At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, “Young People’s Ofrendas” showcase the lives and talent of Minnesota children

A unique partnership among the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) and several schools in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota that have high Spanish speaking populations offers a glimpse not only of the artistic capacity of some of these students, but of their ability to express emotion and honor those that are passed in a respectful, thoughtful way. Now in its fifth year, The Young People’s Ofrenda Project showcases student work within the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, where students create ofrendas (or shrines) honoring people who have died.While some kids honor famous rock musicians or sports stars or other celebrities (one ofrenda is dedicated to the drummer from KISS, for example), others will honor a grandparent or a parent, or even a friend who has died. “The diversity of impact on young people is really evident in this project,” said curator Joe Horse Capture.Horse Capture conceived of the project in 2008, and it started out as a partnership with El Colegio, a charter school in Minneapolis that serves students in English and Spanish. In 2011, the project expanded to include Austin High School (in Austin, Minnesota), Thomas Edison High School, and Humboldt Secondary School.Horse Capture says the project works on a number of levels. It celebrates diversity, shows another culture’s tradition that often isn’t shown in an art museum, and offers a voice for youth. Continue Reading