DOVER — Beginning Nov. 5, Dover’s Biggs Museum of American Art will host “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray," an exhibition featuring famous photographic portraits of the artist Frida Kahlo as captured by her friend and lover, Nickolas Muray. Leading up to this, the museum is hosting two opportunities to be a part of the exhibition.
The Mi Frida Portrait Contest invites children to submit renderings of Ms. Kahlo through the duration of Hispanic Heritage Month for a chance to win great prizes, while the Día de los Muertos celebration will allow the community to submit the names and images of their loved ones for remembrance while learning about the cultural significance of the holiday.
Inspired by the many ways Ms. Kahlo chose to represent herself, the museum invites young artists to participate in their Mi Frida Portrait Contest. Students in grades K – 12 are challenged to create their own portrait of Frida Kahlo in any size and in any medium for the opportunity to have their artwork exhibited at the Biggs, and the chance to win $100, a family membership and art supplies.
Artwork can be any medium and size but must be delivered to the Biggs Museum no later than Friday. To set up your drop-off time, email email@example.com or call the Curator of Community and Academic Programs at 302-674-2111 ext. 104.
The exhibition “Unmasking Culture” will accompany “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray” to celebrate and enhance the understanding of the cultural heritage of Mexico for which Ms. Kahlo has become a global icon.
This exhibition presents antique masks used by Mexican indigenous people in their centuries-old religious dances and ceremonies. Items in this collection are on loan from The Althouse Collection, which was established by the late Thomas and Charlotte Althouse during their travels and residence in Mexico in the 1950s and 1970s. The private collection was later passed on to their son, artist Stephen Althouse.
Honoring these culturally significant exhibitions, the Biggs has coordinated a community ofrenda, which is being created by students at Appoquinimink High School. An ofrenda is an altar (typically located within one’s home) of varying size, upon which a collection of object are ritually placed during the celebration of Día de los Muertos. Typically the objects selected are associated with specific individuals who have died and the altar is created with the intent to welcome their spirits into the space.
They invite all interested parties to submit the name and/or the digital image of a loved one or loved ones who have passed to be added to our community ofrenda. Email Programs@BiggsMuseum.org by Oct. 22.
The Biggs hopes that this community ofrenda will not only introduce the visitors to the cultural influences and traditions present in Frida Kahlo’s work but also bring people together after many have experienced loss and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Día de Los Muertos is a multi-day event with the spirits of children being celebrated on Nov. 1 and the spirits of adults on Nov. 2. The Biggs has selected to invite the community to celebrate with us on the 1st since children are a big part of who we are. During this Día de Los Muertos event visitors can view the ofrenda, participate in the Día de Los Muertos celebration with food, art and music, learn about the cultural significance of this holiday, and partake in creating items to add to the Biggs’ ofrenda.
*The Biggs cannot accept items or non-digital images for inclusion. By submitting names and digital images to the Biggs, you are consenting to their printed reproduction and public display in the Biggs’ community ofrenda, which will be located inside the Biggs Museum from Nov. 1-7. After this period, all images and names will be removed from display and it will be respectfully brought back to nature by way of fire, water or earth fusion.
For more information on these programs or exhibitions, visit www.BiggsMuseum.org.