Community Altars: Ofrendas Inspired from the States of Mexico

Sep. 12, 2015

Sep. 12, 2015 @ 11:00 am Nov. 22, 2015 @ 5:00 pm


The exhibit represents the Mexic-Arte Museum’s quest, which spanned more than three decades, to inform the public about the significance of the celebration. The years, the Museum presented ElDia de los Muertos exhibitions, performances, street festivals, videos, murals, installations, processions, publications and other manifestations.

This project illustrates the impact that Mexic-Arte Museum has made in the Austin community. The exhibition presents Museum archival materials from the past 31 years and examines an emerging social phenomenon among a growing population—how Mexic-Arte Museum’s ElDía de los Muertos efforts have transformed a Mexican religious holiday into a uniquely central Texas celebration of Mexican and Mexican American life and cultural identity.

Mindful of the day’s historical-religious roots, Mexic-Arte Museum helped transform the celebration by mixing popular and traditional materials, sacred and secular objects, personal and social issues, and popular art and contemporary expressions. The underlying Mexican sense of commitment to honor the deceased has remained, but the public expression has evolved into a voice for the Latino/a community.

On yet another level, the Mexic-Arte Museum has utilized El Día de los Muertos to celebrate the community’s faith; comment on current issues such as immigration reform and the death penalty; and express a uniquely Austin Mexican and Mexican American identity and heritage. This project will help galvanize local Latino/a culture and demonstrate its contributions to American/Texas culture.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the City of Austin.