Miembros Newsletter: November 2023

A Message from the Director

Thank You for Making Viva la Vida 2023 Unforgettable!

Viva la Vida 2023. Photo Credit: Chris Caselli

Video Credit: @noelozanophoto 

Mexic-Arte would like to sincerely thank everyone who attended and helped out at the annual Viva la Vida Festival and Parade in downtown Austin. The city’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead event was held on Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 12-6 pm. We enjoyed seeing the community celebrate the holiday, traditions, and culture. Viva la Vida was co-sponsored by the City of Austin and presented by the Austin Convention Center and the Downtown Austin Alliance.

Lucia and Francisco Chavez as La Catrina and José Guadalupe Posada
“La Chalupa Boat” by Monica Contreras and Sergio Lejarazu
Catrina Barbies by Amhiga Hispana, Photo Credit: Chris Caselli
Passion Teal Catrina by Emily Arenas, Photo Credit: Chris Caselli

This year our Special Section was La Catrina. La Catrina appeared as a zinc etching originally created by José Guadalupe Posada for a satirical leaflet produced in 1910. While most of his work was unknown during his life, Posada’s images were reintroduced to the public by Jean Charlot and Diego Rivera. Rivera popularized La Calavera Catrina in his mural Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park (1947), and she has since become a time honored symbol for Día de los Muertos that is embraced and celebrated by millions every year. Lucia and Francisco Chavez led the parade as La Catrina y José Guadalupe Posada.

This year’s parade included a beautiful Catrina interpretation of “La Chalupa” from the Mexican loteria card by Monica Contreras and Sergio Lejarazu. Also a crowd pleaser were the beautiful Catrina Barbies by Amhiga Hispana. Thank you to Evis de la Rosa y Amhiga Hispana. Emmily Arenas once again impressed everyone with the design of the passion teal Catrina with wings.

Again, we would like to thank those who helped make it possible! Thank you to parade participants, vendors, volunteers, performers, staff, sponsors, neighbors and The City of Austin — we could not have done it without you.

Thank you for supporting Mexic-Arte and joining us at our event. See you again in 2024 for our 41st year!

Little Catrin and Catrina Costume Contest, Photo Credit: Chris Caselli


  • Thank you to Robert Rodriguez & family, and Austin Lowriding for the Musical Guests and the Lowrider Car Showcase
  • Special Guest Lesly Reynaga
  • Ray Lozano’s Ballet Folklorico & Grupo Azteca Guadalupano
  • Thank you to all of the other performers!
Volunteers escort Camazotz, Mayan Bat God by Dennis McNett. Photo Credit: Chris Caselli


Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped us make the 40th Annual Viva la Vida possible. Your hard work and support helped create a well organized event!

Ballet Folkloric, Photo Credit: Chris Caselli


The Parade brought together a vibrant and varied mix of the traditional, contemporary, and Austin “weird”. The Procession – including costumes, props, live music, dancers, and floats – marched down historic 6th Street and culminated at E. 4th Street and Congress Avenue for the Festival.

Mauro de la Tierra, artist and muralist, showcases art, Photo Credit: Sylvia Orozco


Viva la Vida featured over 30 Día de los Muertos inspired artists, artisans, vendors, and makers! Thank you to all of the vendors who joined us this year and thank you to everyone who came out and supported them.

Executive Director and the Mexic-Arte Museum Team

Sylvia Orozco


40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation

Community Altar, Photo credit: Maia Castillo

For two generations, Mexic-Arte Museum has created a uniquely Austin-style Día de los Muertos celebration filled with exhibitions, performances, street festivals, videos, murals, installations, processions, publications, and other cultural manifestations. 40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation celebrates Mexic-Arte Museum’s past and present Día de los Muertos celebrations and the Museum’s place in Central Texas. This exhibition showcases Mexic-Arte Museum’s singular Día de los Muertos history with artwork and archives going back to the museum’s beginnings in 1984 along with four commissioned ofrendas by the Emmily Arenas family, Connie Arismendi, Mauro de la Tierra, and Angel Ortega.

40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation is on view until January 7, 2024.

