Jaguar head, eagle wings, dragon tail, heart of dreams…

Alebrijes are fantastical beings that combine physical features of different animals, real and imaginary, to create unique and extraordinary creatures. Adorned with vibrant and expressive colors, these handcrafted identities generally made of papier-mâché or wood, transport you to dreamlike realms full of creativity and imagination. Originally from Mexico, this cultural tradition has a legacy that continues to resonate today. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is honored to host an artist-in-residency with Mexican Maestros Óscar Becerra Mora and Rubén Mica, successful artists whose craftsmanship has led them to exhibit Alebrijes around the world. While in Fort Collins, Óscar and Rubén will guide a series of bilingual special events open to the community. All ages welcome!

The maestros are back!

Internationally celebrated artists, Óscar Becerra Mora and Rubén Mica of Mexico City, are returning to FCMoD for a one-month residency beginning on March 11th. We will be transforming the Woodward Gallery into a 5,000 square foot artists’ studio where they will create a monumental Alebrjie for display here at the museum.  

Workshops and Events

There will be many opportunities to meet and observe the artists while engaging with their work. We’ll also be showcasing many of the community projects from Óscar and Rubén’s previous visit. There will be crafts and activities for visitors to continue contributing to this community-based project throughout the month. It’s going to be a very creative time here at FCMoD!   


While the maestros are working on their project, we invite you to help us fill the gallery with colorful alebrijes! There will be many ways to participate: 

  • Wall Sculptures– help make a unique and colorful cardboard sculpture. 
  • Large-Scale Coloring – Collaborative fun for all ages! 
  • Inventive Patternmaking – What could the skin or surface of an alebrije look like? Experiment with new patterns & designs. 
  • Leave Your Mark – Written Alebrijes – add your thoughts and words to the actual paper we will use to build the large-scale alebrije. Or share about your experience with other visitors. 

In addition, we will have other activities at the museum where you can take a fun alebrije craft with you: 

  • Light up Masks – Decorate your own lighted alebrije mask. 
  • Alebrije Bots – Make a vibrating paper bot using a coin battery. 
  • Alebrije Pendants – Use stamps to print alebrije patterns or your own pendant! 
  • Roll for Alebrijes – play a game that helps you create a drawing you never could have imagined! 

We have different activities throughout the month. Come back to try them all! 

It’s a party!  –  On April 4th, 2024 from 5 PM to 7 PM, you and your family and friends are cordially invited to the ¡Alebrijes! Community Celebration. This event will be free and open to the public, we hope to see you there!

Photo credit: ilumiteatro monumental

Meet the maestros!


Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, RUBÉN is a graduate from the Escuela de Artes Gráficas y publicidad, and studied enameling arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artesanías del INBA. Since 2005, he has been a member of the “Jardín del Arte A.C. San Ángel y Sullivan,” an outdoor art gallery, where he regularly exhibits and sells his work.

Highly passionate about arte popular, he combines his knowledge to create a unique style that he embodies through various artistic expressions such as found object art, cartonería, jewelry, painting, and more. He participates nationally and internationally in different exhibitions and competitions. Since 2006, he has collaborated with his hometown museum, the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City (MAP), most recently exhibiting his work in the museum’s fourth ARTE/SANO Biennial. During this he worked with Óscar Becerra to create “Las chicas: Siete pecados, Siete deseos”, a multimedia piece that spans disciplines by fusing high-temperature enamels with cartonería and a touch of Mexican arte popular symbolism. He sets his sights on the preservation and cultural understanding of artistic expressions, teaching workshops at various institutions, furthering the development of art in different sectors of society, and reaffirming and instilling how important the manifestations of art are in our everyday lives. 

Keep up with the artist on Instagram (@Micaruben) and Facebook (Ruben Mica). 


Born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1978, ÓSCAR is an ethnologist from the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National School of Anthropology and History). He is a self-taught artist specializing in the artistic tradition known as cartonería, or the art of paper and paste. Since 2006, he has collaborated on a regular basis with the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City (MAP), taking part in exhibitions, presenting art workshops, and participating in various parades and contests that happen each year featuring monumental Alebrijes. Becerra’s works have also been exhibited in various parts of Mexico and abroad. 

On many occasions, Becerra teaches workshops specifically on the artistic techniques of cartonería. Motivated by the demands of the contemporary world, he works across disciplines with artisans, musicians, and performing artists from the company Ilumiteatro Monumental, taking part in an artistic production that brings the essence of arte popular to unconventional places, fusing technology with tradition. 

Keep up with the artist on Instagram (@oscarbecerramora ) and Facebook (Oscar Becerra Mora).