Otherworldly creatures straight out of Mexican folklore will be on full display at Cantigny Park’s “Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World” exhibit coming next summer. It opens June 1, 2022 and will last until Halloween.
Sculptures Of Mexican Folklore
Those who attend the exhibit will find “alebrijes” sculptures of varying sizes scattered throughout the Cantigny Park gardens and grounds, a Cantigny Park release said. Alebrijes are mythical creatures that mix attributes of different animals. They originated in the 1930s with the work of Mexico City artist Pedro Linares.
“’Creatures of a Dream World’ will be a park-wide celebration of Mexican culture, and a must-see for families throughout the region,” Cantigny Park President and CEO Timothy P. Knight said in the release.
Creating The Alebrijes
Six Mexico City artists, all part of a collective that participates in the famous Mexico City parade and festival ‘La Noche de los Alebrijes’, will create the sculptures.
The artists plan to create 30 smaller creatures, around five feet long, in Mexico before shipping them to DuPage County. They will also live and work at a local studio in DuPage for three months leading up to the event, constructing and painting 18 larger sculptures – up to 13 feet tall and eight feet wide.
There will be extensive educational programming throughout DuPage County leading up to the event, including studio demonstrations, talks with the artists, and lectures about Mexican heritage and culture, the release said. Cantigny Park also expects plenty of special events on its grounds, including themed garden tours and dinners, concerts by Mexican musicians, and art workshops for kids.
Making The Exhibit Possible
McCormick Foundation awarded a grant to Mexican Cultural Center DuPage to help organize the event. The center recruited the alebrijes sculpture artists.
“It’s gratifying to see our collaboration and partnership with Mexican artists lead to a major installation like this,” Mexican Cultural Center DuPage President and Founder Fernando Ramirez said in the release.
Admission to the exhibit will be included with the Cantigny Park regular parking fee, which is currently $5 per car, and rises to $10 on summer weekends.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.
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