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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Santa Ana Artist Reflects on Dia de Muertos With 'And Still I Rise' Installation

Earlier this year, Rigo Maldonado’s Valley High School students worked diligently on a ceramics project far removed from Día de los Muertos. The visual arts teacher’s lesson focused on narrative pots and how Pre-Columbian, African and Asian cultures used them.

“The narrative pots were a way for ancient civilizations to tell their stories,” says Maldonado, Santa Ana-based artist. “What I do is I have the kids build their own narrative pots to tell any story they want to tell using symbols.”

In March, students readied their clay pots to be fired as they patiently awaited the chance to paint imagery more focused on dreams than memories. “I work with the poorest students in Orange County,” says Maldonado. “I give them the freedom to create their own narrative.”

And then the coronavirus pandemic suddenly shuttered the Santa Ana school site, flipping the script.

Read more on my latest "Off the Page" column with LibroMobile:

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