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Art After Dark: Building an Ofrenda (Part II)

A ofrenda with flowers, drawings, photos, and a baseball cap

October 26, 2023
5:00 PM

In the spirit of Calling on the Past, where histories collide across centuries and cultures, join the Smart Museum of Art and guest artist LaLa Bolander to learn about the practice of ofrenda building and Día de los Muertos celebrations.

FREE. Participants have the option to attend one or both sessions.


Thursday, October 19, 2023
6–7:30 pm
Virtual workshop

Think about how to call on your own past and honor your ancestors during a virtual workshop led by guest artist LaLa Bolander and UChicago student and Museum Educator Arnie Campa. Follow along from home and learn how to make paper cempasúchil (marigolds) to use in your own ofrenda.


Suggested materials:

  • Orange tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners
  • stapler


Thursday, October 26, 2023
5 pm

Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

Drop by the Smart Museum and collaborate with guest artist LaLa Bolander and UChicago student and Museum Educator Arnie Campa to build a community ofrenda that incorporates themes of the exhibition Calling on the Past. Participants are invited to bring photos or mementos of deceased loved ones to leave in honor of their lives. 


LaLa Bolander is an artist and storyteller who uses poetry and visual art to illuminate the intricate relationships between humans and the worlds around + between us. LaLa is an alumna of Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble and the University of Wisconsin-Madison First Wave Hip Hop & Urban Arts program, where she first got her footing as a multidisciplinary artist and director. She has written and presented several collaborative productions, including SPILL at the Line Breaks Hip Hop Festival in Madison, WI, and CORE at the inaugural Chicago Hip Hop Theater Festival in Uptown. Most recently, LaLa directed “Welcome Home with Nico Segal” for the 2023 LookOut series at Steppenwolf Theater. When she is not writing, LaLa is co-creating imaginary worlds with her daughter, Ollin. 

Arnie Campa is a third year art history major in the College, a textile and fibers artist, and supports the Smart Museum’s public programs. To Arnie, ofrenda building is an expression of communal love she has learned from her mother and the women of Self Help Graphics & Arts.

Photo courtesy of LaLa Bolander.