Leonel Rosario, owner/chef at Mariachi de Oro, will create a large ofrenda at the tent festival site, in the style of his hometown in Oaxaca, Mexico. There will be a community altar available for attendees to decorate and add photos and memories of deceased loved ones.
Before he opened Mariachi de Oro Mexican Grille, Leonel worked in agriculture with his wife, Dolores Alvarado. As a youth he learned traditional/folkloric dances growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico. Here in western NY, Leonel and his extended family present folkloric dance as “Alma Latina,” which performs for community events, schools, civic organizations and celebrations in western New York. Leonel loves to share his culture with the community and has created Día de los Muertos ofrendas (altars) for museums, conferences and community celebrations.
Artist Antonio Cruz Zavaleta will create a sand painting under the tent, another decorative art found in Oaxaca for the holiday. Created out of basic sand and colored pigments, the three-dimensional paintings can often be found in the streets of Oaxaca city alongside public ofrendas. They vary from simple scenes to elaborately shaded and constructed mosaics.
Antonio is a native of Oaxaca, Mexico, studying art at Rufino Tamayo art school in Oaxaca. He is professional artist in multiple media, including visual, painting, drawing, sculpture, and Mexican traditional arts. He further honed his craft in furniture making with Scott Jordan Furniture in New York City. Since 1991, Antonio has lectured, taught and exhibited his works in the several states, including extensive installations on the traditional holiday, Day of the Dead. He created large street puppets, “Juana” and “Felipe,” with the assistance of students attending GO ART!’s Creative Arts Camp in April, 2017. Look for them at the Medina celebration!