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News Release

Follow the "Olmec Trails" to the DuPage Forest Preserves

Iconic heads on display at four preserves throughout the county

This summer, visitors to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County can experience the rich cultural heritage of the ancient Olmec civilization through "Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy." This new outdoor exhibit features hand-painted large-scale renditions of iconic Mesoamerican stone sculptures and not only highlights the culture of the ancient Olmec civilization but also provides the physical and mental benefits of getting outside.

Fourteen of the 33 heads are on display at four forest preserves: St. James Farm in Warrenville, Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, and Fullersburg Woods and Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. You can download a map (PDF) showing the 14 locations here.

"The Forest Preserve District is thrilled to be part of the 'Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy' public art exhibit,” said Anamari Dorgan, the District’s director of Community Engagement. “Showcasing these magnificent works of art in our open spaces aligns perfectly with our mission to connect people to nature and cultural heritage. Being a part of this collaborative exhibit enriches the forest preserve experience for our residents and visitors by highlighting the importance of preserving and celebrating diverse artistic and historical traditions in a natural setting," she said.

Crafted by the Olmecs between 1400 BCE and 400 BCE, the original Olmec heads originated in southern Veracruz, Mexico, and are celebrated globally for their artistic and historical significance.

"Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy" is organized by the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage in coordination with Meztli Mexico and in partnership with the College of DuPage Public Art Project and the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau. The "Olmec Trails" exhibit not only honors the indigenous roots of Mexican heritage but also highlights the importance of public art, featuring the creativity of over 30 contemporary artists from North America.

For more information and a map of locations throughout the county, visit the exhibition’s webpage.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County improves the quality of life for all DuPage County residents. Its 26,000 acres of woodlands, prairies, wetlands, and waterways contribute to cleaner air and water, help with flood control, create vital habitats for wildlife, and provide safe spaces where people can boost their physical and mental health. More than 5.5 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 175 miles of trails, seven education centers, and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter and FacebookXInstagram, YouTube, and TikTok pages.

 

 

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