art art and culture

Love Never Dies Gala returns to the National Museum of Mexican Art

Saturday, November 26, 2016 Jennie Velasco

Another return to the heart of Pilsen where you'll find papel picado and traditional Dia de Los Muertos flowers chalked into the sidewalk leading you to the gorgeous National Museum of Mexican Art for its second annual gala.  The night was organized with artist created Day of the Dead altars, mixed finger foods, and live entertainment.

What made this event different from last year was the the newly formed auxiliary board that curated the event to meet the specific needs of the museum and the community that it seeks to educate without charge as a way to give back.  A number of its board members filled me in on their responsibilities and why this event is so important, its biggest contribution is offering free entry on a daily basis as well as youth educational programs also without charge.  The other purpose for this event was to maintain the integrity of this celebratory holiday and its history, since as of late this has become a widely commercialized holiday.  Yet, maintaining the culture is the reach and the way the museum seeks to educate Chicago as a whole.  This is the 30th year that the NMMA has launched their Day of the Dead exhibition and is followed by neighborhood celebrations and additional workshops to better inform local youth on the indigenous roots and and rituals involved in this spiritual tradition.

Artistic integrity is also noticeably how the museum has successfully become a back bone to many national Mexican artists.  The ofrendas (altars) throughout the museum were ordained with beautiful symbolism with some dedications to Selena and the recently departed (and Mexican treasure), Juan Gabriel.  That is just to name a few.  Writer Sandra Cisneros also had a large ofrenda dedicated to her mother and was the most elaborate, there were thoughtful presentations also dedicated to Black Lives Matter and the fallen souls from the Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting.  Another adventure added to the evening was complimentary calavera or sugar skull face painting to attribute the the celebration, and many were vouching.

Contributing artists to the museum include:
Lalo Alcaraz (CA)
Mary J. Andrade (CA)
Josefina Aguilar (Oaxaca)
Pam Bacich (CA)
Leonard Castellanos (CA)
Alfonso Castillo Orta (1944-2009)
Veronica Castillo (Puebla)
Carlos Cortéz (1923-2005)
Nicolás de Jesús (Guerrero)
Bianca Diaz (Chicago)
Jose Dominguez (MN)
Luis Fitch (MN)
Crescencio Flores Rojas (Guerrero)
Francisco Franco (CA)
Enrique García (Oaxaca)
José Juan García Aguilar (Oaxaca)
Leticia García Aguilar (Oaxaca)
Consuelo Guillen Reyes (Michoacán)
Gustavo Herrera Yepez (Chicago)
George O. Jackson Jr. (TX)
Miguel Linares Family (Mexico City)
Daniel Martínez Díaz (CA)
Luis Pablo Mendez (Oaxaca)
Felipe Morales (Oaxaca)
Rodrigo Oñate (Queretaro)
Ignacio Peralta Soledad (Puebla)
Francisco Ulises Plancarte Morales (Michoacán)
Artemio Rodríguez (Michoacán)
Aydeé Rodríguez López (Guerrero)
George Rodriguez (TX)
Heriberto Rodríguez (Mexico City)
Hector Silva (CA)
Charles D. Townsend (1896-1975)
Pablo Vásquez Matías (Oaxaca)
Lorena Lidia Velasco Villanueva (Oaxaca)
Karla Wong (Chicago)

Casmiro de la Cruz (Jalisco)
Ninibah Chacon (NM)
Sandra Cisneros
Dovalina Family (Chicago)
Olegario Hernández Mendoza (Oaxaca)
Blanca Estela Tinoco and Museo de Artes y Oficios, Pátzcuaro (Michoacán)
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (FL)
Monica Trinidad, in collaboration with Black Lives Matter - Chicago
Eric Solorio Academy High School (CPS)
Catrina Café with Yollocalli Alumni (Chicago)
Jorge Valdivia (Chicago)

Remember you can enjoy free admission everyday! Visit the museum and immerse yourself in a rich and gorgeous culture.  For more information visit the NMMA website here

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