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An ofrenda is a collection of objects placed on an altar during the Mexican Día de los Muertos celebration. Ofrendas can be quite large and elaborate, and are usually created for individuals who have passed on.
This year, we present an evolution of the ofrenda through the contemporary creations of Latin American artists, as well as traditional ofrendas created by community groups.
Enjoy installations that respect the significance of the ofrenda tradition – and showcase how a tradition can take other forms – set to the unique soundscape of Fernando Ruiz.
Andrómeda Díaz is a Mexican folk artist, makeup artist and scenic painter at I.A.T.S.E. 873. She is also a radio host at Kbenaradio.tv and student at OCADu. She paints and draws, and has been an Aztec Dancer for 10 years. Her passions are to create and explore, and to promote her culture. She is always proud of her roots.
Brian Medina is a video and photography artist originally from Mexico City and currently based in Toronto. He holds a diploma in Sound Engineering and Music Production from the Harris Institute for the Arts, as well as a diploma in Broadcast Television and Videography from The Humber College of Technology and Advanced Learning.
Fernando Ruiz is an award-winning producer, sound designer and broadcast engineer. He has more than twenty years of experience in the advertising, marketing, communications and broadcasting. His fascination with the human mind and emotional patterns helps him get to the core of what makes consumers respond. He thrives on drawing out feelings and attitudes that can only come from living and embracing a diverse cultural background.
Laura Barrón is a photo- and video-based artist and arts educator. She holds a MFA in visual arts from York University and a BFA in visual arts from the National School of Plastic Arts in México. Through the examination of territory, geography and cartography, she seeks to create relationships between memory, place and presence. Since 1996, her work has been exhibited and published internationally. She currently lives between Toronto and México City, and is part of the National System of Art Creators in México (SNCA).
Vero Díaz is an artist that works in the realm of magic realism, grounded in her mestiza roots from México. She integrates Mexica, Maya and Cora indigenous folklore and cosmology with contemporary culture. She believes in radical imagination as a force that can bring collective healing and personal transformation while also challenging our aesthetics. Her work has been shown in Gallery 44, Toronto Public Library, Artscape Youngplace, Sketch, World Pride and York University. She is currently developing a multidisciplinary collaborative body of work with Indigenous Futurism.
COLECTIVE (Susana Palafox, Christian Ruiz, Paulina Domínguez and Edgar Ruiz) are an independent group with Mexican origin. They are very proud of their traditions, and were born in Huamantla, Tlaxcala. Huamantla is called the "Magic Town" thanks to its ephemeral art. They are enthusiastic ambassadors that want to teach future generations the richness of Mexican culture.
EXATEC Ontario is a legally registered non-profit organization that works to promote and contribute to the professional, social and cultural development of the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) Alumni community residing in Ontario, aiming to facilitate better recognition of the EXATEC members in the Canadian marketplace and society at large. Founded in 2002 and with over 510 members, EXATEC Ontario is one of 85 chapters of the ITESM Alumni Network around the world, and the largest chapter in Canada.
María José Miranda has played an important role in spreading and promoting Mexican culture and traditions in Toronto since 1994. Her frequent travels to México keep her connected with its traditions, its history and its people. At the age of 13 she became a member of “Alianza Mexicano Canadiense,”one of the first Mexican dance groups established in Toronto, where she taught to both adults and children. Under her direction, the Ballet Folklórico Puro México (BFPM) became the first Mexican dance group to be awarded first place in the international folk-dance competition in 2010 at the CHIN Picnic.