Humboldt Secondary School is Off and Running!

We took an afternoon and visited Humboldt Secondary School to see the progress of their ofrendas. There are two classes that are working on this project at the same time, Mr. Elizondo’s and Ms. Millazzo’s students are making great headway. They have chosen their topics and are painting their wooden crates. The teacher remarks, “The crates have been delivered and the students are hard at work generating ideas for their Ofrenda. After viewing past Ofrendas, they are excited to get started,” Steve Elizondo- Art Teacher.

Mr. Elizondo's Art Class

Ms. Milazzo's Art Class

There are several students who have started painting the details for their ofrenda, and next week they will gather materials and start to glue items in. There were a wide variety of subjects; family members, fellow students, General Vang Pao, Sitting Bull, and Marilyn Monroe. It is great to see a wide variety of subjects. Clearly, the students have given the question on the blackboard some thought:


Partner Schools Begin Ofrenda Project

The 2011 partner schools recently received the fruit crates that will be “containers” for the ofrendas their students will make in the next few weeks. Here are the crates in the art room at Austin High School (Austin, MN) earlier this week. So far, students have been learning about global and Mexican traditions for honoring ancestors. Soon, they will decide on the subject for their ofrendas.

Students at Austin asked great questions of their teacher Mr. Brobeck and Amanda from the MIA. Here’s a sampling:

  • Can we bring materials and mementos in from home?
  • How does the museum buy art?
  • What one work of art would you save, if there were a natural disaster?
  • Do you have art classes at the museum?

Day of the Dead Teacher Workshop

Last month, approximately thirty K-12 teachers joined MIA staff and volunteers for a Day of the Dead Teacher Workshop at the MIA. Joe D. Horse Capture, Associate Curator of Native American Art and Amanda Thompson Rundahl, Innovation Engineer, introduced the 2011 expansion of “Young People’s Ofrenda: Expressions of Life and Remembrance” to include 4 partner high schools (Austin, Humboldt, Edison, and El Colegio). All four schools will make ofrendas and contribute videos to the blog. Each school will send 15 ofrendas by student artists to the MIA for exhibition November 1 through December 4, 2011.

Sheila McGuire, Manager of Learning Resources then walked educators from partner and non-partner schools through our brand new Young People’s Ofrendas Teacher’s Guide in English and Spanish. She encouraged teachers to adopt it as part of their fall curriculum in art, Spanish, or other subject areas. The workshop wrapped up with guided tours of objects in the MIA’s permanent collection that represent many world cultures and relate to the Teacher’s Guide overarching theme “honoring ancestors.” Docent led tours on this theme can be requested by all teachers by using this form.

As you follow the project via this blog throughout the fall, you’ll hear from Joe, Amanda, Sheila, and our intern Pati Hibbard, as well as from the students and teachers at the four partner high schools.

Welcome to the Young People’s Ofrenda Project Blog

Greetings and welcome to the blog. For the next several weeks, we will be documenting the process of the 2011 Ofrenda Project through this blog and the videos created by the students. This is our fourth year working with the students, and our third using the blog.

This deeply personal, moving exhibition of student work is the result of a unique partnership between the MIA and Austin High School (Greater Minnesota), Thomas Edison High School (Minneapolis), El Colegio High School (Minneapolis), and Humboldt Secondary School (St. Paul). The students explore world cultures’ reverence for ancestors in art and Day of the Dead traditions in Mexico in the classroom and the museum. They draw inspiration from these and other experiences to create personal ofrendas (offerings) – altars or shrines to honor friends, family, or community members who have passed away. Interact with the project online as it unfolds in the classroom beginning in early September. A selection of student ofrendas from each school is on view the museum November 1 through December 4.

Generous support is provided by Best Buy Co., Inc. and Cargill.