Dia de los Muertos Celebration
October 29, 2021 - November 10, 2021
Día de los Muertos returns to Art Center East!
Art Center East’s annual Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead exhibit and community celebration will open with a community celebration on Friday, October 29, from 6:00-8:00 pm. The exhibit features artworks created by K-12 students from throughout Union County inspired by Mexican folk-art traditions associated with Día de los Muertos. Join us for our family-friendly community celebration on October 29 at Art Center East and visit the exhibit through November 10. The exhibit and the community celebration are free!
The community altar (ofrenda) at ACE will be open to the public beginning October 29. We invite you to bring in a photo and/or a memento of a lost loved one starting October 29 at 12:00 pm. You’ll place these on the ofrenda to honor and celebrate your loved ones who have passed away. (Please plan to pick up your item(s) on November 9 or 10). Paper will be available for writing a message, or feel free to bring your own message. See the beautiful ofrenda with all its candles lit on Friday, October 29, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Visit the K-12 students’ Day of the Dead art exhibit and view the community altar (ofrenda) October 29 - November 10 during gallery hours: Wednesday-Friday 12:00-5:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Gallery admission is always free.
Día de los Muertos Take & Make Art Kits
Día de los Muertos Take & Make art kits are available for pre-order! This year we’ve expanded our make-art-at-home offerings. In addition to a youth (age 5-12) kit, we have a teen (age 13-17) kit, an adult kit, and a family kit. Each kit includes four (4) delicious tamales (your choice of meat or vegetarian) from La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant & Lounge in La Grande! Youth and teen kits are free to all under the age of 18 - we are always happy to accept donations for the value of the kit.
About Día de los Muertos
Join Art Center East to experience this special holiday. Día de los Muertos is a Mexican national holiday that celebrates the joys of life and offers an opportunity to honor loved ones who have passed away. This celebration is cheerful and playful rather than mournful and sad, and its traditions highlight the importance of family, both living and dead. Día de los Muertos is traditionally celebrated in Mexico and Central and South America but has also become a widely celebrated holiday in the United States and other countries worldwide.
Though Día de los Muertos sugar skulls (calaveras) and costumed skeletons (calacas) have become more commonplace in the United States as an extension of Halloween imagery, they are not intended to be spooky. Día de Los Muertos came about as a fusion between the Catholic holidays All Saint’s Day (November 1) and All Soul’s Day (November 2) and the ancestor-honoring traditions of indigenous Mexico. Combining Mexican folk art, vibrant colors, music, parades, food, and family, Día de Los Muertos is a memorial holiday that encourages meaningful reflection on the beauty and fleetingness of life. UNESCO recognizes its unique traditions as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Día de los Muertos is about the transitory nature of life and the importance of remembering and honoring our ancestors. It is believed that on Día de los Muertos, the souls of our deceased family members will return to their final resting place for a one-day visit.
Families prepare for this special day by cleaning and decorating their ancestors' graves, preparing a feast of foods their ancestors loved, and laying a pathway of marigolds. There is music, singing, lots of good food, and happy reminiscing. This annual event helps younger family members learn more about their ancestors and strengthens family bonds.