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Young People's Ofrenda Project 2009

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Ofrendas Arrive at the Museum

Published on October 15, 2009

We picked up the ofrendas this morning at the school, and brought them to the museum.  Here’s what they looked like just before we took them.


Once they came here, our team got ready to install them.  Now the work begins on our side. First, Dan takes a photo of each one so we can dedicate a web page that will feature all of the ofrendas together. It will have the label text that was generated by the students (in both English and Spanish).


We will install everything in the gallery in one day, Monday October 19th.  Should be interesting and hectic at the same time.

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Final Day of Work

Published on October 14, 2009

Today is the final day for the students to work on their ofrendas and videos.  We pick them up tomorrow and bring them to the museum where they will be prepared for exhibition.  The vast majority of the students have finished their ofrendas, but are working on the final narrative for their videos.  Below, Gustavo assists a student with the placement of some objects in their ofrenda.


Adriana and Andrea proudly pose with their finished work.


Jose Miguel being interviewed with his finished work.


It’s a good day for the students.

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Students Working on Saturday

Published on October 11, 2009

The students are working very hard to finish their ofrendas by Wednesday.  Gustavo and Reed opened the art studio at the school on Saturday so the students could spend more time on their projects.  About 20 students came and worked yesterday.  The energy of the students has changed; they seem more frantic now because the deadline is approaching fast.  I took some pictures of a couple of ofrendas we have been following.  Below Jose Miguel is making a clay skull for his project.


The ofrenda that has the skeletons drawn on the back belongs to Alejandra, and I think she is almost finished with hers.  It looks really good.


We will get more videos from the editor tomorrow, and we will post them asap.  Keep on the look out for them.

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Students working on their statements

Published on October 8, 2009

I visited the school today and was surprised to see all the students sitting in front of their computers.  One aspect of this project is that they need to write their own label that will be displayed in the museum with their finished ofrenda.  Today, they took a break from working on their ofrenda and focused on writing.  Sandra, Education Director, is assisting the students with their writing.


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Students for Week 4 Get Vid Cameras

Published on October 6, 2009

Mike and I visited the school yesterday and collected the vid cameras from the students of week 3, and distributed the vid cameras to the students for week 4.  This will be the final group that get cameras.  For the previous weeks, small groups (3-6) of students received vid cameras and blogged about that week’s topic.  For week 4 all students received vid cameras to document the progress of their ofrenda.  This group includes the students of the previous weeks.  Mike had a larger group of students to train on how to work the vid cameras.


Students who had vid cameras in the previous weeks helped the new students.


One element that we decided to add for week 4 was to incorporate the students who participate in after school activities.  So there will be two groups blogging the creation of their ofrendas; the ofrenda class and the after school group.  Reed discusses the requirements to complete the after school project to the students.


I looked at the progress of a couple of ofrendas while I was there, and the student’s visit to the museum has had some influence on their work.  This clay figure:


certainly looks like it was inspired from by the Nayarit House Group that they have seen before.  Here is a detail of the object:


Lastly, many students are working with clay for their ofrenda, with some great results.  Gustavo the art teacher is shown here giving Maria some pointers in working with the material.


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Another Group of Students Visit the Museum

Published on October 2, 2009

The after school group visited the museum the other day, and were toured around by Amanda Thompson Rundahl.   They learned about artwork from all over the world, including ancient Egypt.  Closer to home, in this photo the students are learning about the MIA’s Nayarit House Group (200 B.C-400A.D.) that was created in ancient Mexico.  My instinct tells me that we will see small clay figurines in some of the ofrendas after this tour.  Good stuff.


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Putting Mounts on the Crates

Published on October 1, 2009

I spent a few hours this morning at the school putting mounts on the back of the crates.  I needed to do this soon because the students are working hard on getting their ofrendas completed on time.  In order to hang the crates on the wall in the gallery, I had to screw a mount on the back of each one.

PICT0040The mount on the crate will sit on top of the other angled mount that will be put on the wall.  Clever idea on how to put them easily and securely on the wall.  The Art Crew here at the MIA is top notch.

While I was there had a chance to see the progress of each ofrenda, and I thought I would share a couple here.

PICT0037I like the light blue background of this one, and how the student-artist has carefully rendered in pencil a mother holding a child.  I will keep an eye on the progress of the drawing.  I took this picture the other day:

PICT0032One can see that she has drawn the skeleton figures on the back of the crate and is working on other elements.  I took this picture of the same crate this morning:

PICT0033She has really added some nice details including a gray background, a blue sky with clouds, and painted in some of the figures.  This one is looking just great.  She has captured the spirit of Day of the Dead with its fanciful skeletons shown as living people.

I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but last year’s ofrendas created by students at the same school can be found here.

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Students for Week 3 Get Vid Cameras

Published on September 30, 2009

I visited the students the other day. I picked up week 2 vid cameras and gave week 3 students their vid cameras; we should see week 2 vids on the blog early next week. There is a lot more energy in the class since the last time I visited. The students have really dived into their ofrendas, and the energy is both refreshing and uncontrolled at the same time. These teenage students are helping each other, giving advice, and talking about their projects.

PICT0023Here the art teacher, Gustavo, discusses the artistic joys of Fimo to the students.  Ever work with it?  It is really good stuff.  The students will use the material for their ofrendas.

PICT0029Gustavo going over some ideas for the ofrenda with one of the students.  By the way, the student shown is videoing this week, and you can see Olga on the background.  Her video has already been posted.

PICT0026I think they are working with Fimo . . . . .

PICT0030One of the students who is videoing this week is giving a narrative of her ofrenda. I think her video will be good—let’s look for it early next week.

PICT0031I am not sure which student this ofrenda belongs to, but I think it may be a tribute to Michael Jackson.

The last group of students come to the museum for a tour tomorrow.  I will keep you posted.

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Students Working on Crates

Published on September 18, 2009

Visited the students today to see how they were progressing.  They just finishing the prep on their crates, which includes sanding.  Many are now starting to paint them.  It is great to see them so enthusiastic!


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Young People’s Ofrenda Project Blog 2009

Published on September 9, 2009

Greetings and welcome to the 2009 Young People’s Ofrendas Project Blog.  We will keep track of the progress of the student’s ofrendas as they create them.  Through video cameras, the students will record what they are working on and their thought process.  We are working with El Colegio High School in Minneapolis Minnesota.  This is our second year working with these students; they are really great and creative young people.  Last year’s ofrenda project can be found here.

There will be two perspectives of this project on the blog; the student’s and mine.  The student’s view will come through in the videos that they create, and mine will be shown in the text.

The video cameras have been donated to this project by Best Buy.  When the project is completed, the students will keep the video cameras for themselves.  We are fortunate to received funding from Friends of the Institute and Cargill, Inc for this project.

The wooden crates that the students will create their ofrendas in have been ordered and delivered to the school; they are apple crates.

bins and crates 005

Thanks for following.

Joe D. Horse Capture
Associate Curator
African, Oceanic, and Native American Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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