Days of the Dead / Dias de los Muertos

October 26, 2018 - November 11, 2018

This community-centered altar exhibit includes traditional elements of the ancient Mexican holiday, Dias de los Muertos, such as sugar skulls, colorful tissue paper cutouts, and photos or personal items of deceased relatives to honor the souls of the departed.

The holiday has evolved from a blend of Meso-American and Christian cultures, and those traditions come to life with this celebratory exhibition at FWMoA featuring memorials created by artists, families, and community groups from throughout the region.

Dias de los Muertos, a holiday celebrated in Mexico and many parts of Latin America, is considered a festive time when family members remember and honor their dead and the continuity of life. At FWMoA, a series of artist and family-made altars fill a gallery, often honoring deceased loved ones or groups of individuals who have died for a cause or as a result of persecution or injustice. Common symbols include colorful skeletal figures, laughing in the face of death, or the glamorous La Catrinabased on a famous etching by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada, which depicts a female skeleton dressed in aristocratic styles of Europeans of her time. This figure satirizes those Mexican natives who Posada felt were over imitating European traditions of the aristocracy in the pre-revolutionary era.

NEW for 2018: The Interactive Community Altar! One altar space will be dedicated for members of the community to contribute a small personal item or photo to honor a deceased loved one in the tradition of Dia de los Muertos.

FWMoA will provide a nicely skirted altar with traditional Dia de los Muertos altar items like flowers and sugar skulls, and all are invited to add something from a deceased loved one.

We will also provide a book for you to write the name of your loved one(s) that will be placed on the altar and brought out each year!

These regulations will apply:

  • You may contribute up to two small items to the Community Altar. Items should be no larger than 5”x7” in any direction.
  • You should mark your item(s) with your name and phone number.
  • You may contribute to the altar October 26-November 11 only during public gallery hours (Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12-5pm, Thursday 10am-8pm). General admission will apply throughout public gallery hours, except on noted free times such as Thursday 5-8pm, or during the Family Celebration October 28 2-6pm. FWMoA offers discounted admission to individuals with an EBT card w/ID and free admission to military/veteran families with valid ID.
  • You must pick up your item(s) on November 12 before 6pm.
  • While FWMoA provides general exhibition security, we will not be able to guarantee dedicated security for the Community Altar at all times. Community altar contributors are encouraged to consider this when selecting items for the altar. We discourage you from selecting highly valuable items such as expensive jewelry for the Community Altar.
  • Items for the Community Altar should be free of vulgarity, blood and gore, violence, or offensive language/imagery.
  • FWMoA reserves the right to remove items from the Community Altar it may deem inappropriate, but we will keep your item(s) safe until you can pick them up.
  • FWMoA is a smoke-free facility and weapon-free facility.


Questions? Contact Capri Williams at 260-422-6467.