Frida Kahlo honored with birthday procession at the McAninch Arts Center

  • The first car passes during a drive-by celebration in honor of what would have been Frida Kahlo's 113th birthday at the College of DuPage, which is hosting a major Kahlo art exhibit in 2021.

    The first car passes during a drive-by celebration in honor of what would have been Frida Kahlo's 113th birthday at the College of DuPage, which is hosting a major Kahlo art exhibit in 2021. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Ximena Martinez, a 2-year-old from Wheaton, peers through a fence to watch the action during a drive-by celebration at the College of DuPage in honor of what would have been Frida Kahlo's 113th birthday.

    Ximena Martinez, a 2-year-old from Wheaton, peers through a fence to watch the action during a drive-by celebration at the College of DuPage in honor of what would have been Frida Kahlo's 113th birthday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • A bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes was passed out to each of the first 50 cars during a drive-by celebration for Frida Kahlo's 113th birthday.

    A bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes was passed out to each of the first 50 cars during a drive-by celebration for Frida Kahlo's 113th birthday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 7/6/2020 1:33 PM

The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage broke out the balloons and flower crowns to celebrate what would have been Frida Kahlo's 113th birthday.

The MAC threw a socially distanced birthday bash Monday in honor of the revered Mexican artist, whose collection of works will be featured in a major exhibition coming next summer to the Glen Ellyn school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The party began with Mariachi Monumental De México serenading a procession of cars with "Las Mañanitas," a traditional Mexican birthday song, under a balloon arch and Papel picado banners.

More than 50 cars, some decorated with bright flowers or window paint, participated in the drive-by celebration.

Known for her self-portraits and her personal tragedies, Kahlo explored themes of feminism, politics, sexuality and death, and drew inspiration from indigenous Mexican culture. She died at 47 in 1954.

College of DuPage postponed the Kahlo show at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art a year to June 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Renamed "Frida Kahlo: Timeless," it's the largest exhibition of Kahlo art in the Chicago area in more than 40 years.

"Because of the pandemic, it is what it is, but we got a little piece of something here today, and we're happy to support it," said Blanca Lopez, a Wheaton party goer who joined in the procession with her family. "We're all fans of Frida Kahlo."

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The MAC distributed 50 bundtlets from Nothing Bundt Cakes for the first 50 cars. Attached to each cake was a quote from Kahlo.

In honor of her birthday, the museum is offering a one-day $6 discount to ticket sales for the exhibition. The discount was available online only Monday at Frida2021.org with promo code FRIDA6.

• Daily Herald photographer Rick West contributed to this report

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