Located in a three-story building on the corner of Congress Avenue and Fourth Street, the Mexic-Arte Museum is the official Mexican art museum of the state of Texas. Throughout the year, the museum stages various exhibitions of Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art in their two exhibit spaces. A gift store is located inside the main entrance.
The Mexic-Arte Museum sponsors Viva la Vida, a Day of the Dead festival which I attended last weekend. As part of this annual festival, community altars (ofrendas) are created to honor the deceased. This year’s creations, titled Community Altars: Ofrendas Inspired by the States of Mexico, are on display at the museum through November 22.
Local artists created this year’s ofrendas, drawing their inspiration from ten of Mexico’s 31 states. In keeping with Mexican tradition, the altars are adorned with candles, food, religious items, flowers (mostly yellow marigolds), and photographs of deceased relatives and loved ones.
The largest and most colorful ofrenda is also my favorite. Inspired by Mexico City (in the Federal District), it honors Agustín Aragón Leiva and his wife Mayan Princess Nicte-há Che Xiu de Aragón. According to the accompanying explanation, this couple liked to host banquets, and so the altar features a table surrounded by skeletal figures enjoying a lavish feast.
I have frequently visited the Mexic-Arte Museum since we moved to downtown and have also enjoyed their other exhibits. The museum is free on Sunday afternoons, and I’ve read that admission is also waived for the entire month of December. But I’m betting that you will be inspired to leave a donation anyhow when you visit!
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