats of paint by the military regime of Augusto Pinochet following their violent overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973. In 2005 the mural was discovered by local officials. In 2008 the mural was completely restored at a cost of $43,000, and is displayed today in Santiago at the La Granja city hall.”
Abstract expressionism was a form of art developed in the 1940s and 1950s in New York that focused on spontaneous, creative emotional expression through art, often with brushwork. Surrealism focused on the creative potential of the unconscious mind, usually through putting unrelated images together.
Chile Art Activities: Chile Craft & Culture Activities for Kids: Story Quilt
Featured Chile Art Activity: Rain Sticks
Rain sticks are thought to have originated in Chile with the Mapuche people. They were originally made by drying out a cactus, which was hollow inside!
Here’s a fun Chilean rain stick craft. Here are the materials you will need:
- Paper towel tube or mailing tube
- 2 – 2″ diameter cardboard circles
- Brown paper grocery bag
- Aluminum foil
- Masking tape
- Rubber bands
- Craft glue
Featured Chile Art Activity: Easter Island Clay Maoi
Easter Island off the coast of Chile is famous for its stone statue called ma’oi. They were carved by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500. The word “ma’oi” means “statue” in Rapa Nui. These huge stone statues honor Rapa Nui ancestors. The tallest is nearly 33 feet tall! They all have a minimalist stone style with oversized heads, heavy brows, and long nostrils.
You can make your own ma’oi replica! Here’s what you need:
Mix a drop or two of craft paint into the clay and knead until it’s evenly distributed and a gray color to mimic the stone. Mold into a ma’oi replica. Use the pencil eraser to create eye sockets and the tip for a mouth.
Alternatively, you could simply find some large rocks and paint them to look like the ma’oi, or you could learn to draw the maoi statues of Easter Island.
Other Chile Craft Activities for Kids
- Paper dolls with costumes of America, symbols of identity, prestige and authority
- Color Pre-Columbian animal masks
- Craft on art of the people who have inhabited Chile for thousands of years
Chile Virtual Field Trips to Museums
- Pre-Columbian Kids Zone Site
- Masterpieces of pre-Columbian art
- Digital collection of the Chilean National Museum of Fine Art
- Digital children’s resources at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights