Slow Looking produces evocative writing by teens in response to Latinx Art.

The message I see in this painting is that we are all the same, no matter how or what you believe. Everyone in the world has something in common; it is that we are all human beings and that we should treat and respect each other equally.

Unfortunately, people have fights mostly because of what they believe or what they are. Back in the third grade, kids would say horrible things about my family and about where we came from. I was a little kid and didn’t know how to react to the awful things being said about the language we spoke. So I sat there and took it all in. I had to endure all these hurtful statements until I found a friend whose family also came from the same state in Mexico, Oaxaca.

I never told my family about these insults because I was afraid of how they would react, that they might tell the parents of the mean kids to stay away from me, and that it might cause trouble between all the parents. My parents weren’t that worried about me because they were working so much; I didn’t want to worry them.

People fight over the racism in this country, and I just hope one day everybody will see each other like brothers and sisters. We should all be free to be who we want to be and not be made fun of simply because we are different or come from a different place.

—J.L. , age 13, Watsonville California.
Excerpt from the forthcoming book, La Historia en el arte:  The Story in the Art.


 Students were given the chance to look slowly at Latinx Art curated by Museo Eduardo Carrillo. They then used that artwork as the inspiration for their writing. Working with the guidance of mentors trained by the Young Writers Program, they produced writing that was introspective and poignant.

Working in collaboration, Museo and the Young Writers Program have developed a classroom unit based on curated works by contemporary Latino/a artists. These thought-provoking images are a stimulus to teens for writing personal narratives under the guidance of their Young Writers Program-trained mentors. The 8-10 week unit results in full-color, hardbound books that demonstrate how fine Latino/a art and its cultural content can evoke strong emotional and intellectual connections and inspire a young writer. A third book will soon be made available. Preview the books and find out more in the Educator Resources section of our website or purchase from Bookshop Santa Cruz.

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