Their ofrenda was chosen as one of 20 among a competition of national and international artists for the nation’s largest Day of the Dead exhibit. The exhibit runs from September 25 – December 13, 1852 W 19th St Chicago, IL 60608, (312) 738-1503.
Inspired by the traditional veneration for both sacred entities, this ofrenda expresses the intense and vibrant features of the two devotions, energizing and connecting them in a chromatic contrast of orange and royal blue, representing the earth and sky, the eternal intertwining of past and present, tradition and innovation, and hope and renewal.
This artwork honors the departed ones in their immigrant experiences from México into the United States and their connections with the ancestral cultures of Old and Ancient México.
For centuries the Santo Niño de Atocha has represented home away from home for people of Mexican roots on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. For many Mexican and Mexican-American families, the Holy Child continues to be an essential and intimate presence on home altars, yard shrines, roadside chapels, prayer cards, and devotional ornaments hanging from rear-view mirrors.
The Santo Niño de Atocha is the patron saint of immigrants, travelers, mining workers, soldiers, prisoners, and people disconnected from home. As a liminal saint, He helps people find their way home safely.
In a similar venue Quetzalcoatl- Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, the Dawn Rising Star or Venus, guides people and the sun through the Mictlán (the Underworld) and the night into the renewal of a new morning and a new life.
Editor’s Note: Since the 1990s, Juan Javier Pescador and Gabrielle Pescador have presented Day of the Dead offerings throughout the Great Lakes region. The most recent are “Detroit-Tenochtitlan” (2008) and “Frida in Mictlan/Mictlan in Frida” (2007), both displayed at the Michigan State University Museum, and online at www.pescadorarte.com
Juan Javier Pescador is a photographer and multimedia artist, who has exhibited his works throughout the United States and Mexico. Gabrielle Pescador is a painter as well as a multimedia and performance artist, who has exhibited and performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Singapore.