Featured Grant Stories

Mexican Folk Art Collective exhibit now at Pump House

October 7, 2023

By La Crosse Community Foundation

Grant from La Crosse Community Foundation helps bring Mexican folk art to Pump House

In a focused effort to bring cultural understanding and exchange to the Coulee Region, La Crosse Community Foundation has granted $7,500 to the Pump House Regional Arts Center to support its Mexican Folk Art Collective exhibition and open corresponding special events to the public, free of charge.

Mexican Folk Art Exhibition runs through Nov. 4

The exhibition, a curated showcase of Mexican art and culture, running now through Nov. 4, 2023, features an eclectic range of traditional Mexican crafts and artworks aimed at fostering community education and appreciation for Hispanic culture.

“This exhibit is much more than an art showcase,” said Allison Krzych, executive director of the Pump House Regional Arts Center. “Art and culture are powerful tools for bringing people together and have a unique way of opening dialogues among people of different cultural backgrounds. Through sharing art and traditions, people can learn from each other, fostering a mutual respect and admiration that forms the basis of an inclusive community.”

Curated by renowned artist Gabriela Marván, the Mexican Folk Art Collective showcases the art of cartonería (papier-mâché), borro (pottery), sculptures, masks, textiles, and corn husks from artists living across Mexico and the United States. The exhibition offers La Crosse County, where 90% of the population is White, a glimpse into Mexico’s vibrant traditions and rituals.

La Crosse community invited to exhibition events

Pump House guests will have an opportunity to meet some of the artists on Oct. 6 when the arts center hosts an artists’ reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The reception will feature Fashion Designs by Julieta Zavala, Ometochtli Mexican Folk Dance performances, and The Braided Janes Latin Alternative Band from Chicago, Illinois.

The Pump House will also host a community Ofrenda Build for the Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos), scheduled for November 1, starting at 10 a.m., guided by altaristas Marván and Andrea Muniz.

Because of the La Crosse Community Foundation grant, both events are free and open to the public.

Mexican art exhibit builds community

“By supporting initiatives like the Mexican Folk Art Collective, we help enrich the La Crosse community through the exchange, sharing, and understanding of different cultures,” said Jamie Schloegel, CEO of the La Crosse Community Foundation.

“This initiative perfectly aligns with our core principles, particularly our commitment to building thriving communities through diverse voices and engagement. Art has proven its power to open doors, connect generations, and transform lives, and we see this as another step toward building a more inclusive environment for everyone,” she added.

To learn more about the exhibit and the Pump House Regional Arts Center, visit thepumphouse.org.