Tlalmanalli Ehecanahucampa: Offering to the 4 Winds, by Laura Ríos-Ramírez, commissioned for 40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation exhibition

Laura Rios-Ramirez performs ceremony at exhibit opening. Photo credit: Maia Castillo

Prior to colonization, Anahuaka (commonly referred to as MesoAmerican) traditions made Tlalmanalli (offerings) during the months of Nexochimaco and Xocohuetzi. This was a 40-day period around September and October that are dedicated to making offerings of flowers to the ancestors and for receiving the fruits from the harvest. This ancestral offering made on the surface of Mother Earth was later syncretized with the celebration of All Souls day into what we now know as “the ofrenda” we make to the ancestors for Dia de los Muertos. This offering was designed and curated by Cihuatlatoki Laura Yohualtlahuiz Rios Ramirez of Kalpulli Ayolopaktzin of the Ameyaltonal family lineage alongside community members from MexicArte, Ameyaltonal Austin & Kalpulli Tlalpapalotl.

October Changarrito Artist, Emily Bryn

Feeling the Ceiling Fan, 3″x 6″, Oil on canvas, 2020

Sewn Apology, 8″ x 10″, Thread on Found Fabric, 2021

The Changarrito artist for October 2023, Emily Bryn, presented her work on the Changarrito cart at Mexic-Arte Museum on October 21st, 22nd, and 29th.

You can see and learn more about Emily’s work on her website.

About Changarrito Program

Changarrito is an art vending cart conceptualized by artist Maximo Gonzalez as an alternative to the official gallery selection presented by the Mexican cultural authorities. True to the Mexic-Arte Museum’s mission, the Changarrito is dedicated to the presentation and promotion of contemporary Latinx and Latin American art. Artists sell their art on the Changarrito cart in front of the Museum (or an offsite location, as a representative for the Museum during various Austin festivals). It expands the reach of the artist by presenting their gallery online, while allowing the option to sell merch over Instagram and receive 100% of the sale.

November Changarrito Artist, Mauro Murillo

Photo Credit: Mauro Murillo
Corazon con Flechas, 24″ x 48″, Acrylic on canvas, by Mauro Murillo

About the Artist

Mauro Murillo was born in Coahuila, Mexico and moved to San Antonio, Texas in 1995. During high school, he enjoyed the SAY Sí art program where he explored creating art in different mediums including graphite, charcoal, aluminum, paper mâché, papel picado, and others. While Murillo was pursuing an associate degree in communication design at San Antonio College, he began to shift his focus toward fine arts, especially because of a particular drawing class where he was inspired to consider art as a career. After graduating in early 2020, his passion for art strengthened as he started painting with acrylic paint on canvas. Murillo had his first solo show, Personajes Mexicanos, in 2021. His work has been exhibited at UNAM San Antonio Texas, Mexican Cultural Institute San Antonio Texas, Instituto de Cultura Hispanica Corpus Christi Texas, and The Union Houston, Texas.

Artist Statement

“I paint iconic figures from the Mexican Revolution, the golden age of cinema, and other subjects from within Mexican culture. My inspiration for painting these themes comes from when I was a young child watching black and white Mexican films at my grandparents’ home, and hearing both of my grandfather’s enthusiastically talk to me about the Mexican Revolution. The intention of my work is no only to embrace and appreciate our culture but also to invoke a sense of nostalgia and memory in the viewer.

I paint mostly large canvases, beginning them by smearing colors on the canvas. Once that first layer dries, I then paint the subject matter, allowing the smeared colors to help me decide my palate choice. Because many of the source images I use are black and white, it allows me to paint with many color combinations. I am devoted to working with acrylic paint because I love the results it gives me. The fact that acrylic dries so quickly pressure me to paint fast, encouraging my brush strokes to be intuitive and expressive.”

You can see and learn more about Mauro’s work on his website.

Join us for the Changarrito cart with artist Mauro Murillo, who will be at the museum presenting his artwork on November 11th , 12th , 18th , and 19th from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST. Come by Mexic-Arte to support Mauro and ask about his work!

Isabel Servantez will be hosting the Changarrito virtual interview on Mexic-Arte’s Instagram at 5:00 PM on Thursday, November 30th . The interview will involve questions about his work and a Q&A session during the final 20 minutes.


40 Years of Día de los Muertos – Ephemera through the Years

 “Mock-up of the November Mexic-Arte Museum Newsletter from 1990, promoting the Día de los Muertos Celebration.” Photo Credit: Amy Anderson
“Poster to Día de los Muertos Parade from 1989.” Photo Credit: Amy Anderson

Mexic-Arte Museum’s current exhibition, 40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation, celebrates our institution’s past and present participation and guiding hand in Central Texas Día de los Muertos festivities. The exhibition begins with photographs and ephemera from Mexic-Arte’s Día de los Muertos history — showing how traditions have persevered and transformed since Mexic-Arte’s inaugural celebration back in 1984. 

