Two small shrines on the wall that are metal nicho boxes with pictures of nuns inside are part of the installation of Venus Envy, Chapter I: The First Holy Communion Moments Before the End (1993/2022). The Vitrines offer a sense of the presentation of things precious to me including pictures of friends and family as well as special objects like my sister’s braids.
Many cultures have traditional forms of spirituality including home altars honoring the family and life events. The home altar often includes family photos as well as precious objects and religious or sacred objects, letters, and flowers and candles. Some special items are presented in small shrines or nicho boxes. The nicho box or niche highlights special objects by foregrounding them in the box like a small shrine.
This project invites you to make your own Nicho Box or Small Shrine. Will your Nicho Box pay tribute to or honor someone who is important in your life (family, friends, a deity, a teacher)? Will your Nicho Box honor a specific life event or moment in time? What images, objects, and materials will you use?
Create an Exhibition of the Nicho Boxes:
The nicho boxes can be presented in class as an exhibition and students who are comfortable can share a little about their box and what is precious to them.
Designed by practicing artists, the Open Studio classroom activities aim to connect high school teachers and students with key ideas and issues in contemporary art. See all of the Open Studio activities.