Ofrendas Arrive at MIA

The MIA Art Crew picked up 15 ofrendas from each of the 4 partner schools earlier this week and transported them to the museum.

A van load of ofrendas - destination MIA.

Upon arrival at the museum, the 60 ofrendas were tagged with tracking information and loaded onto carts for transport to Visual Resources.

Ofrendas entering the museum

Today, the Visual Resources staff photographed each ofrenda individually in their studio. These images will be added to the blog in the coming days.

Amanda and Dan in Visual Resources' photo studio

Ofrendas queued up for their photo shoot

Late this week, we will begin installing the exhibition in Gallery 110. Stay tuned…

Almost Showtime!

We’re so close to the finish line! On our last visit with El Colegio, students were full of excitement as they wrapped up their projects. Here’s a VIP sneak peek at the nearly finished ofrendas. Don’t forget to get an up close and personal look when the ofrendas are on display November 1st through December 4th at the MIA!

Oscar represents Guatemala with his blue and white ofrenda


Angel paints a different kind of Starry Night!


Final Stages at Humboldt

The project is entering its final stages, and the students at Humboldt High School are very enthusiastic to see their work in the gallery. There are a few students who are putting their final touches to their work, and others who stood proudly by their ofrenda.

Daisy's work looks great.

Remember when Daisy was working on this?

Jasmine proudly stand by her work.

Der working on her final narrative.

The ofrendas that are not coming to the MIA will be displayed in different parts of the school. This example is outside the Art classes.

Lastly, the crates that will be displayed in the museum will be picked up next week, then photographed, and hung in the gallery.

Finished crates waiting to be brought to the museum.

Beauty in the Details

The Thomas Edison High School student artists moved out of their Spanish classrooms into the art room this week. Surrounded by potters’ wheels and ceramic objects, we have witnessed the ofrendas transform from plain wooden crates to full-fledged, beautiful, dimensional and emotional statements that honor family members, friends, and heroes.

Joseph and Jonah preparing their crates

Ka Ying and Topacio hard at work

Seeing these ofrendas in their entirety is certainly exciting. However, as the students develop their ofrendas, it is also wonderful to spend time enjoying the beauty in the details. Every detail provides greater understanding not only of the person being honored, but also of the student artist who created it from his or her own imagination.

Here are just a few of the many intriguing details!

Malcolm X


Eyes on the world

As many of the Edison artists put the finishing touches on their ofrendas and explain the meanings of these details to each other, they are preparing to write personal statements about their works of art. These statements will help visitors to the Young People’s Ofrenda: Expressions of Life and Remebrance learn about what the many beautiful details mean to the student artists.

The exhibition opens November 1. We hope to see you at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts soon!

Austin Students Employ 21st-Century Skills

Critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity aren’t just education buzzwords at Austin High School. In chatting with Mr. Brobeck after class today, he observed that students are working together and offering each other constructive criticism on this project more than he often sees in his art classes. Perhaps it’s because students, in being asked to reflect and express themselves about something as deeply personal as the loss of a loved one or a hero, take comfort in connecting with others in the class experiencing similar emotions?

Austin students collaborating on materials prep

Creativity is very evident among the Austin students. There is great variety in the people being honored with ofrendas and the imagery being used to honor them. Citlalli is researching traditional Mexican Día de los Muertos calavera imagery of José Guadalupe Posada.

Citlalli with her Posada-inspired ofrenda-in-progress

Logan had a memorable experience as kid when his mom took him to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and he discovered the work of Pablo Picasso.

Logan working on one element of his Cubist-style ofrenda dedicated to Picasso

Rachel is inspired by the distance runner Steve “Pre” Prefontaine.

Rachel's ofrenda for "Pre"

Lindsey, whose ofrenda to Jackie O. was featured here last week, made really nice progress since our last visit.

Ofrenda for Jackie Kennedy Onassis

To hear students from Austin and the other 2011 partner schools discuss their ofrendas in their own words, watch their Phase 2 (Turning Ideas Into Images) videos. Please use the comment feature to leave the students your thoughts on their video blogs.

Phase 3: Create a Personal Ofrenda

As you can see by previous posts, this week’s topic for the students is to create a personal ofrenda. For the past several weeks, the students have been brainstorming for ideas, seeing the topics for previous ofrendas, researching their own topics, and doing preliminary work on their shrine. This week the students have gotten down to business and have started to decorate their ofrenda with personal objects that include photographs, beads, ceramic sculptures, drawings, and other items.

Before we get to the photos of the Humboldt High School student’s work, Art teacher Ms. Millazzo asks:

We would love to hear how the project is going for your students. Please feel free to comment below.

The Humboldt students have been making great progress on their project, and several ofrendas have been updated since last week.

She is tying small paper flowers on the outer edge of her work.

I honestly have no idea the topic of this ofrenda, but it is graphically rich. I can hardly wait to read the labels that the student will write.

The student’s Phase 2 videos will be uploaded within the next few days, so be sure and see the group from Phase 1.

Poner tus ideas en imágenes | Turning Ideas into Images at El Colegio

To see students’ ofrenda designs at El Colegio High School develop from the initial steps of gathering ancestral information, to laying out their visions on paper, is like seeing the inside of machine in motion. Take a look as they: work on their bocetos, the Spanish word for sketches; begin painting; and select familial objects to make their ofrendas their very own.

El Colegio instructor explaining to the class the importance of planning out their designs

Students planning ofrenda designs

Students prepping their crates for painting

El Colegio Class unleashing their creativity

Student Melisandra finds objects to represent her abuelito

Many students have been captivated by imagery of la noche, the night sky

Student-made skulls will adorn their ofrendas


Phase One: Honor Ancestors student videos are now uploaded! You can see them here, and the students would love to know your thoughts on their work.