Young People’s Ofrendas Exhibition Is Now Open!

The art crew spent part of Friday and Monday installing the works of art and the videos of the artists talking about their work. Today is the first day the exhibition opens. Please take some time and visit the museum to see these inspiring ofrendas.


This photo represents only a few ofrendas in the exhibition; there are a total of sixty in the show.

The Ofrendas Are In The House!

All of the ofrendas, from four different schools, have been picked up by MIA staff and are now in the museum. Today and tomorrow they will  be photographed, cataloged and uploaded to the blog. Friday and possibly Monday, the installation process will begin. Everything will be finished Oct 23rd.

Dan D, the head MIA photographer, and his assistant, Coreana, carefully photograph and catalog each ofrenda.

One Hundred Miles, One More Week

Through homecoming, a fire drill, and the usual hazards of art (hot glue accidents in particular), Austin students have this week pulled into the final stretch of making their ofrendas. Most have only detail work to finish, like Gabe and his Cat in the Hat. You’ll recall Gabe’s tribute to Dr. Seuss from an earlier blog post. you might even see it in the museum, as this week our students select the 15 ofrendas that will travel to the MIA. They’ll also compose artists’ statements.

They’ve got a long way to go– literally, at least. It’s a hundred miles from the museum to Austin. Austin students have thankfully already covered the metaphorical distance between the end of the project and themselves: they’re almost done!

Finishing Touches at Edison High School

This week Edison students will select 15 Ofrendas to travel to the museum; artists made the last touches on their memorials Wednesday morning, spending the period with glue, paint, clay and sequins in hand. Finished Ofrendas lay stacked on the counter– looking at them, you can begin to imagine what the exhibition at the museum will look like.

Students next set out to author artists’ statements. Ofrenda Project video blogs offer some insight to this process; if you or your students need help, try referring to them to look back at your thoughts throughout the project.

The Edison ofrendas run from intimate, diorama-like settings to crowded, lively shrines that look almost as if someone emptied a chest of their loved one’s belongings. Trophies, teddy bears, and programs from memorial services fill some; in others, you might find a meal laid out in a bowl the size of a thimble. It’s all testament to our students’ creativity.

We Want to Hear from You!

This past August more than a dozen educators participated in a workshop at the museum, where they learned about the Young People’s Ofrendas project and got resources and ideas to take back to the classroom.

Are you using the Teacher’s Guide for Young People’s Ofrendas? Are your students creating ofrendas for exhibition at your school? Please share your experience with us by email at We’d love to see photos. Who knows, we may share your words and images right here on the blog.

Here are two additional ways to engage with the project:

  • We’ve enabled the comment feature for the videos posted on the blog. Dialogue with partner school students by asking your students to view and comment on one or more videos.
  • Bring your students to the museum for a free guided or self-guided tour of the Young People’s Ofrendas exhibition between October 23 and December 2.


Humboldt Finishing Phase 3

Humboldt High School is finishing up Phase Three: Create a Personal Ofrenda this week and their artist statements. With less than 2 weeks until their work is brought to the museum, there is an energy of urgency in the air.

 Several students are adding their final touches to their work and a few details.

This young man has dedicated his ofrenda to the famous martial artist, Bruce Lee. I love the Nunchaku he added to his work.

Deeply Personal Reflections from Thomas Edison HS

Edison’s ofrendas are full of deeply personal reflections on the lives of the students’ deceased relatives and friends. Each object they bring in or create means something special. Jennifer honored her mother by creating a beautiful starry sky. She painted her ofrenda midnight blue, draped silver spangles from the crate’s ceiling and sculpted a crescent moon. These watch over a skull covered in delicate flourishes. 

Alaysha created clay miniatures for her ofrenda, representing different aspects of her grandmother’s life. From tiny cooking utensils to a microphone she’d later bedazzle with glitter, the miniatures recall vivid memories: the smell of her grandmother’s kitchen, the taste of her cooking, and the sound of her singing.

Each time we visit, the ofrendas seem to take on more personality. They reflect something intensely personal– the students’ feelings on their chosen ancestor, and the fascinating lives of the ancestors themselves.

Austin High School Works on Phase Three

As the project progresses towards its final stages, Austin students have been hard at work crafting unique and unusual details for their ofrendas.

Where most crates are a riot of color, Olivia’s is entirely monochrome– her grandfather was colorblind! She owns his beautiful, red leather-bound copy of Lewis’ Mere Christianity, but didn’t want to leave it in the art room, or paint it over to match with her color scheme. With the help of student teacher Emily, she hand-bound a replica in gray mat board.

Carolyn’s colors are a little sunnier… and she’s filled the crate with suncatchers, too. Her shrine for her great-grandmother is cozy and warm. She even knit a small blanket to fill it.

Taylor’s uncle worked as a freelance artist in New York. He made theatrical posters, and he designed materials for products like Scrubbing Bubbles and the 3 Musketeers bar. Taylor represented the city’s streets and her uncle’s love of music and art by building Broadway in miniature. She even recreated the intricate neon sign for the classic musical 42nd Street.

Inspiration for Creating a Personal Ofrenda – El Colegio, Phase 3

After their field trip to the museum last week, we visited with students at El Colegio to find out what they discovered that interested them. It took a little coaxing, but eventually students shared some of the highlights from their visit. It turns out, their interests are quite varied. Below is a selection of works of art they referenced – some for visual appeal, others for symbolism, and yet others for cultural relevance. They’ve taken this inspiration back to the classroom, where they are crafting their personal ofrendas to honor someone significant to them.

Click on any of the images for more information about the work of art.






















Visit the Young People’s Ofrendas exhibition at the museum beginning later this month, or check back here on the blog to see the students’ finished ofrendas and see if you can find where these sources of inspiration make their way into the students’ artwork.