Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) has become an entire season of celebration spanning Southern California. Beginning in August through November, festivals, pop ups, and altars are created in diverse community based organizations, public spaces, schools, and ticketed venues. Today’s interpretation of the sacred indigenous tradition has been remixed and recycled into a commercial holiday blending Mexican, Latino, and American pop culture iconography with the spiritual aesthetics of Día de los Muertos’ indigenous and Catholic influences.
As an official Getty Foundation Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibition site Self Help Graphics (SHG) will present Día de los Muertos: A Cultural Legacy, Past, Present & Future to explore the evolution of the celebration in Los Angeles and the foundational transnational dialogue between the Chicano/Latino community and Mexico that continues to shape the tradition celebrated on both sides of the border. SHG will step away from the cultural appropriation that has repackaged this tradition to examine its Mexican roots presenting a future-focused exhibition supported by educational programming including a printed lectures, artist panel discussion, family-friendly tours, and a catalog to document this historical narrative. The curatorial team includes Lead-Curator artist Linda Vallejo and Co-Curator Dr. Betty Brown (Emeritus Professor of Art History, California State University Northridge) in partnership with SHG staff.
Día de los Muertos: A Cultural Legacy, Past, Present & Future exhibition and educational programming will take place between September 17, 2017 and February 24, 2018 with the main communal celebration on Saturday, November 4, 2017. The exhibition will feature three Day of the Dead “ofrendas” by artists Ofelia Esparza (East Los Angeles), Tijuana’s Gerardo “Acamonchi” Yépiz (Mexico), and Marcus Kuiland-Nazario (Los Angeles) as well as select Día de los Muertos prints, photographs and ephemera from across the four-decade history of SHG’s celebration broken down into a chronological evolution including the unveiling of the 44th Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration fine art limited edition serigraph.
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