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The 37th Annual Day of the Dead Exhibition

September 18

September 18, 2020 @ 5:00 am November 22, 2020 @ 11:00 am

Mexic-Arte Museum

419 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
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The exhibition will open to the public on 9/18 and stay open until 11/22. Please make sure to review our Health Protocols, before planning your visit to the Mexic-Arte Museum. Thank you.

About this event

In observance of the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos, Mexic-Arte Museum presents The 37th Annual Day of the Dead Exhibition. Since 1984 when the Museum presented its first Day of the Dead exhibition, La Muerte Vive (Death Lives), this exhibition pays tribute to the tradition that celebrates the return of the dead by their families and friends on October 31 to November 2.

Celebrated by Mexicans and Mexican Americans alike, as well as others in Latin America, Día de los Muertos is an important religious and cultural event that synthesizes pre-Columbian traditions with Catholic Church practices. Originating in ancient Mexico, the annual celebration is increasingly observed in the United States as part of contemporary American popular culture. Day of the Dead blends indigenous religious and cultural rituals with customs surrounding Catholic holy days of All Hollows Eve (All Saints Evening October 31), All Saints Day (prayers are said to saints and martyrs November 1), and All Souls Day (prayers and offerings to deceased relatives and friends November 2). The first day (November 1st known also as Día de los Angelitos/Day of the Little Angels) is dedicated to the souls of deceased children; while November 2nd is set aside to honor the souls of adults. During this yearly event, cemeteries are cleaned and home and public altars or ofrendas (offerings) are built both to honor the dead and to attract them with food, drink, candles, incense, marigold flowers, and objects once favored in their lives.

This year Mexic-Arte Museum presents a Day of the Dead exhibition that will feature Community Altars and a special showing of Day of the Dead artwork from the Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr. Collection.

Mexic-Arte Museum will present a special tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the death of President Venustiano Carranza with artwork from the permanent collection. President Carranza (Dec. 1859 – May 1920) was one of the main leaders of the Mexican Revolution. With the promulgation of a new revolutionary Mexican Constitution of 1917, he was elected president, serving from 1917 to 1920. There will be an ofrenda to Maestra Rina Lazo (1923-2019), an acclaimed Guatemalan and Mexican painter and muralist. In 2018 – Mexic-Arte Museum award Rina Lazo the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts. Before her passing, Maestra Rina Lazo completed a mural that had been more than 10 years in the making called “The Underworld of the Mayas,” which will soon make its home at Mexic-Arte Museum.

Community Altars in the exhibit will pay homage to Latinx victims of the COVID epidemic, by Maria Eugenia Ramirez Flores; persons who have died from AIDS; and heroes of the U.S. civil rights movement, just to mention a few.

We will offer our El Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Educational Activity Guide (revised 2nd edition), which can be used by teachers, students, researchers, and learners of all ages. Compiled by our Museum team working with scholars and other experts, this Guide documents the history of Day of the Dead and the diverse cultures and artists that carry on the tradition. We will feature a Virtual Tour and art activities that relate to Day of the Dead, for example, how to construct your own altar, produce sugar skull and skull mask, make papel picado, and create paper marigold flowers.