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"Overwhelmed as we are by the images of the Conquest, we often tend to forget the ensuing artistic repression endured by the Indian peoples of Mexico," writes Carlos Montemayor in a booklet promoting an ongoing exhibit presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs. "Today, five hundred years later, we are witnessing a renaissance."

Children are also contributing to the cultural revival. The young artists live in impoverished, remote areas of jungles, forests, and deserts. Their vibrant paintings of shepherds on a mountain, a wedding, an offering, a kick-ball race, and other images inspired by a variety of cultural influences are, according to Montemayor, "only continuing the task begun by their ancestors: Understanding who they are and expressing it, in order to reshape and make whole for the first time, the ancient image of Mexico."

"Colorin Colorado: The Art of Indian Children of Mexico" runs through September 29. Fifteen paintings are at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; one is at the Art Institute's Kraft Education Center, 111 S. Michigan.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo of drawing of man wearing sombrero and holding guitar.

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