City of Naperville showcases ‘Olmec Trails’ sculptures at local libraries

Olmec head outside Nichols Library
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Earlier this week, Naperville installed two large-scale stone head sculptures that pay tribute to Mexican heritage.

The first sculpture stands outside the 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive, and the second is located at Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave. They were both installed on June 17, according to a news release from the City of Naperville.

Over 30 stone heads spread around DuPage County

The hand-painted renditions of Mesoamerican Olmec heads are part of the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage’s (MCCD) new outdoor exhibit, “Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy.”

The display showcases the creativity of over 30 artists from around North America. The heads are around six feet tall from their bases and are free for all to view.

“Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy” celebrates Mexican heritage, and the ancient Olmec civilization that occupied what is today, the southern part of Veracruz, Mexico. There they crafted stone heads between 1400 BCE and 400 BCE.

MCCD worked with Meztli, Mexico on the project, and partnered with the College of DuPage Public Art Project, and the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau.

To help with project expenses, Naperville received a $6,500 donation from SECA, a $2,500 grant from Arts DuPage and JCS Arts, Health and Education Fund of the DuPage Foundation, and a $1,000 donation from the Naperville Public Library. Support for the sculptures in Naperville was also provided by the DuPage Hispanic Alliance (DHA) and the Alliance of Latinos Motivating Action in the Suburbs (ALMAS).

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Nichols Library

The city has planned a ribbon-cutting for the stone head at Nichols Library on July 24 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“The City is incredibly grateful to partner with these wonderful organizations to highlight Latin American heritage in the Naperville community,” said Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger. “Public art can help connect people and improve public spaces. The Olmec sculptures are the first of many public art pieces the community will enjoy thanks to Naperville’s Public Art program.”

“Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy” will be available to the public through October.

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