I’ve got my eye(brow) on “Frida Fest”


Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl performing at the Frida Kahlo Exhibition Announcement in Nov. 2018. They will also be performing at Frida Fest on Sept 8. Photo by COD Newsroom Flickr

Karla Villegas Pineda, Opinion Editor

This Sunday, the MAC will be the place to experience the beauty of Mexican culture. COD will host a festival in honor of the late, famous, Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, from noon to 9 p.m. 

“She was a revolutionary, a fashion icon, the people’s artist, but most of all she was determined to keep moving forward no matter how challenging the circumstances were,” MAC Director Diana Martinez said. “I think the Hispanic/Latino community should be very proud of the exhibition and the celebration of one of [Latin America’s] most famous daughters.”

The event, called “Frida Fest,” will kick off the anticipatory year leading up to the arrival of 26 of Kahlo’s most famous art pieces in time for summer 2020.

Free performances by Chicagoland groups such as Ballet Folklorico Quetzacoatl, Mariachi Monumental Mexico and Artrageous! are expected to perform at the McAninch Arts Center’s Lakeside Pavilion.

Inside the MAC’s Belushi Performance Hall, the Mexican Cultural Center of Central DuPage will host Miss Mexican Heritage, a beauty pageant scholarship featuring live music and performances. Tickets are $10 as a suggested donation.

The Cleve Carney Gallery, also located inside the MAC, is exhibiting the work of Jose Guadalupe Posada, a famous Mexican printmaker, who, along with Kahlo, revolutionized the way Mexican culture is viewed in the United States with his undead skeletal character of “La Calavera Catrina.” Posada’s exhibit, which will close after the festival, will be open to the public during the event with guided tours in Spanish and English every hour.

Apart from the numerous performances, the Lakeside Pavilion will also be the venue for many activities such as salsa lessons, cooking lessons, and Kahlo-inspired hair braiding. 

COD’s Kahlo exhibit next summer will be the first time such a large collection by the renowned artist will be in the state of Illinois since 1978.

According to Martinez, the historic exhibition is a project two years in the making, much of which consisted of negotiating the Frida collection’s loan with the Olmedo Museum in Mexico City.

“I hope that Frida is an inspiration to the community. Not only was she a brilliant painter, she was a strong woman who overcame tremendous adversity,” Martinez said, referring to a bus accident that inflicted Kahlo with numerous health issues for the remainder of her life.  Un-timed tickets for the Kahlo exhibit will be available for purchase at the MAC box office for $35. The tickets will be valid for any day the exhibit is open.