The costumes of the Deanport Park Museum of America has launched the first of a series of coloring books to complement its latest exhibition “Respect the Past, Coloring the Future”.
The Fiesta Mexicana coloring book and exhibition showcases 11 Mexican costumes as well as Mexico’s most popular national costumes, Charro and China’s Poblana, representing Mexico and Distrito Federal.
“By studying their authentic clothing, you can learn a lot about culture,” says Museum Costume Chairman Cristina Tijerina, who leads the coloring book project. Coloring books about authentic costumes in Mexico, “But they just don’t meet our needs, so we made our own. We want them to be real,” she said.
This book is illustrated by the Brownsville artist Don Breeden, which is reminiscent of the annual song and dance performances of school children held during the Charo Day at Sam Memorial Stadium.
Each page on the center has a smaller version of the garment, and Tijerina is precisely and carefully colored according to the actual costumes that appear in the exhibition.
“Our mission is to share the culture and history that is evident in these costumes,” said Karen Ray, chairman of the museum’s board of directors. The clothing of the Museum of the Americas is located in the Children’s Museum of Brownsville, on the right.
One of the goals of the project is to involve children. Ray said that the coloring book will be sold at the entrance to the museum for $5, enough to recover the cost.
Women say that the fifth-grade social studies curriculum includes local culture and clothing. The design of the exhibition and coloring book is carried out at the same time. The museum is managed by a volunteer committee and most of its members are former teachers.
A poster-sized study guide that provides details about each local garment, incorporated into the exhibition, and includes a display case for Native American clothing and dresses. The study guide is for teachers who want to use the museum as a teaching resource. The museum includes more than 600 pieces from Mexico and the Americas, some of which are ready for group travel.
The museum entrance fee is $2, but it is free on Sundays.
“We hope that people in Brownsville come here to enjoy what we have,” Ray said. “We want it to work for all economic backgrounds,” she said of the free Sunday admission.
The museum will hold a grand exhibition at 5:30 pm. On September 17, Breeden will sign a color book on the scene with entertainment, botanical gardens and murals, and will hold a sweepstakes for the original “Viejitos” prints signed by Breeden. The donation of C. Fount Ray made the Fiesta Mexicana coloring book project possible.
Future coloring books are planned in other Mexican states, Central and South America and the Caribbean.