“Day of the Dead: Art of Día de los Muertos 2015” celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month opens August 18
Contemporary altars featuring original works by 5 artists from across the state to honor iconic Californians, including Cesar Chavez, John Wayne & Marilyn Monroe
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — July 28, 2015: A journey through life, love and death, “Day of the Dead: Art of Día de los Muertos 2015” featuring original works by 5 California artists from across the state will open on Aug. 18, 2015 at the California Museum. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, the exhibit explores the Mexican cultural tradition of honoring deceased loved ones through contemporary altars paying tribute to iconic Californians.
Dìa de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the Mexican cultural tradition honoring deceased family members and friends each year on Nov. 1 and 2 through the creation of calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls), altares de muertos (altars of the dead) and ofrendas (offerings). A festive and social occasion, Dìa de los Muertos welcomes the return of those who have died and recognizes the cycles of life and death. Developed from ancient traditions of the Aztecs, the annual ritual evolved over 3,000 years in Mexico and has become a part of modern day California’s culture, where celebrations take place in cities across the state, including San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles.
Featuring original works by artists from across the state, the exhibit will include 5 altars honoring the achievements of iconic Californians. Altars by Francisco Franco of San Francisco, John S. Huerta of Sacramento and David Lozeau of San Diego pay tribute to arts and entertainment legends Ritchie Valens, Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne, while installations by Rob-O of Sacramento and Mary Southall of San Francisco celebrate barriers broken in civil rights and aviation by Cesar Chavez and Amelia Earhart.
“The Museum is thrilled to recognize the tradition of Dìa de los Muertos while showcasing the work of these talented artists,” said Executive Director Amanda Meeker. ”Their creative tributes to iconic Californians pay homage to the innovation for which the state is renowned and reflect the diversity of the state’s heritage.”
“I’m honored to be included in the California Museum’s exhibit and to celebrate the life of Ritchie Valens,” said Francisco Franco. “As a pioneer of Chicano and Latin rock, Valens has inspired many artists by being the first Latino to cross over to mainstream American music. His legacy of influence in his ability to combine Mexican and American cultures continues to shape the work of artists like myself today.”
In addition to the artists’ original art and altar installations, members of the public are invited to commemorate a deceased loved one by leaving a photograph or small remembrance in the exhibit’s Community Altar through the end of the exhibit on Sun., Jan. 3, 2016.
Day of the Dead Party 2015
Fri., Oct. 16, 2015 · 6:00-10:00 p.m.
Highlights include appearances by exhibit artists Francisco Franco, John Huerta, David Lozeau, Rob-O of Sugar Skull Art and Mary Southall; Aztec dance troop performance & ceremonial blessing; complimentary small bites from Mayahuel Restaurant & Tequila Museum; hands-on sugar skull workshop and more. Advance tickets are $5.00 per person and on sale through Wed., Oct. 14 or until 750 tickets sell out. Day-of admission $10.00 per person limited to a maximum of 250. For more information, visit CaliforniaMuseum.org/dotd-party-2015.
Sugar Skull Workshop
Sat., Oct. 17, 2015 · 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Learn how to decorate “calaveras de azúcar” (sugar skulls) for “Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) in this hands-on learning workshop as featured in the Museum’s exhibit “Day of the Dead: Art of Día de los Muertos 2015. “ Advance registration and payment of $20.00 materials fee per person are required. Tickets on sale beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Fri., July 31 and limited to a maximum of 40 participants. For more information, visit CaliforniaMuseum.org/event/sugar-skull-workshop-0.