Archives from the last 40 years, on display at the beginning of the exhibition, show the evolution from 1984 to 2023. A floor to ceiling timeline of letters, sketches, articles, photographs, and more show the Museum’s efforts to plan and execute 40 years of Día de los Muertos.

This is just a glimpse of the expansive collection of archives on display. You may view these pieces of ephemera and so much more at Mexic-Arte Museum’s current exhibition, 40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation, now until January 7th, 2024.

In 2012, Viva la Vida Festival had to be conducted entirely inside. These photographs capture the intimate atmosphere as people view the art and participate in activities throughout the space. Photo credit: Amy Anderson


Introducing Aries Limon: A Rising Star in Costume Technology Research

Aries Lemon conducting her thesis presentation. Photo Credit: Crystal Alulema

Aries Limon is an ambitious graduate student hailing from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a dedicated scholar on an inspiring journey to attain her Master of Fine Arts in Costume Technology within the esteemed Theater and Dance Department. Aries brings a unique perspective to her research, delving into the intricate history and cultural significance of the “Traje Charro”, the iconic attire of Mexican horsemen. 

Aries has added a melodious twist to her academic pursuit by collaborating with the exceptionally talented local Mariachi musician, Julian Arizola. Julian’s musical journey has taken him from the illustrious Hollywood Bowl to an electrifying performance at LALApalooza in Chicago, alongside the sensational Lesly Reynaga. His remarkable ascent is a testament to his undeniable musical prowess and passion for Mariachi music. 

Mariachi jacket researched and designed by Aries Lemon. Photo Credit: Aries Limon
Julian Arizona wears Mariachi suit for performance. Photo Credit: Crystal Alulema

Recently, Aries and Julian joined forces to take their audience on a captivating journey into the world of Mariachis and the charro suit. Their work promises to shed new light on this vibrant cultural phenomenon and the intricate artistry behind it. 

In conclusion, we extend our gratitude to all those who joined us in welcoming Aries and Julian, as they embarked on an enthralling exploration of Mariachi culture and the charro suit’s rich heritage. This dynamic duo is undoubtedly making waves in the world of academia and music, offering a promising glimpse into the future of their respective fields.

Students Screen Print Día de los Muertos T-Shirts

Photo credit: Megan Adams

4th-6th grade students at Widen Elementary, Smith Elementary, and Oak Meadows Elementary printed Día de los Muertos T-shirts as part of this fall’s Screen It!, our screen printing outreach program. Students created colorful compositions for their shirt designs with calaveras, papel picado, pan de muerto, marigolds, and more. Our teaching artists guided students through the principles of screen printing while teaching them the significance of Día de los Muertos and its traditions. 

Thank you to our teaching artists and our art educator partners at Austin, Del Valle and Manor ISD for these successful projects! Thank you to Community Youth Development and Applied Materials for funding these programs.

Teachers and students from Smith Elementary participated in our Viva La Vida parade, wearing their screen printed shirts, playing drums and even bringing their own parade props! Thank you Ms. Adams and Smith Stallions! 

Photo credit: Isabel Porter-Hyatt
Photo credit: Isabel Porter-Hyatt

Welcome our Education Associate, Crystal!

Crystal Alulema Jogani recently relocated from Phoenix, Arizona to Austin, Texas. She has assumed the role of Education Associate within the Education Team. With a background spanning four years as an art educator, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) from Arizona State University and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) from Grand Canyon University. Crystal is deeply honored to join the esteemed Mexic-Arte Museum team, and eagerly anticipates the opportunity to meet and collaborate with each of you in the near future.

Intern Spotlight: Molly Joyce

Molly Joyce is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in English and pursuing a certificate in Museum Studies. She is Mexic-Arte Museum’s Fall 2023 Collections Intern, concentrating on accessioning the collection and improving the museum’s virtual exhibitions. She enjoys reading, singing, and writing in her spare time. Her epistolary short story titled “This Journal Belongs to Julia Woods” was published in Austin Community College’s student journal The Rio Review in Spring 2022.


