By Jorge Vazquez
The Vincent Price Art Museum will showcase altars of legendary Hispanic icons made by Chicana/o Studies students for Dia De Los Muertos.
This is going to be the 14th annual Dia De Los Muertos Student Altar exhibit that VPAM hosts and the 6th year Chicana/o Studies 54 professor Angelita Rovero-Herrera oversees it.
Her class of 36 creates 10 altars for famous Xicano legends such as Ritchie Valens, Lalo Guerrero, Lupe Ontiveros and Anthony Quinn.
The altars are not the typical candles, flowers and sugar skulls.
The altars are 10-feet wide, up to 10-feet tall and made up of the personal and favorite items of the dead such as records, books, clothes and menudo. “They’re larger than life,” Rovero-Herrera said about the altars.
The students spend the fall semester, the only semester this course is offered, meticulously researching the little things that humanize these legends.
The students have contact with the families of the celebrated to further help with research so the altars are genuine and respectful.
“As Chicanos, we are not mediocre. We are not mediocre people,” said Rovero-Herrera, taking pride in the work of her students.
She aims to show how these legends lived their lives and doesn’t want anything related to death on the altars.
The families of the Chicano legends attend any years they can to show the students appreciation for keeping the memory of their loved ones alive.
She also had Aztec dancers come in and bless the altars during the reception, which had 400 attendees last year.
Rovero-Herrera said she hopes to set the bar higher this year and encourages students and community members alike to visit the altars.
This year’s reception is on Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. at the VPAM. It will be sponsored by ASU, and they will provide snacks and music for the attendees.
The exhibit will be open from Oct. 28 to Dec. 1, so students are encouraged to attend and celebrate Dia De Los Muertos the ELAC/Chicano way.