“Día de Los Muertos 2021: Espíritus Creativos de California” opens Sat., Oct. 2 at the California Museum

Press release

New exhibition honors creative Californians Eazy-E, Carrie Fisher, Ishi, Charles M. Schulz & John Steinbeck through altars & original work by 5 Northern California artists

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Sept. 20, 2021:Today, the California Museum announced “Día de Los Muertos 2021: Espíritus Creativos de California” (“Day of the Dead 2021: Creative Spirits of California”) opens at 10 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 2, 2021.  A celebration of the state’s creative spirit, the new exhibition honors noted Californians Eazy-E (1964-1995), Carrie Fisher (1956-2016), Ishi (circa 1861-1916), Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000) and John Steinbeck (1902-1968) through original altars and artwork by Northern California artists Roberta Alvarado, Francisco Franco, John Hancock and Juan Ramos of John Juan Art, John S. Huerta and I Love Sugar Skulls’ Rob-O.

“We are thrilled to present this new exhibition celebrating the creativity California is known for around the world with an amazing group of talented artists,” said California Museum Executive Director Amanda Meeker. ”Their installations bring a modern perspective to the ancient traditions of Día de Los Muertos and provide visitors with a unique opportunity to find inspiration in the extraordinary lives and legacies of their altar honorees.”

“Día de Los Muertos 2021: Espíritus Creativos de California” is the Museum’s seventh exhibition exploring the Mexican cultural tradition of honoring lost loved ones on Nov. 1 and 2 each year through the display of “altares de muertos” (altars of the dead) adorned with “calaveras de azúcar” (sugar skulls) and “ofrendas “(offerings). A festive and social occasion, the annual cultural tradition welcomes the return of those who have died and recognizes the cycles of life and death. Developed from ancient traditions of the Aztecs, the ritual has evolved over 3,000 years to become part of modern-day California’s culture, where celebrations take place each year in cities across the state.

On view through Nov. 7, 2021, “Día de Los Muertos 2021: Espíritus Creativos de California” also features an adjacent Community Altar where visitors can remember deceased friends and family. For more information or to view selected artwork, visit https://bit.ly/muertos-21.

RELATED PROGRAMS:

Día de Los Muertos 2020 Online Exhibition  | Ongoing

Launched in November 2020, this free online exhibition featuring original works by California artists Francisco Franco, John S. Huerta, David Lozeau, Oscar Magallanes and I Love Sugar Skulls’ Rob-O explores the annual Mexican cultural tradition of honoring deceased loved ones on Nov. 1 and 2, which has evolved from the Aztecs to modern-day Mexico and California. For details or related programs, go to https://bit.ly/muertos-2020.

Día de Los Muertos Fiesta at Home | Thurs., Oct. 21, 2021 • 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to celebrate the opening of the California Museum’s newest exhibition “Día de Los Muertos 2021: Espíritus Creativos de California” at the Fiesta at Home on Thurs., Oct. 21, 2021 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Festivities include a  discussion with exhibit artists Roberta Alvarado, Francisco Franco, John Hancock and Juan Ramos of John Juan Art, John S. Huerta and I Love Sugar Skulls’ Rob-O; exploration of food customs with Tequila Museo Mayahuel; musical performance by Dinorah Klingler and more. Free with advance registration. For more information or to register, visit https://bit.ly/dia-2021.

Sugar Skulls Workshops | Sat., Oct. 23, 2021 • 10:30 a.m. & 12 p.m.

Learn how to design and decorate your own “calavera de azúcar” (sugar skull) for “Día de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) online with Rob-O of I Love Sugar Skulls on Sat., Oct. 23, 2021.  Two sessions are available to choose from at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Each session requires a minimum of 10 participants to proceed and an $11 materials fee for a kit including a pre-made sugar skull and royal icing, which may be picked up at the Museum on Sat., Oct. 15,  Sun., Oct. 16 and Fri., Oct. 22 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information or to register,  go to https://bit.ly/skulls-21.

ABOUT CALIFORNIA MUSEUM

The California Museum celebrates the Golden State’s history, arts, diversity and unique influence on the world. Established in 1998, the Museum is home to the official California Hall of Fame, Unity Center and more exhibitions inspiring visitors to make their mark on history. Located at 1020 O Street in the March Fong Eu Secretary of State complex, galleries are open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed Monday through Wednesday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is $7-10. Learn more or get tickets at https://www.californiamuseum.org.

Media assets are available at https://bit.ly/dia-assets.