The Catrina Gala Dinner Raises Funds for Programs

Guests enjoy delicious food at the Catrina Dinner. Photo Credit: Chris Caselli
Presentation by the Ballet Folkloric de Austin, TX. Photo Credit: Chris Caselli
The Honorable Consul Pablo Marentes General of Mexico, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, and Tom Gilliand at the Catrina Dinner Gala 2023. Photo credit: Chris Caselli
Edwin R. Jordan, Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts Recipient, Photo credit: Chris Caselli
The Honorable Maria Luisa “Lulu” Flores, Patron of the Arts Award Recipient, Photo credit: Chris Caselli
Elaine Salazar, Patron of the Arts Award Recipient, Photo credit: Chris Caselli

On Sunday, October 15th, Mexic-Arte Museum held the 7th annual Catrina Dinner! Commemorating 39 wonderful years of programming and exhibitions, the evening was marked with excellent food courtesy of Fonda San Miguel, a dazzling keynote speech from the Honorable U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, and a spirited auction featuring original prints. This event honored four highly influential people, Mary J. Andrade, the Honorable Lulu Flores, Ed Jordan, and Elaine Salazar. Mexic-Arte extends its gratitude to these people every day for their generous contributions of time, materials, and artwork to the Museum, helping make it what it is today.

Keynote Speaker U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. Photo credit: Chris Caselli

As always, none of this would be possible without the community support of Mexic-Arte’s sponsors, including the very generous sponsors of the Catrina Dinner 2023. We would like to thank Fonda San Miguel and Tom Gilliland for hosting this event, and thank Austin Convention Center, H-E-B, Siete Family Foods, Juan Gutierrez, JP Peace, Love and Happiness Foundation, Ampersand, Hendler Flores Law, Linbeck, Jane and Manuel Zuniga, Michael Best LLC, Fenix Post Tension – The Cuellar Family, Candace and Dennis Eakin, Alpha Ready Mix Cement, Chez Zee, Priscilla and Jay B. Sauceda, Expedia Group, Sonrisas Dental Center, IBC, and Saldana Public Relations for their generous sponsorships. We would also like to thank Alveni, JSM Production, King Liquors, Susto Mezcal, and Estudio Floral Bachi for their donations of time and product to make this event both beautiful and successful. Finally, we would like to thank Kendra Scott, Tiff’s Treats, the Houston Astros, the Texas Rangers, Bacalar, the Moody Center, Amy’s Ice Cream, Fixe, the Long Center, Cine las Americas, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, Wanderlust Wine Co., Clay Imports, the Thompson Hotel, the Serie Print Project, and Mery Godigna Collet for their very generous auction donations.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank our honorees, our sponsors, and our esteemed guests for making this Catrina Dinner such a wonderful night!

You can view more photos from the event here.


Welcome Neudy Gutierrez, Administrative Associate!

Neudy Gutierrez graduated from West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Neudy brings a deep-rooted dedication to social justice and a profound connection to Mexican American culture to the team. Beyond the professional realm, Neudy finds joy in reading, gardening, and spending time with friends and family.


Shop the Mexic-Arte Museum Store!

Purchase the newest items on display at the store – inspired by Mexic-Arte’s 40 Years of Día de los Muertos exhibition.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Learn more about the Mexic-Arte Museum

Operations, Exhibition and Art Education Programs Support: Ampersand Art Supply, Applied Materials, Austin Convention Center, Austin Independent School District Creative Classrooms, Austin Lowriding, Michael Best, Brown Distributing Company, Capital Printing, City of Austin Departments: Cultural Arts Division; Economic Development; Health Department; Community Youth Development Program; Parks & Recreation; Public Works; and Special Events, Clay Imports, Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, Erwin Cuellar, Libby & Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Downtown Austin Alliance, Endeavor Real Estate Group, Fenix Post Tension, Inc., Fonda San Miguel, Ford Foundation, Tom Gilliland, GoDaddy, GTOPs Capacity, Juan J Gutierrez, Charlotter Hage Dalbey, Jennifer Hage Bond, Patricia Hage Hirsh, Robin Suzanne Hage, H-E-B, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Hendler Flores Law, Humanities Texas, IBC Bank, IBM, Institute of Museum & Library Services, JP’s Peace Love & Happiness Foundation, La Voz, Linbeck, LMN/Page, Ann McEldowney, Bettina & Travis Mathis, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Nettie & M.K. Hage Family, Laurel Prats, Elizabeth Rogers, Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr., Rosa Santis & Pedro SS Services, Serie Print Project, Siete, Delia Sifuentes, Silcone Labs, Spurs, State Farm – Alejandra de la Torre, Susto Mezcal, Ingrid and James Taylor, Texas Gas Service, Thompson Austin, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tribeza, Univision 62, Univision Radio, Warfield Center, Waterloo Greenway, Lola Wright Foundation, Jane & Manuel Zuniga, and Mark Zuniga.