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Open Studio: Dia de los Muertos Candles Inspired by Ofelia Esparza

Free Community Artmaking

Thursday, November 2, 2023

3 PM to 5 PM

Pier 57, 11th Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Light your own decorated candle in honor of a special person or pet in your life! Artists will look at the work of Ofelia Esparza, a Chicana altarist who celebrates her Indigenous Mexican heritage through education and her deep spiritual belief in tradition. They will create their own personal versions of Dia de los Muertos candles using a sculptural base and accent them with colored paper, fabric, and clay designs, complete with a tissue paper “flame.” Artists will walk away with a nuanced knowledge of a holiday tradition that celebrates the deceased in a joyful and lively manner.

About Open Studio

Taking place Mondays and Thursdays, Open Studio at Pier 57 invites children to explore hands-on projects across a wide range of artistic disciplines. 

Specially designed for children on the Autism Spectrum but welcoming to all, each Inclusives session is multisensory focused. Participants will explore art materials (such as clay, paper, or textiles) at their own pace alongside movement breaks and ample time for storytelling and social interaction.

What To Expect

Led by CMA Artist Instructors Emma Waldman and JT Baldassarre, each session introduces children to the elements and principles of art while surveying artists across generations. 

The program’s curriculum is rooted in accessible artmaking practices and Children’s Museum of the Arts’ pedagogy of Look, Make, Share. Take a peek at one of our virtual Inclusives lessons, catered to children with Autism, that families can try at home: here!

While caregivers are welcome to stay with their children, families are encouraged to enjoy the extraordinary setting of Pier 57 in the adjacent Family Living Room for the duration of the session.

Image Credit: Ofelia Esparza, Raices Cosmicas (Cosmic Roots), 2018, mixed media. Photo by Rosanna Esparza Ahrens.

Pier 57

Children's Museum of the Arts' Open Studio at Pier 57 is generously supported by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, Ruth Foundation for the Arts, William Talbott Hillman Foundation, First Republic Bank, The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Google Community Grants Fund, Amazon, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harriet Ames Charitable Trust, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Hammitt, and the Viniar Family Foundation.

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