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Celebrate Hispanic culture at the National Museum of Mexico in Pilsen

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Hispanic Heritage Month is all about learning and sharing culture. FOX 32’s Roseanne Tellez takes us to her one of her favorite places, a treasure on her side of the Lower Chicago West.

Located in the heart of Pilsen, the National Museum of Mexican Art is the largest institution of Latino culture in the United States.

Step through the door and marvel at the bold colors, paintings, photography, ceramics and other artefacts that tell the story of Mexican culture from both sides of the border.

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Any time is a good time to visit, but perhaps the best time to visit is during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

One of Mexico’s most famous holidays has a long tradition of honoring the dead with ofrendas filled with photographs and mementos that focus on how loved ones lived their lives.

Many skeletons are whimsical, wearing jewelry, playing musical instruments, and making sugar skulls, which are also the event’s trademark.

“Although Day of the Dead includes the word ‘dead,’ it’s important to remember that it’s a celebration of life,” said Mario Hernandez, gallery education coordinator at the National Museum of Mexico. “But it is also an opportunity for artists to not only honor those who have died in their communities, but also to have a platform to use as a platform for social change.”

This year, a special Ofrenda, created by students at Morse Elementary School on Chicago’s Northwest Side, commemorates the children killed in Uvalde, Texas.

“This year’s exhibition is dedicated to those who lost their entire country to senseless violence,” Hernandez said.

Another exhibition pays tribute to perhaps the most famous artist from Mexico, Frida Kahlo. It features the work of artists inspired by Kahlo.

“Her artwork is of course very important to Mexico, but more importantly, I think her life is what we really see.” The fact that he has gone through many periods of emotional distress and has done a wonderful job of reflecting those experiences on his canvas.”

For Hernandez, who grew up near the museum and now runs an educational program for children, his favorite work hangs in the museum’s permanent collection, the Nuestras Historias.

“One of the highlights of Nuestra Historias is the large 10-foot-wide, 8-foot-tall piece made from nearly two million tiny glass beads,” Hernandez said.

The piece, called “The New Awakening,” is one of 15,000 objects the museum has collected over the years.

To top off your visit to the museum, you can step into the gift shop and grab a few trinkets to take home part of the experience.

From artsy skeletons to pillows, sculptures and framed embroidery, there are some really great gifts. There are also books and memorabilia from his day learning about the rich and colorful Mexican culture.

Frida Kahlo runs through February and the Day of the Dead exhibition runs through December 11th.