Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead

October 19, 2013 - November 02, 2013

This community-centered exhibit features traditional Mexican altars with sugar skulls, colorful tissue paper cutouts, and photos of deceased relatives to honor the souls of the departed.  The Day of the Dead, an ancient religious celebration that originally honored children and ancestors, has evolved from a blend of Meso-American and Christian cultures, and those traditions come to life with this celebratory exhibition featuring memorials created by artists, families, and community groups from throughout the region.

The celebration is considered a festive time when family members remember and honor their dead and the continuity of life. A series of artist and family-made altars fill a FWMoA gallery in the weeks leading up to the holiday, 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 Catrina, based 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.

Join us October 20 from 12-4pm for Ninos Day, a day especially for youngsters to learn more about the richness of this holiday in Mexican and American culture. Children will imagine, discuss, and draw their own Dia de los Muertos celebration as inspired by famous artist Diego Rivera’s “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park.” Enjoy free admission, hands-on activities, story telling, dancing, and treats from George’s La Baguette bakery.

Celebrate the exhibition on October 26 from 4-8pm for the Día de los Muertos Family Celebration with music, dancing, traditional folkloric costumed characters, storytelling, Mexican food, desserts, and beverages. Free admission. All ages are welcome.

Interested in being involved with this exhibition? Members of the community may submit altar concept applications for display in the exhibition by visiting the FWMoA programs page and downloading the PDF application to the right of the page.