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Dia de los Muertos: A Juried Exhibit
In many parts of Mexico, South America and the United States, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a time to remember and celebrate the lives of friends and family. More about reveling life than mourning death, this unique day encourages us to connect with loved ones while reflecting on the ties that bind the past to present. This exhibition features works that showcase the vitality of the community, cultural significance, and symbols surrounding the Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Traditionally, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, the first day primarily recognizing children who have passed, and the second honoring the adults. Each day is a celebration filled with food, music, dancing, and coming together to honor the deceased whose spirits come to visit their families. Families decorate alters, or ofrendas, with candles, photographs, toys, food, and bright colors to honor their loved ones and lead their visiting spirits home.
The calaverita de azucar, or sugar skull, is a prominent symbol in the Dia de los Muertos tradition. These brightly decorated sugar skulls are placed in the alters of the deceased, especially children, as a whimsical reminder of precious life. The monarch butterfly is also commonly associated with Dia de los Muertos as they are thought to bring with them the spirits of deceased loved ones during their migration to Mexico. Another common symbol includes the use of cempasuchil, a brightly colored Mexican marigold, whose smell is believed to attract spirits to visit their families during Dia de los Muertos.
The family and the community play integral roles in this cultural celebration, so the congregation of local art to honor the deceased maintains the power of community in the Dia de los Muertos tradition. Each artist explores their own interpretation of this rich holiday, and bring to light not only the honor associated with death in Mexican culture, but also remind us of the vivacity and significance of the lives of our loved ones who have passed.
Exhibits: October 5 – November 3, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, October 5 from 5-7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and features light refreshments. Awards at 6 p.m.
Member Gallery: Nancy Terrell
Theatre Lobby: Stephen Hayford
Featured artwork: Classic Americana – Richard Bravo