Ana Guissel Palma, Co-Artistic Director and Co-Principal artist of La Ofrenda along with Cesar Viveros, passed away in September, 2018. We hope to continue to honor her as this project unfolds.
Originally from Veracruz, Mexico, Ana Guissel Palma had been based in Philadelphia since 1999. Trained as a muralist, she pushed the boundaries of papier-maché for more than 15 years through her cultural context. From large-scale works to the development of parades, Ana created intricate pieces and ornaments that were used in various Aztec dances and ceremonies, in which Ana was often took part. Her creations depicted popular imagery surrounding the traditions of Meso-American cultures, but her work also integrated her own ideas that dealt with the blessings and challenges of daily life. Being based in Philadelphia also afforded her the opportunity to work on addressing local immigration policy and reform, as well as spiritual practices.
Ana received many Leeway Foundation awards, including a prestigious Leeway Transformation Award in 2017. Her skills with a wide range of mediums and her knowledge of Meso-American cultures opened avenues of collaboration with many Philadelphia-area institutions, such as Rutgers University (artist-in-residence), Fleisher (resident artist and instructor), Mural Arts Philadelphia (muralist) and Casa Monarca (instructor and guest artist). Her work has been exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The University of Pennsylvania Museum, the Barnes Foundation, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.