33 stone heads to be displayed around DuPage County in “Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy” exhibit

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33 stone heads are coming to DuPage County this summer in the new outdoor exhibit, “Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy.”

“Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy” details

It will feature large-scale Mesoamerican Olmec stone heads painted by 33 artists across North America. Heads will be around six feet tall on its base and will be free for all to view.

“I think when there is something great, we just [have] to figure out the right window to get people to come out. And then it’s a good step for them to look at it, see what’s wonderful about that exhibition, but then look more into it,” said Fernando Ramirez, president of the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage (MCCD).

The Olmecs were a Mesoamerican civilization that occupied what is today, the southern part of Veracruz, Mexico. There they crafted colossal stone heads between 1400 BCE and 400 BCE.

Ramirez kickstarted the project to pay tribute to Mexican heritage and showcase the creativity of the 33 artists.

MCCD is working with Meztli, Mexico, and is partnering with the College of DuPage Public Art Project and the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau for the project.

Where will the stone heads be located?

The groups hosted an informational breakfast event at the McAninch Art Center on Thursday, Feb. 8., where they shared additional details of the project.

“We will be housing nine of these heads which will be displayed around the art center and also along the paths in our beautiful prairies on campus,” said Justin Witte, curator at the College of DuPage. 

COD will also offer learning opportunities based on the project.

“We’ll be creating an educational exhibition in the lobby of the Mac, where anyone can come for free to learn more about this rich history,” said Witte.

Heads will also be located at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and the National Museum of Mexican Art. More locations will be announced at a later date.

Installation and openings are expected to begin this June.

“I think this is one of those projects that everybody’s going to be able to enjoy,” said Ramirez.

Photo courtesy: Mexican Cultural Center DuPage

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