Saturday, November 27, 2021
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C Altar Kaplana Chawla IMAS altar 2020The International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) invites the community to celebrate Día de los Muertos by visiting the altars exhibit honoring individuals of color who led the way in art and science fields. Community members are also invited to submit photos of their own altars to be featured in a virtual exhibit.

The community altar exhibit includes seven colorful ofrendas on display at the IMAS through November 14. Six partnering organizations were invited to create an altar to honor the life and career of important creators and experts.

UTRGV Center for Latin American Arts created an altar for iconic fashion designer Oscar de la Renta with hand-painted skulls by UTRGV MFA alumna Angelica Rodriguez. The Boys & Girls Club of McAllen honored prolific artist Frida Kahlo with a vibrant display. Mission Historical Museum’s altar is a tribute to the famous Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada.


McAllen Public Library’s electric display is dedicated to the inventor of the color television transmission system, Guillermo González Camarena. African American chemist Alma Levant Hayden is honored by McAllen Public Utility (MPU). Valley Symphony Orchestra recollects Huapango with their altar for conductor and composter José Pablo Moncayo. C alta utrgv imas 2020

IMAS is honoring fallen astronaut Dr. Kalpana Chawla. She was the first Indian-born American astronaut, and our altar brings her legacy to life. She was lost too soon, having perished during reentry on Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.

“The IMAS education team wanted to honor a female scientist of color to call attention to the lack of diversity in science fields. How many female scientists can you name? It is important to have representation so our future scientists, RGV children who visit IMAS, can imagine themselves having these careers. That they know it is possible.” expresses Claudia Martinez Gray, IMAS Director of Education. Steve Shih, Associate Administrator of NASA’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, states, “Our success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math depends on a diversity of contributions, and benefits everyone, so this means we must make it inclusive.”

A virtual altar exhibition will include photographs of altars from the community. Photos of altars can be submitted at and will be included in the virtual exhibit on the IMAS website and Facebook page @imasMcAllen.

Daily hours Thursday through Saturday are 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Admission is also free on Wednesday, October 28 for a sensory-friendly experience from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Pictured are The IMAS honors Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-born astronaut to go to space, in an annual exhibit of community altars in celebration of Día de los Muertos. Community altars will be on display through November 14. The UTRGV Center for Latin American Arts and McAllen Public Library are one of six local organizations with an altar on display at the IMAS this month, featuring individuals of color who led the way in art and science fields.

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