Themes for the DIA ofrendas range from pet memorials, to
remembrances of unidentified migrants, to honoring
Mexican-American veterans. The altars will be constructed, for
example, from a variety of media, including found objects, silk,
ceramics, animal bones, and seeds.
The selected participants have wide-ranging experiences and
occupations—seasoned artists, teachers, students, veterans, and
entrepreneurs. Many have designed ofrendas in the past for other
museums, galleries, and community centers.
Gabrielle and Juan Javier
Pescador of Ann Arbor have exhibited their ofrendas at the
National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago and El
Pueblo Historical Monument in Los Angeles, among other
For the DIA, they will construct an ofrenda dedicated to the
late Detroit Tiger third baseman Aurelio Rodríguez
and his contributions to Latino communities across North America
in the 1970s. Rodríguez was killed in a car accident in Detroit
One altar will memorialize Stephen Paul “Pablo” Davis,
the last living artist to assist Diego Rivera while the
famed muralist was completing Detroit Industry at the
DIA. It will feature a shirt and bolo tie that Frida Kahlo
gave to Davis. Another ofrenda will exhibit self-portrait sugar
skulls created by high school students from LaSalle, Ontario,
for a senior project.
Museum visitors will also have the opportunity to honor figures
in their community or personal history by writing a note of
remembrance to place on an interactive community altar within
Ofrenda artists will be available to discuss their creations
with visitors on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.
For more information about the artists contact Larisa Zade at
Credit for attached image: Poster from ofrenda by Gabrielle
and Juan Javier Pescador.