‘Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy’

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsMexican Cultural Center DuPage (MCCD) in coordination with Meztli Mexico and in partnership with the College of DuPage Public Art Project (COD) and the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) enthusiastically announced an exciting new project: “Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy,” during a press conference at the McAninch Arts Center.

“We are excited to bring this exhibit to DuPage County,” said Diana Martinez, of McAninch Arts Center. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to see the vibrancy and rich history crafted by the Olmecs. This is a great way to showcase the roots of Mexican culture.” This new outdoor exhibit featuring hand-painted large-scale renditions of iconic Mesoamerican sculptures will be displayed this summer throughout DuPage County in an expansive exhibition highlighting the culture of the ancient Olmec civilization.

The gigantic stone heads, crafted by the Olmecs between 1400 BCE to 400 BCE, originated in the southern part of Veracruz, Mexico, the cultural heart of this early Mesoamerican civilization. Each multi-ton sculpture, chiseled from a single stone using primitive tools, reflected the Olmecs’ artistic prowess and their significant influence on subsequent Mesoamerican cultures. “I am grateful to the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, Meztli Mexico, and the College of DuPage Public Art Project as well as the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau for collaborating on this project and bringing it to life,” said Aaron Johnson, Mexican Cultural Arts Alliance. “This project is rooted in our identity and showcases all that the Mexican community has to offer. The Olmec Trails is a direct link to our past and serves as an inspiration to our future.”

“Olmec Trails” pays tribute to the indigenous roots of Mexican heritage as well as brings attention to the importance of public art by showcasing the immense talent and creativity of more than 30 contemporary artists from across North America. The artwork will connect spectators to these one-of-a-kind works in a healthy and enjoyable outdoor setting with both physical and mental benefits. Installations will be located numerous sites throughout DuPage County including the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, campus of COD, National Museum of Mexican Art and the City of West Chicago.

The creation of the works is already underway and will be completed in June of 2024. Artists in Mexico have begun painting some of the Olmec head sculptures and 18 international artists will arrive in May. Installations and openings at the MCCD, COD and various forest preserves will begin June 1. For more information visit OlmecTrails.com.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Photo Credit: Carol Fox and Associates

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