Maritza Davila stopped by on the 19th to give her Memphis College of Art students a tour of her show, Ancestry and Identity: Prints of Maritza Davila. We already ran an interview with her here in which she discussed her familial subject matter, but anyone who showed up for class (or was emboldened to audit for a day) was treated to vignettes of her process and anecdotes that would bring a tear to your eye. The most novel of which inspired a print featuring her mother, which flanks the left side of a gallery-altar to her parents. Her mother died suddenly, and because she had always provided her large family with plenty to eat, the kitchen was stocked with home-cooked meals after her wake. Davila and her sisters made sure to ingest every last bit of their mother’s last meals – provided for her family even after she was gone.
Down the hallway, past the auditorium and closed special exhibition galleries, and through the door to the Education Gallery, a different group of students have created their own altars. The teachers of a few local elementary schools came to the Brooks this past week to install Ofrendas: Student-made Altars, on view now until November 10th. It is the exhibition-centerpiece of the Museum’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.