Thursday, October 13, 2016


On display from Wednesday, October 12, 2016 until Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Library Entrance at Columbia College Chicago (CCC)
624 S. Michigan Ave., 1st floor
Chicago, IL 60605-1996

Monday-Thursday    8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday             8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday                    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday                       Noon - 5:00 pm

We welcome you to view these artist books, “one of a kind” creations in the entrance area of Columbia College Chicago’s (CCC) Library. These artistic creations are examples of what resulted from the course, “LATIN AMERICAN ART, LITERATURE AND MUSIC”. Alongside student's projects is a colorful community "ofrenda" inspired by the Mexican holiday, "Dias de los Muertos" holiday. At its opening reception on Oct. 12th, Jesus "Chuy" Negrete, director of the Mexican Cultural Institute sang "corridos" which was co-sponsored by CCC's Office of International Student Affairs.

Their community "ofrenda" inspired by Mexican traditional altars, complete with candles and yellow-orange " cempazuchitl" flowers. These traditions can be seen as Catholic but are in fact linked to Central America and Mexico’s Maya and Mexica (Aztec) beliefs. Color plays a festive role in remembering the dead; "papel picado" (a colorful paper art banner) is present with butterflies symbolizing regeneration and transformation, within Pre-Columbian beliefs that it represents past souls.

CCC's HHSS Dept. Instructor, Jesus Macarena-Avila states: "We have been studying the cultural development of Meso-America looking at their literary traditions. Each student created a codex, an accordion-folding book that speaks about cultural identities making references to Maya and Mexica traditions. Codices represent “first voices” but reclaims history and passion while making cultural connections to each other.

In this ofrenda (in tradition of having images and names of remembered people) are written names placed on wall plus portraits representing Mexican American historic figures: Felix Longoria (1920-1945) and Emma Tenayuca (1916-1999). Longoria died in WWII, his body was returned back to Texas where his family was refused burial services because he was of Mexican descent and Tenayuca became a labor organizer for the pecan picker unions in San Antonio, Texas."

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