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Written by Kristi Steadman
Colorado Group Media (by way of AP Storyshare)
Denver – Strolling into the Denver Museum of Artwork with Clara Ricciardi is like touring again in time to Central America and experiencing it up shut.
It is going to inform the story behind the ttipqui pin that the Incas used to pin garments, or level out intricate particulars – and why they exist – in a Spanish colonial-era portray.
Ricciardi mentioned the museum’s artwork collections for historical Americas and Latin America are right here “to allow[people]to be taught extra.”
Ricciardi is the Chief Communication Officer for Spanish and Group Engagement at DAM. She is a key determine behind the museum’s bilingual exhibition posters and Discovering the Manner, which has led to a larger appreciation of Colorado’s range.
I’ve labored in direction of this purpose with the museum for 3 many years. On November 18, the Museum will honor Ricciardi’s efforts on the fortieth Collectors’ Fundraising Choice Ceremony. Collectors Craig Ponzio and John and Sandy Fox may even obtain awards for his or her imaginative contributions to the museum.
Ricciardi, who has a background in legislation research, is initially from Mexico Metropolis and on the age of 21 got here to California to work on the Consulate Common of Mexico. Whereas there, she met Gino Ricciardi, whose household has a century-old connection from Colorado. On their first date, Gino introduced Clara to Colorado and, extra particularly, DAM.
Not solely did she fall in love with Gino, however she fell in love with the museum, as she was joyful to see her heritage represented.
“It was nice to see the issues (which can be) a part of my tradition,” she mentioned.
The Ricciardis household moved to Denver in 1988. Clara started feeling homesick for Mexico Metropolis, a spot she describes as an open-air museum the place “you are surrounded by artwork.”
So, in 1992, when a pal advised her a couple of volunteer alternative by way of a touring exhibition coming to DAM referred to as “The Artwork of Chicano: Resistance and Affirmation,” she jumped at it.
Thus Ricciardi discovered her place to attach with society and artwork.
“It was actually thrilling to have guests who weren’t acquainted with the museum, however had been acquainted with the objects (within the gallery),” Ricciardi mentioned.
One such merchandise is mitat, which roughly interprets to mill. It dates again 1000’s of years in Central America, however remains to be present in some households at this time. Ricciardi mentioned that upon seeing an encounter on the museum, individuals would generally remark that they remembered one at their grandmother’s home.
“They see themselves right here, as I did,” Ricciardi mentioned. “They see their tradition mirrored in a spot that represents artwork.”
Ricciardi ultimately grew to become the primary coordinator of Spanish language applications at DAM.
When Ricciardi began, the museum didn’t provide bilingual excursions. So I led efforts to maneuver it. It has additionally established relationships with faculty districts all through the metro space to have interaction kids of each degree in addition to their households.
“Klara is aware of the ability of language to speak,” mentioned Heather Nielsen, chief studying and engagement officer at DAM. “She brings an infectious power and a caring hand to each interplay she has. Clara by no means tires of constructing DAM really feel like dwelling to many guests, welcoming them warmly by way of the doorways in Spanish and all the time with the brightest smiles.”
One other spotlight of the Ricciardi interval is the annual Día del Niño. She celebrated her twentieth yr this yr. Día del Niño, which interprets to Youngsters’s Day, is a practice in Mexico that was delivered to the USA.
mentioned Christoph Heinrich, Director of the Friedrich & Jan Mayer Galleries at Dam. “With out her mild however highly effective thrust, the dam would not be what it’s at this time.”
All of those efforts are shining examples of Ricciardi’s delight in BCD.
“The museum is somewhat treasure within the metropolis,” Ricciardi mentioned. “It is a technique to join with the remainder of the world and the artwork inside is not simply three-dimensional. It is alive.”
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