Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Day of the Dead | The Exhibition (Through Nov. 6)

by Daniel Del Real, Nopal Cultural Center | Oct 23, 2014
Now through Nov. 6, Eiteljorg visitors will have the opportunity to experience a remarkable Day of the Dead exhibit curated by a small multicultural arts organization called Nopal. Inside of the museum's Lilly Theatre, guests will see several ofrendas (altars honoring the dead) adorned with pictures, paintings and items that belonged to deceased loved ones as well as paintings and photographs for sale by local artists.
Nopal has also partnered with the museum to host a celebration event for the exhibition to be held from 10 am. - 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25.  It is through partnerships like this that the Eiteljorg expands its reach into the community. The following blog post was written by Nopal Cultural Center's Daniel Del Real.

ofrenda 3
In my world, the letter "A" has always stood for Art.
The letter "B" has stood for Bird.
The letter "C" has stood for Color.
Lately, I've had to change my meaning of "C" - from "Color" to "Community."

On Jan. 16, 2014, Nopal Cultural Center (a multicultural arts organization seeking to enhance Latino-American arts) started planning Day of the Dead: A Contemporary Exhibition and Celebration Honoring the Lives of our Dead, at the Eiteljorg.

ofrenda 2

When word got out about having our event at the Eiteljorg, our arts community's ofrenda - Frieda 1excitement was instantly renewed. More and more volunteers and movers and shakers joined our team to cover all the corners that Nopal could not. Some of the outrageous ideas we had, turned out to be not so outrageous. And, every week, new people started to come to our meetings to bring different things to the table like models for our Catrina runway show, musicians, templates for paper banners, paper flowers and elements for our altars.

It started to become not just about making something happen, but also something to look forward to. And, our many volunteers felt a sense of belonging.

In fact, Mechelle Henderson, one of our volunteer models, said that she has felt welcomed into our community, even though she is not Latina.

Valdora White Water and her husband DJ Payne of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Indiana Apache & Cherokee Nations were invited to create an altar in representation of American Indians. Valdora says she has felt welcomed by Nopal where in other avenues she experienced rejection. 
daniel dod community
"C" is for community.

The community we formed has created a beautiful event but has also inspired the individuals within it in different ways. Some have learned new traditions, some have discovered ancient ones. Others have learned new skills and new appreciation for old techniques. One thing is certain, we all have come out of it with a sense of pride to be a part of something bigger and better that each can call theirs.

This is why C is for Community. 

Day of the Dead: The Exhibition runs through November 6, 2014. The celebration event is on October 25, 2014 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

  ofrenda - daniel and friedaDaniel Del Real
Nopal Cultural Center
1043 Virginia Ave. Suite 205
Indianapolis, IN 46203


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