14th Annual Folk Art Festival underway at National Museum of Mexican Art

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Ceramics, jewelry, handwoven scarves, blouses and decorations to help complete an ofrenda for Day of the Dead celebrations are on display at the 14th annual Folk Art Festival at the National Museum of Mexican Art.

National Museum of Mexican Art Communications & Development Manager Thelma Uranga said the festival is an opportunity to learn about some of Mexico's finest folk art craft skills.

"It celebrates the work of artists from all over Mexico and the techniques and craft that they've perfected, Urgana said. "Oftentimes it's a technique or skill that has been within their families for generations."

Seven artists from all corners of Mexico are participating in the festival, celebrating Mexico's rich folk art traditions.

"It's a great opportunity for people to come and learn about those techniques and traditions, and especially for the Mexican community to learn about their culture," Urgana said.

All of the artists' works are on display and they will give live demonstrates about how items are made. The artist's techniques, like the back strap loom, have been passed down from generation to generation.

Artist Daniel Paredes returned to the festival for the eighth time with his polychrome clay Day of the Dead figures. The tradition he's bought from Puebla, Mexico, goes back three generations.

"My great grandmother, and then she passed the tradition to my grandmother, then my grandmother to my father and now I," Paredes said. "In my case, I am the fourth generation in my family keeping this tradition, making this art about the Day of the Dead."

Paredes makes each piece by hand with a story to tell about Mexican culture.

"I think the most important thing is that it is reliving your heritage," Paredes said. "When I'm making the art, it's something magical and at the same time its happiness. For me, it's to keep the tradition in my family."

The Folk Art Festival runs now through October 20th at the National Museum of Mexican Art.

For more information, visit the National Museum of Mexican Art's website.
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