Photograph of artist Carlos Frésquez with his artwork in the background.

Photography courtesy of Carlos Frésquez.

The Magic of Discovery

Carlos Frésquez, exploring identity and place through his work, remembers his first experiences with art. His kindergarten teacher made art magical and let him discover color mixing.

“This is one thing that stuck with me still to this day. She had all the kindergarten kids get a piece of white paper [...] and she had these little juice cans filled with tempera paint that was really watered down, and a brush in the primary colors- red, yellow, blue - so it was like my first color theory lesson, really. She goes 'ok everybody, pick up one of the colors, now drop it onto the paper. Put the brush back, get the next color, now get the last color and drip it.' So here we have these little Jackson Pollock kind of things with the primary colors - red, yellow, and blue. And the cool thing was this - lift it up and watch the colors come together. So all of a sudden, I see yellow and blue swirl like this and then they turn green. I'm serious - I thought this was magic. Because I'm five! I'm like, what is this magic?" - Carlos Frésquez

Guiding question:

  • How can you turn a simple concept like mixing colors into a magical process of discovery for your students?